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Sierra Madre Fourth of July, 2010

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This Year's Schedule - Saturday July 3rd

Festivities begin at five in Memorial Park, in the evening there will be a concert at 6pm by Aluminum Marshmallow, and the famous Bubblewrap Fireworks for kids. The beer garden will be open from 5 to 10 p.m.  Everyone is urged to bring chairs and blankets for open seating.

This Year's Schedule, Sunday, July 4th

Beer garden opens at 5, till 10pm.  Concert in the Park begins at 5:30pm at Memorial Park, featuring Rocktail.  Family Movie Night featuring Shrek will begin at about 8:15, or when it's dark enough. Everyone is urged to bring chairs and blankets for open seating.

This Year's Schedule, Monday, July 5th

Sierra Madre Woman's Club Open House at 8am (550 W. Sierra Madre Blvd.)  The famous Hometown Parade starts at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 5, at Sunnyside and Sierra Madre Blvd., led by Grand Marshal Lew Watanabe, with the usual festivities, including Civic Club Confetti Eggs, old style games and the beer garden, begining immediately after the parade, at about noon.  The beer garden closes at 4 p.m. As usual, the Night Blooming Jazzmen will perform Dixieland jazz  under the shade trees on the east side of the park starting at noon. Everyone is urged to bring chairs and blankets for open seating.


Traditionally, water has been squirted back and forth amongst viewers and participants during the parade.  However, this year the City has established a new set of Water Play Zone Guidelines. Sierra Vista Park is now the only designated water play zone (west side of the park on the grass lawn).  The Sierra Madre Fire Department will be spraying water into Sierra Vista Park for children and families to play in. Only water/squirt guns will be permitted at the water play zone.  Absolutely no water balloons or use of water hoses will be tolerated at the water play zone or anywhere along the parade route.

Absolutely NO water play by parade goers will be allowed along the parade route.  Parking signage will exhibit a “No Water Zone” notice along Sierra Madre Blvd.

Rocktail, Sunday, July 4th at 5:30 p.m.

This classic rock cover band will be appearing for the first time on the bandshell stage. Rocktail was formed in 1995, when several friends decided to “get together, have a little fun and blow off some steam.”  Lead guitarist Brad Hay and bass player Jack Roemer grew up together in Ohio, and have been friends for more than 40 years.  They are joined by Sierra Madrean Bret Hardy on drums, who is “excited about playing amongst friends.”  David MacDonald is the band’s lead singer and newest addition to the group.  The band specializes in classic rock and invites their audiences to sing along with their familiar favorites. 

Aluminum Marshmallow, Saturday, July 3rd at 6:00 p.m.

Known for their exhilarating “Age of Aquarius Horns,” Aluminum Marshmallow will once again command the stage with their energetic performances of classic 60s and 70s rock. A perennial favorite with Sierra Madre audiences, this local group was originally started in 1967 at St. Rita School by seventh graders Tom Behren and Greg Pineda.  The capstone of their career as teenage “rockers” was achieved when they took first place at the school’s annual Talent Contest. 

The young men’s musical aspirations were put on hold as they pursued other ambitions, but the dream never died.  Seven years ago they reunited, adding Bob Loza, Scott Rowe and Jim Hickey into the mix.  With the unfortunate passing of Pineda in January 2009, horn player Ron Oda stepped up to the plate as lead guitarist and vocalist.

Aluminum Marshmallow regularly performs in venues around town.  Sierra Madreans obviously can’t get enough of the band, whose energy, skill and love of the classic rock repertoire keeps them coming back for more.  Here's more about the Aluminum Marshmallow Here's some video from 2008 of the Marshmallow performing Steppenwolf's "Born to be Wild", with the Sheds.

Night Blooming Jazzmen, Monday, July 5th at Noon

Immediately following the parade will be a concert by the Night Blooming Jazzman, well-known to Sierra Madre audiences.  The group was started in 1975 by Chet Jaeger, whose members now range in age from the 40s into the 80s.  A dedicated horn player, Jaeger is amused to recall the countless cornets he had worn out over the years.  This versatile group has a wide repertoire, which makes them appeal to jazz lovers of all stripes.  The group’s enthusiasm is infectious, ensuring a fun time will be had by all.  Here's some video of NBJ performing in 2008.

Lew Watanabe Named Parade Grand Marshal

Lew Watanabe has been named 2010 Fourth of July Parade Grand Marshal in Sierra Madre, according to Matt Bosse, Fourth of July Committee chairman. 

 A well known and beloved figure in town, Watanabe will lead the annual parade down Sierra Madre Boulevard on Monday, July 5.  The parade starts at 10 a.m.

