With the rising sun came a wave of red, white and blue as a sea of folks decked out in patriotic attire flocked to Philip Marx Central Park to usher in the annual Independence Day festivities.
The July 4 morning began with the All-American 5k run presented by the Tehachapi Valley Recreation & Park District. Immediately following the run was the Ed Grimes Memorial Pancake Breakfast held in honor of the founder. The breakfast benefits the Tehachapi High School Warrior Boosters.
"It was very good, and served piping hot," said Carol Rokey who came dressed in a patriotic tutu along with her four Maltese doggies, who rode inside a decorated wagon.
A handful of folks took a break from eating breakfast to watch the Children's Parade as youngsters also showed their patriotism by decorating the bikes, wagons and themselves and marched around the perimeter of the park.
"I'm 8," said Eve Llere, who is actually 2 years old, but came dressed as a Fourth of July fairy along with her sister, Ava, 5.
As a patriotic mystical creature, little Eve can be as old as she wants, at least for one day.
Back by popular demand for a second year was Mutts in Motion, a Fly Ball Dog Team out of Fresno that performs at festivals and basketball arenas all over California. Presented by Waste Management, the lively canines had the audience howling and cheering them on as they raced each other, as well as a few children, up and down an obstacle course set up at the eastern edge of the park.
"I loved watching the doggies," said Treva Howard, 6. "This is my favorite thing to watch."
Afternoon festivities began with the Color Guard raising the American flag at the flagpole followed another moving performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" sung by Christina Scrivner.
Mayor Susan Wiggins gave her annual address by welcoming the crowd to spend the day enjoying great food, great entertainment and the American Legion's Wall of Valor, which was displayed in the gazebo of the park.
"An amazing day here in Tehachapi and across this great nation," City Manager Greg Garrett said. "Our independence — don't take it for granted — as our military keeps and maintains a strong presence throughout the world to make sure we are safe and free from evil."
The celebration continued on throughout the evening with the Tehachapi Mountain Rodeo Association's annual Bad Bulls event followed by live music performances and the Fireworks Spectacular held at Coy Burnett Stadium.