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Aerial fireworks, parade, pancakes & more mark 4th

Aerial fireworks will explode in the skies to the north of the Big League Dreams sports complex on Thursday to cap Manteca’s Independence Day celebration.

They will start at 9:45 p.m.

The best viewing spot is the Big League Dreams sports complex, 1077 Milo Candini Drive, immediately south of the launch site.

Other recommended locations where people are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets are Bella Vista Park, 1580 Bella Terra Drive; Dutra Estates Park, 2701 Ancestry St.; Dutra Estates Mini Park, 1523 Hearthsong Drive; Dutra Southeast Park, 1850 Sparrowhawk St.; Kevin O’Neill Park, 1282 Laurel Circle; and Roberts Estates Park, 1740 Rail St.

The aerial display is being staged by the city with development agreement fees paid by home builders.

The most popular entry in Thursday’s Fourth of July parade that starts at 10 a.m. will be bringing up the rear as usual.

Reserve firefighters manning a hose cart will hustle down Main Street stopping ever so often at fire hydrants, hook up the hose, roll it out to the middle of the street, and — with a firefighter pointing the nozzle skyward — will charge the line sending up a blast of water that will fall down on kids and “kids at heart” who run into the street to enjoy a cool street shower.

The National Weather Service expects almost perfect summer weather Thursday with the high hitting the 90-degree mark for the Manteca Independence Day celebration.

The day starts with the Manteca Kiwanis annual Fourth of July pancake breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m. at Angelo’s, 1020 N. Main St., Manteca. The $7 ticket for adults and $4 for kids under 10 includes pancakes, ham, eggs, and coffee.   

The breakfast location is adjacent to the staging area for the Sunrise Kiwanis parade that departs the area around Golden West School at 10 a.m. and heads south down North Main Street to Center Street where it will head west to end at Library Park. 

Retired Manteca Police Chief Charlie Halford will serve as grand marshal. The theme this year is “Rocketing into the Future.”

The day-long Independence Day celebration at the Big League Dreams sports complex is back thanks to efforts by Mary Mueller and volunteers working with her.

Dubbed “The Liberty Festival” it runs from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the BLD venue.

The event will include entertainment throughout the day, vendors as well as traditional Fourth of July picnic style activities such as sack races and three-legged races. There will be vendors as well. Fagundes Meats will be on hand with their food truck. Big League Dreams will also have their two restaurants open.

The entertainment planned for Fenway Field is as follows:

12:45 p.m. — Kids’ Zumba

1:00 p.m. — Opening Ceremonies

1:30 p.m.    Police Canine Demonstration

2:30 p.m. — Alani & Alina

3:30 p.m.  — Manteca Shooting Stars

4:30 p.m. — Dream Dance Studio

5:30 p.m.  — Hailee & Olivia, Gentry McLaury, Daniel Abellar-Neilson

6:30 p.m. — Max Garcia

7:30 p.m.  — Cheyenne Milligan

BLD will be charging a $2 admission for those 13 and older. The first 500 people to bring a canned good item will be able to enter for $1. The canned goods are being donated to Second Harvest Food Bank. Those 12 and under will be admitted at no charge.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email