Old Town Newhall and the 4th of July Parade
We are so pleased to feature some of the Old Town Newhall merchants on our cover this month, front row: l-r Kelly Giovannetti; Faking It Flawless. Ines Roberts; Canyon Theatre Guild. Maria Simione; Maria’s Italian Deli. Rima Raulinaitis; Ceramic Artist Studio, Inc. Linda Storli; Chairperson Fourth of July Parade. Kimberly Esquivel; Single Mother’s Outreach. Darlene Mercado; Closet on Main. Middle row: Jason Stoddard; Schiit Audio. Carol Reesha; Barn & Charm. Megan Meacham; Assistance League. Mayor Cameron Smyth. Rachel Cosgrove; Results Fitness. Denise Myers, Ma Maison. Bruno Colombo; Maria’s Italian Deli. Back row: Dennis Koontz, Simon Mee; Egg Plantation. Dustin Boole; Newhall Refinery. Daniel R. Mortensen; Law Offices of Daniel R. Mortensen. John Windsor; Green Thumb. Steve Lemley; Pulchella Winery and Deena; Spa Privé.
While historical buildings and old-time feelings may saturate the streets of Old Town Newhall, the place cannot be described as out of style. The constantly changing events and stores are complemented by the history that surrounds the area making for a classical, yet progressive, environment.
Each store found on this historical strip has taken a leap of faith as they agree to become a participant in the ramping up movement taking place in Old Town Newhall. Many retail stores call these streets home and offer consumers products ranging from boutique merchandise to wines to interior décor.
The many retail stores are located on Main Street, Lyons Ave. and Walnut Street. The colorful products and people draw you in while the personable service and quality products keep you coming back again and again. All of these modern stores and restaurants are mixed with historical places creating a beautiful marriage of modernism and history.
These trendy stores are being paired, not only with historical locations found in Newhall, but also with the 4th of July parade that takes floats right past store fronts and masses of people.
Linda Storli, who has been on the parade committee for 15 years, commented on how the parade profits the large amount of businesses in Old Town Newhall as “anything that features hometown Santa Clarita is profiting to businesses in hometown Santa Clarita.”
The annual 4th of July parade has been a tradition since 1932–a whopping 85 years ago. With the exception of two war years, where the parade did not take place, the streets of Newhall have been filled with people and performances every July Fourth for generations. These parades offer horses, floats, music, classic cars, military presentations and more every year on a long route from Main to 16th street. While history records the first parade taking place in 1926, the one in 1932 is stated to be the one that truly began the tradition.
The parade was originally instituted by the Newhall Saugus Kiwanis, and was then taken over by the American Legion Post 507 in 1938. The parade leadership changed hands again in 1955 with the “Old West” association taking the reins.
Themes of the parade shift every year, the first theme in 1932 was ironically an “Old Time” theme. They featured a Mule Team freight line, ranchers and cowboys. This year will be themed “The Emblems of the Land I Love,” and a variety of floats will express this idea as they parade through Old Town Newhall.
Storli believes that the parade is such a massive hit for a few reasons:
“I think parents bring kids because of the hometown and community focus–it shouldn’t be politics–I think a lot of people come because its generational, they got excited about it when they were kids and then they bring their kids.”
The Newhall 4th of July Parade is the largest small-town parade in the country, and it brings the community together both behind the scenes and in the streets.
“It’s patriotic, it’s exciting and more than 1,000 people watch and over 1,000 people participate,” says Storli
Each year the displays and events get bigger and bigger. This time around a pancake breakfast, 5K and 10K run-walk, parade, award ceremony, city council members, fireworks, and for the first time the Wells Fargo Stage coach are all on the agenda, promising to make this year’s Old Town Newhall 4th of July parade one for the books.
If you are interested in more information about attending, participating, or volunteering please visit www.scvparade.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
1: Program for the Newhall Old West Association’s 1950 Fourth of July Celebration, starting with a parade and finishing up at Ernie Hickson’s Placeritos Ranch, which was renamed “Slippery Gulch” for the occasion. Image courtesy of Sharon Marie (2014), daughter of Carolina Cotton — the Yodeling Blonde Bombshell — who was “grand marshalette” of Newhall’s 1950 Fourth of July Parade. (Per Sharon Marie, it’s 1950.)
2: July 4, 1979 — Popular Western recording artist and Happy Valley-Newhall resident Tex Williams is a division marshal in downtown Newhall’s 1979 Fourth of July Parade. Here, Williams (Aug. 23, 1917 – Oct. 11, 1985), who owned the onetime French Village nightclub in Newhall, is riding northbound on San Fernando Road (previously Spruce Sreet, later Main Street) in front of Preferred Glass (Preferred Glass of SCV Inc.)
3: Real photo postcard of Fred Lamkin’s Newhall Garage entry in Newhall’s 1934 Fourth of July Parade. Lamkin was an organizer of Newhall’s first July 4 parades in the 1930s. 4: July 4, 1935–Every Fourth of July, Folks from miles around would “come home” to Newhall and participate in a Homecoming Celebration in the park next to (the fourth) Newhall School on Walnut Street. This is the 1935 version, courtesy of Bud Lutge by way of artist Paulette Tcherkassky.
P5: July 4, 1964 — Newhall Woman’s Club float in the 1964 Newhall Fourth of July Parade. The photograph is from the collection of Dean and Gwen Booth Gallion; Gwen’s mother, Mary Booth, is portraying Betsy Ross here. Also present are Joan Russell, the club president; and Creola Ray, Jean Tutini and Vera Steere.
64: Newhall homecoming celebration, July 4, 1936. Barely visible in the background of this photo, made by Thompson of Santa Monica, to the left of the title inscription, is Newhall School as it appeared from 1928 (when it was built) to 1939 (when it burned down). This image was contributed to SCVHistory.com by George Starbuck.
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