Writer thanks Antioch Council for July 4th vote

The Antioch City Council deserves kudos for moving the Fourth of July event from tier three to tier two in their official hierarchy of community support. This means that though the City still will not be the fiscal sponsoring agent, nor an equal paying partner, fortuitiously, they will not bill for event planning time. The only city billing will be for real and clearly extra costs; i.e., extra police manpower, public service workers, lost safety cones and the like.  

This is big news as last year the Citizen Committee paid $16,000 for staff meetings, traffic control schematics, etc. 

Clearly, the Council senses the pulse of the people and realizes that the crowd of 25,000 to 30,000 that reveled last year fervently wanted this American-as-American-gets event enshrined back in Antioch culture after a two year absence. 

Congressman Garamendi once poignantly remarked to me that Rivertown was made for the 4th of July parade and fireworks. It is, indeed, a bucolic  Americana setting a stones throw from the river, boasting the likes of the vintage art deco 1927 El Campanil Theatre.

Acknowledgements are due.  After many years energetically spearheaded by Rick Carraher and a citizen committee the city folded its’ support. Thankfully, Martha Parsons and Susan Davis kept the embers alive in 2010 with a Somersville Mall parade.

In 2011 Allen Payton, Louise Green and I brought the parade back to Rivertown.  Last year a citizen committee, with Joy Motts and Martha Parson fund-raising, brought fireworks back into the festivities. This year the torch is again carried by a core group, now led by Chair Wayne Harrison.

We are off to a good start with 20K donated through the efforts of our last Grand Marshall, County Board of Supervisor Federal Glover. We are looking to raise 65K again as last year we lucked out in that the holiday fell on a police training day, thus saving considerable costs.

This year promises bigger and better with wall to wall synchronized sound, more food vendors, a bigger car show, kids zone, dance-off, etc. 

You can help out by donating $4 (or more) to the 4th. Go to our web site at www.antiochjuly4th.com for donation address or Pay Pal contact. You can also see linked videos of last year’s event and get information on entering the dance-off contest or 7 p.m. parade.

Join us by contributing or participating in support of America’s birthday bash. In the midst of the recent Boston tragedy, let’s show that our bonds, our resolve and our free and celebatory spirit are unbroken. 

Walter Ruehlig, Antioch

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