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How Long Beach Celebrated the 4th of July (Part 1 of 2); From Shoreline to Hilltop, LB Marked Independence Day In Independent Ways

by Joe Mello
LBReport.com Community Correspondent


VIDEO TELLS AMECO SOLAR'S STORY. AND CLICK HERE TO HEAR AMECO PRESIDENT PATRICK REDGATE EXPLAIN WHY SOLAR MAKES SUCH GOOD SENSE.

(July 5, 2012, 8:30 a.m.) -- The midweek July 4th holiday combined with a "June gloom" overcast day and cancelation of the Veteranís Stadium fireworks display dampened this year's Independence Day celebrations a bit.


Photo credit: Joe Mello

Thousands still flocked to spots in Long Beach that in years past would be prime viewing areas, but the crowds appeared smaller.


Photo credit: Joe Mello

Heartwell Park at the corner of Carson St./Clark Ave. is usually crowded by noon on the 4th of July, but this year just a few large groups were spread throughout the area (which is usually a prime viewing spot for the Veterans Stadium fireworks across the street). The Chan family from North Long Beach had what would normally have been a front row seat. Grilling on a barbeque, Tin Chan said they weren't aware that the fireworks show had been cancelled. They said after they eat they'll look online for another place to view fireworks.


Photo credit: Joe Mello

One block south in front of LB Fire Station 19 (as well as on Conant Street to the north) large lighted traffic signs advised that the Veteranís Stadium fireworks show was no more.

Just south of Veteranís Stadium on Clark, preparations were underway for a Freedom Fest at Rosie the Riveter Park. The event, honoring service members and LB's 14 Hometown Heroes (who gave their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq), was organized by Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske. (LBReport.com provided LIVE webcast coverage, available on-demand now, on LBReport.com's front page -- www.lbreport.com).)

On a nearby stage, preparations were being made for a musical performance by "The Emperors."


Photo credit: Joe Mello

Councilwoman Schipske organized the event after the Vets Stadium fireworks display was cancelled (for fiscal reasons) by the LB Firefighters Memorial Ass'n.

At Signal Hillís Hilltop Park, bikers from the Los Angeles Wheelmen bicycle club celebrated with picture taking after reaching the top of the hill as part of their annual ride called the Firecracker Special. Club President Pam Leven told LBReport.comthe ride has been going on for over 15 years. The members drive to El Dorado Park from as far away as Culver City every 4th of July, then take a tour of the Long Beach area.


Photo credit: Joe Mello

Despite temporary "No Parking" signs all around the Signal Hill park...


Photo credit: Joe Mello
...a half-dozen family groups had already staked out prime viewing spots on the hilltop. Among them were Yasmina Briceno and former Long Beach resident Ron Hickman. The family now lives in Fountain Valley, but decided to come to Hilltop Park after an early morning obligation made getting to Huntington Beach early impossible.


Photo credit: Joe Mello


Photo credit: Joe Mello


Photo credit: Joe Mello

In ELB's Sterns Park, neighborhood preparations were underway on Patero Street for that streetís annual block party. Neighbor and block party organizer Ruth Zapata told LBReport.com that the annual event "was one of the longest running annual block parties, if not the longest in all of Long Beach." She said it had been going on for over 30 years.


Photo credit: Joe Mello


Photo credit: Joe Mello

This year's year's block party was dedicated to one of the founders Edythe Jacobe who had passed away. A short neighborhood memorial was planned for later in the day.


Photo credit: Joe Mello

Bixby Park and Cherry Beach were again ground zero for crowds hoping to get a glimpse of the fireworks across the bay over the Queen Mary.


Photo credit: Joe Mello


Photo credit: Joe Mello


Photo credit: Joe Mello


Photo credit: Joe Mello


Photo credit: Joe Mello

LBPD had mobile high tech video surveillance cameras deployed to keep several eyes on things.


Photo credit: Joe Mello

And Long Beach visibly celebrated Independence Day in multiple independent ways.


Photo credit: Joe Mello


Photo credit: Joe Mello


Photo credit: Joe Mello


Photo credit: Joe Mello

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