I hope the community enjoyed the All-American 4th of July Festival and the Fireworks Spectacular hosted by the city of Tehachapi. It has become a marquee event for our community and it attracts visitors from all over, especially as many surrounding municipalities no longer provide such festivities on our Independence Day.
I couldn’t help but be very proud of our town, our citizens and our country this past 4th of July. We really are blessed to not only live in this nation, but in this community as well.
From the runners in the morning to the pancakes at the Ed Grimes Memorial Pancake Breakfast to the best fireworks show in city history, it turned out to be a perfect day. It was a day that reminds us what this country is, not what various groups think it should be. One day to hit the patriotic reset button and be thankful for everything we have as Americans. One day where we turn off the nonsense on social media and put politics aside to celebrate our freedom, and nobody does that like Tehachapi, in my opinion.
We couldn’t do it alone. While the city takes ownership of this event and budgets this celebration as a day to give back to our community, we had several partners that were involved. First, there were sponsors. S-Power was the event sponsor while Waste Management sponsored our newest addition and biggest hit, Mutts in Motion.
Thanks to the Tehachapi Valley Recreation & Park District for hosting the All-American 5k, the Children’s Parade and the Pancake Breakfast where they were assisted by other volunteers and Tehachapi High School football. Thanks to our public works staff who worked to prepare the airport, rodeo arena and festival locations. In the process they made the city look amazing. Our Tehachapi Police Department and Police Explorers played a key role in everything from road closures and traffic control to the patriotic flag raising at Central Park.
Many other groups were involved as well. The Tehachapi Valley Arts Association coordinated all the vendors, the Tehachapi Valley Wrestling Club ran the beer garden, Tehachapi Mountain Roller Hockey served as clean-up crew throughout the day while Tehachapi Youth Football Cheerleaders kept the kids busy in the games section. It wasn’t without the help from the Tehachapi Unified School District that we were able to put on another successful event at Coy Burnett Stadium.
The American Legion once again hosted the Wall of Valor reminding us all what this day is truly about. The Tehachapi Mountain Rodeo Association hosted arguably their best Bad Bulls event to date, selling out the rodeo grounds and putting on a heck of a show. I’m already excited for what they have in store for the Mountain Festival Rodeo just over a month from now.
The Kern County Fire Department and our local wildland fire crews helped us with preparation of the airport grounds for the fireworks while Tehachapi-Cummings County Water District allowed us to borrow a water truck to prevent a ground show during the fireworks presentation. I’m happy to report, it worked, and the only fireworks were in the sky, where they belong.
Thank you to all who attended and for those of you who elected to go elsewhere on the 4th, I’d encourage you to take advantage of what’s happening in your own backyard on days like this. Great people, great Americans and a great day for our nation. We’re already excited for 2019.
Greg Garrett is Tehachapi's city manager.