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Fourth of July celebration in Pleasanton

Festivities returning to Lions Wayside Park for first time in three years
After a three-year absence due to the pandemic, Pleasanton's annual Fourth of July celebration will be back this Monday from 12-1:30 p.m. The event typically draws hundreds of people to Lions Wayside Park to commemorate the USA's Independence Day.

Downtown Pleasanton will see a familiar sight this Monday afternoon: red, white and blue filling Lions Wayside Park.

The community's Fourth of July festivities, which were traditionally organized each year by the Make a Difference, Today & Always organization but have been on hiatus since 2019 due to COVID-19 pandemic conditions, are back for 2022 -- on the holiday from 12-1:30 p.m.

"This will be the 22nd time that volunteers have put together 'Celebrating Freedom and its Evolution since the Revolution' for our community," event founder W. Ron Sutton said in a statement.

"On Independence Day, we celebrate our shared heritage with an old-fashioned Fourth," Sutton added. "Even if we disagree July 5 on current politics, we will do so with our expected behaviors of respect, responsibility, compassion, honesty and integrity. We celebrate living in a Community of Character!"

Pleasanton Mayor Karla Brown told Livermore Vine she is looking forward to serving as a speaker at Monday's event.

"I think the Fourth of July is a day to honor our founding fathers and mothers, for forming a country based on the value of freedom through the Declaration of Independence," Brown said. "Locally the Fourth of July is a time to gather, to listen to the Pleasanton Community Band, to proudly display the American flag and to celebrate with friends and family."

The park on First Street is expected, like always, to be filled with people sitting in lawn chairs or on blankets while donning the red, white and blue of the United States of America for the Independence Day celebration.

The Pleasanton Community Concert Band, under the direction of longtime conductor Bob Williams, will give a free concert dubbed,"Themes Like Old Times: The Music of the Roaring 20s." They will also perform an armed forces salute with the anthems of each American military branch.

Williams will be one of five community contributors honored later in the Fourth of July event. He will join the other most recent Ed Kinney Community Patriot award winners, Chris Miller, Charles Huff and Joyce and Bob Shapiro, in receiving special recognition during the ceremony.

The annual awards are named for late former mayor Ed Kinney, who served as the first master of ceremonies for Pleasanton's Fourth of July celebration. Current emcees Ken McDonald and Les Duman will narrate this year's event in the style of old-time radio show hosts.

Pleasanton Lions Club members will be selling a picnic lunch of hot dog, chips and water for $2 per person, as well as giving away free small U.S. flags to the first 200 adults who arrive on Monday. A military colorguard will be on hand as well for the national anthem.