 Watanabe and his wife, Joyce, with sons Randy and Steven Sage, moved to Sierra Madre in 1965.  Their neighbors and the community were so welcoming to the new family that, Watanabe says, “It was like coming home.”  He immediately set out to repay the kindness, beginning with volunteer work for the Cub Scouts, the Boy Scouts, and the Civic Club.  His devotion of time and talent over many years has ever since enriched the City. 

Watanabe’s original interest in the nursery business expanded into landscape contracting in 1981.  In 1987 he started designing and building award-winning granite sculptures known as “water walls” that are now to be seen in many gardens and museums.   One such work of art he donated to the City of Sierra Madre in 1999: the “Weeping Wall” in Memorial Park, which is part of the City’s World War II Veterans Memorial (see News Net file photo at left from the dedication of the wall).   

Another gift to the City is his contribution to the renovation of the abandoned Japanese garden given to Sierra Madre Elementary School in 1931 as a symbol of goodwill by local Japanese families. The garden, which fell into disrepair during World War II, was uncovered by schoolchildren and beautifully restored, complete with koi pond. 

A dedicated worker for landscape improvements and planting projects of all kinds in Sierra Madre, Watanabe’s designs include the setting of local plants, boulders, and a stream bed at the Richardson House, the Kiosk at the Pioneer Cemetery, the Memorial Garden at the Gooden School, the landscaping around the City entrance at the west end of Sierra Madre Boulevard, and the flower garden in Kersting Court.  He brought years of professional experience to his service as chairman of the City’s Tree Preservation Committee.    A tireless supporter of many local nonprofit activities, Watanabe was honored in 1996 as Sierra Madre’s Citizen of the Year for his efforts in enhancing and supporting the community.

The City had another opportunity to thank Watanabe after he suffered serious injury in a fall in 2003; Sierra Madreans enthusiastically rallied around their generous friend to help with his recovery.

Mr. and Mrs. Watanabe are now living on their ranch in Wildomar, where they grow plants and accumulate granite for his landscaping projects.  “I feel that I have moved,” Watanabe says, “but I don’t think my heart has left Sierra Madre.  It has been my home for 45 years and I don’t think that’s going to change.”  He maintains his local landscaping and water installation business, Good Earth Enterprises. He will have two pieces in the 2010 Malibu Sculpture Show in late June.  And, lucky for us, he will be returning to Sierra Madre to oversee his projects. 

And to ride at the front of his hometown parade.  “I am very honored,” he says, “and I think it will be fun.  And all my friends who helped me get well will be riding with me.”

Sierra Madre Woman's Club to Host Annual Pre-Parade Open House by Phyllis Chapman

Sierra Madre Woman's Club, for the 34th year, invites the community to celebrate a "Happy Birthday, USA by attending their July 4th Pre-Parade Open House from 8 to 10 am (the event this year is on Monday, July 5th).  This will be in Essick House, their historic clubhouse, 550 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., corner of Sunnyside Ave., which is also the starting point at 10am of Sierra Madre's hometown parade.  In a very red, white and blue decorated clubhouse they will serve a free continental breakfast to all who attend along with staging their very popular patriotic sing-a-long.

Civic Club Confetti Eggs a Longtime Sierra Madre Tradition

This Fourth of July weekend (on the fifth, following the parade), Sierra Madre Civic Club will continue a decades-old tradition of selling Confetti Eggs: eggs shells filled with vari-colored confetti.

Marlene Enmark explained that members save between 400 and 500 egg shells throughout the year. "We knock off the top of the raw egg about the size of a quarter, drain them, wash and dry them, and repack them in cartons to be stored until later."

She said that at the end of June, 40 to 50 members, spouses and friends gather for the annual "stuffing party." Last year 450 eggs were filled and sold "and we're looking toward 600 next year."

Mary Bickel remembers that confetti eggs were originally sold at the July 4 activities by the Athletic Boosters in the late '60s. Mary said she and Karlene Englert took the project to Civic Club when the Boosters abandoned it, and in 1970 the club started the unique holiday activity. Civic Club has been offering the eggs since.





Please support Sierra Madre's 4th of July activities with a generous donation! 

Mail to: PO Box 1073, Sierra Madre, CA 91025-1073.


thumbThe Fourth of July in Sierra Madre is a very big deal. They say "Half the town marches in the parade, the other half is watching." People come from all over the southland for the festivities, and when the 4th falls on a weekend, it's eeeextry goooood.  Concerts in the park, movies in the park, antique calliope shows, food and beverage booths in the park (including the traditional beer garden) and so much more. Make your plans to join us this year. But celebrations don't come without a lot of hard work. Kudos to the 4th of July committee, most of whom have been with the Committee since its inception and have guided it to its current heights.

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