King City residents celebrate Fourth of July all weekend long
Two parades, neighborhood get-together, fireworks cap holiday
The participants in the annual King City Golf Cart Parade had more fun than a barrel of monkeys, which Verland Huff, a resident and parade judge at Pacific Pointe Retirement Inn, knows about first hand.
Traditionally, Pacific Pointe residents act as judges of the golf carts in the parade, and while they were waiting for the parade to make another pass by their chairs set up on the lawn, Huff, who lives at Pacific Pointe with his wife Carolyn, got the honors for remembering the earliest Fourth of July.
In 1924 in Carson City, Nev., Huff was a young boy, and a carnival came to town.
"There were red firecrackers going off, and these monkey dressed in clothes were driving little cars around," he said. "They would stop when people handed them gum and candy."
After the golf cart parade made a couple more passes in front of the "viewing stand," the residents voted, giving first place to Ellen Lee, who put some glittery red, white and blue decorations on her cart and shared the ride with her two cute grandchildren.
Lee's grandson, Cooper Hammond, 5, drove her golf cart the whole parade route, with Lee occasionally having to adjust the steering wheel while balancing Cooper's brother, Cameron, 22 months, on her lap.
"'Grandma, can you believe I drove the whole parade?'" Lee reported that Cooper said later.
She added, "We took first place, and our competitors said next year they are going to get their grandkids in the parade. Looks like this grandma will be looking for grandchildren in costumes next year."
In second place was Roy Armour, who decorated his cart with dozens of American flags, and third place went to Pat Stapleford and Peg Beckwith, who decorated the front of Stapleford's cart with a big face.
"It was my idea, but Peg did a lot of the decorating," Stapleford said.
The celebration at Pacific Pointe didn't end with the parade as on the evening of the Fourth, the annual fireworks display was held.
Executive Director Cheryl Nylund and her husband Hans Nylund didn't know they were starting a tradition when they put on their first Pacific Pointe fireworks display 10 years ago.
But now it is a firmly established event, and when the Nylunds came in to set up the front patio area this year, many residents were waiting in the dining room, peeking out the windows in anticipation.
The first year the Nylunds played patriotic music on a CD player, but that portion of the entertainment evolved into a sing-along with weekend office manager Susan Rieben and activity director Venice Graff.
This year, resident George Heath, soon to be 99 years young, and Hans even accompanied a song with harmonicas. Mary Galvin, Pacific Pointe's receptionist, recited the Declaration of Independence by memory, and residents also enjoyed kettle corn and punch by a campfire.
As usual, the residents enjoyed the fireworks display again this year, which is why Cheryl and Hans make a point to stay in town during the Fourth of July. Rieben said many residents stopped by the front office the next day to say how much they enjoyed the celebration.