MODESTO — More than 20,000 people expected to line the streets of downtown Modesto for the Valley town’s 139th Annual Fourth of July Parade.
“The longest running Fourth of July Celebration in California is coming back to Modesto,” said parade chairman Jeremiah Williams. “We have about 120 floats, walking entries and semi trucks that are about 84 feet long. Another nice feature we have going on is an 80-foot balloon arc that the entries will go through during the parade.”
The “Proud to be an American” parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. Thursday along 10th and F streets and it will wind through downtown Modesto ending on I and 17th streets.
“Also coming back this year will be the Modesto’s Farmers Market,” said Williams. “It’s really exciting because they have not been a part of this celebration for 137 years.”
The Modesto Farmers Market will be open from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., in front of the Gallo Center for the Arts, on I Street between 10th and 11th streets. The market will feature locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables for the public to enjoy. The Fourth of July celebration will also welcome hundreds of stationary vendors.
Following the parade, the celebration continues at Graceada Park for the Central Valley Family Fest. Local singers, musicians and speakers will be addressing the audience gathered after the parade from 12 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
“People should get here early because it does fill up quickly,” said Williams.
Preceding Thursday’s Independence Day celebrations will be a Wednesday home game of the minor league baseball team, the Modesto Nuts.
The Nuts will face the San Jose Giants at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at John Thurman Field. A number of patriotic activities for kids and families are planned before the game, and the night will end with a fireworks show. Tickets start at $6 for adults and $5 for children and seniors. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit modestonuts.com.
— NANCY ANGEL