first for the 332-float and attraction parade that entertained for
more than two hours, and then they went to the beach for the
The parade was patriotic and boisterous and simply screamed city
As Main Street resident Doris Chambers put it, "A lot of people
come from out of town to see the parade, but this is really an event
for the people who live in Huntington Beach."
Chambers, who has decorated her home for the Fourth since she
bought it in 1954, won first place for her efforts this year. The
home-decorating contest adds to the festivities of an already
There are no listlessly waving beauty queens and dignitaries on
floats here -- no sir -- it is all done with exceptional enthusiasm
And for all the wild cheering of the morning celebration, the
evening was remarkably calm. An estimated 150,000 people gathered on
the beach far to the north and south. And while some were
disappointed by the display that had been billed as one the largest
coastal displays on the West Coast, when it was over, people turned
away from the crashing waves and last shimmers of falling embers and
walked to their cars.
This example should serve a dual purpose.
No. 1: Don't play something up too much if you're not 100% sure
you can deliver the wow you've promised; and more importantly, No. 2:
Surf City's fireworks belong at the beach. Because despite some
grumblings that people expected bigger and better, the fireworks were
fantastic. They were more spectacular than they ever were at the high
school and accommodated more people.
Police had no trouble keeping the peace, and thousands (rather
than a couple hundred) enjoyed the show.
Way to go, Huntington Beach. We've earned a repeat performance
next year, we'd say.