Independence Day Fun in South Pasadena

Under the theme ‘Hometown Heroes – Celebrating the Spirit of Community,’ the festive day featured a traditional pancake breakfast, parade along Mission Street and fireworks to cap it off at South Pasadena High School.

PHOTO: Melissa Snyder | The South Pasadenan | Decked out in plenty of red, white and blue, 4th of July in South Pasadena featured a traditional pancake breakfast, parade along Mission Street and old-fashioned fireworks show at South Pasadena High School to cap the day.
PHOTO: Melissa Snyder | The South Pasadenan | Decked out in plenty of red, white and blue, 4th of July in South Pasadena featured a traditional pancake breakfast, parade along Mission Street and old-fashioned fireworks show at South Pasadena High School to cap the day.

In accordance with the day, red, white and blue was in abundance in South Pasadena on Thursday as thousands came out to enjoy the traditional festive fun, celebrating Independence Day in a big way.

PHOTO: Melissa Snyder | The South Pasadenan | Decked out in plenty of red, white and blue, 4th of July in South Pasadena featured a traditional pancake breakfast, parade along Mission Street and old-fashioned fireworks show at South Pasadena High School to cap the day. 4th of July SPARC poster winners 5th graders Luca from Marengo (1st place), Reeve from Marengo (2nd place) and Emery from Monterey Hills (3rd place).
PHOTO: Melissa Snyder | The South Pasadenan | Decked out in plenty of red, white and blue, 4th of July in South Pasadena featured a traditional pancake breakfast, parade along Mission Street and old-fashioned fireworks show at South Pasadena High School to cap the day. 4th of July SPARC poster winners 5th graders Luca from Marengo (1st place), Reeve from Marengo (2nd place) and Emery from Monterey Hills (3rd place).

It all kicked off with the annual Kiwanis pancake breakfast at the local fire station as hundreds gathered for a hot meal in support of the busy service organization. Many from there headed over to the footsteps of the community room on the backside of the library for the opening ceremonies, listening to city and elected officials praise the efforts of those responsible for putting the daylong patriotic event together.

PHOTO: Melissa Snyder | The South Pasadenan | Decked out in plenty of red, white and blue, 4th of July in South Pasadena featured a traditional pancake breakfast, parade along Mission Street and old-fashioned fireworks show at South Pasadena High School to cap the day.
PHOTO: Melissa Snyder | The South Pasadenan | Decked out in plenty of red, white and blue, 4th of July in South Pasadena featured a traditional pancake breakfast, parade along Mission Street and old-fashioned fireworks show at South Pasadena High School to cap the day.

It wasn’t long after before dozens of entries, including everything from scout troops, church groups, community organizations, youth sports, music from the Minutemen band, state and local politicians, and even jugglers entertained those gathered along the sidelines down Mission Street for the half mile parade given the theme: “Hometown Heroes – Celebrating the Spirit of Community.”

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PHOTO: Melissa Snyder | The South Pasadenan | Decked out in plenty of red, white and blue, 4th of July in South Pasadena featured a traditional pancake breakfast, parade along Mission Street and old-fashioned fireworks show at South Pasadena High School to cap the day. Pictured: South Pasadena Mayor Evelyn Zniemer with South Pasadena Mayor Pro-Tem Jack Donovan at the opening ceremonies.
PHOTO: Melissa Snyder | The South Pasadenan | Decked out in plenty of red, white and blue, 4th of July in South Pasadena featured a traditional pancake breakfast, parade along Mission Street and old-fashioned fireworks show at South Pasadena High School to cap the day. Pictured: South Pasadena Mayor Evelyn Zniemer with South Pasadena Mayor Pro-Tem Jack Donovan at the opening ceremonies.

Following games and activities in Garfield Park in the afternoon, the celebration of America’s 248th birthday concluded with a dazzling fireworks show – paying tribute to America – from the stadium at the city’s high school.

PHOTO: Melissa Snyder | The South Pasadenan | Decked out in plenty of red, white and blue, 4th of July in South Pasadena featured a traditional pancake breakfast, parade along Mission Street and old-fashioned fireworks show at South Pasadena High School to cap the day. Pictured is the SPTOR rose float "the beast" makes it way down Mission Street.
PHOTO: Melissa Snyder | The South Pasadenan | Decked out in plenty of red, white and blue, 4th of July in South Pasadena featured a traditional pancake breakfast, parade along Mission Street and old-fashioned fireworks show at South Pasadena High School to cap the day. Pictured is the SPTOR’s “the beast” makes it way down Mission Street.

“July 4th in South Pasadena is celebrating our children who are amazingly talented and maybe one day one or two of them will become leaders of our mighty nation!” said the city’s mayor Evelyn Zneimer after waving to parade-goers as she rode in one of the vehicles provided for special dignitaries, including City Councilmembers Jon Primuth, Michael Cacciotti, Janet Braun and Mayor Pro Tem Jack Donovan.

PHOTO: Melissa Snyder | The South Pasadenan | Decked out in plenty of red, white and blue, 4th of July in South Pasadena featured a traditional pancake breakfast, parade along Mission Street and old-fashioned fireworks show at South Pasadena High School to cap the day.
PHOTO: Melissa Snyder | The South Pasadenan | Decked out in plenty of red, white and blue, 4th of July in South Pasadena featured a traditional pancake breakfast, parade along Mission Street and old-fashioned fireworks show at South Pasadena High School to cap the day.

Others featured South Pasadena Police Chief Brian Solinsky, State Assembymember Mike Fong, State Senator Anthony Portantino, PCC Board of Trustees’ President Kristine Kwong and Congresswoman Judy Chu.

PHOTO: Melissa Snyder | The South Pasadenan | Decked out in plenty of red, white and blue, 4th of July in South Pasadena featured a traditional pancake breakfast, parade along Mission Street and old-fashioned fireworks show at South Pasadena High School to cap the day. Pictured: South Pasadena Police Chief Solinsky addresses the crowd.
PHOTO: Melissa Snyder | The South Pasadenan | Decked out in plenty of red, white and blue, 4th of July in South Pasadena featured a traditional pancake breakfast, parade along Mission Street and old-fashioned fireworks show at South Pasadena High School to cap the day. Pictured: South Pasadena Police Chief Solinsky addresses the crowd.

“In South Pasadena, the Fourth of July is a unique and amazing experience,” said Solinsky. “The pancake breakfast, parade, and fireworks display is a tradition that brings the entire community together, reminding us of the shared pride and freedom that defines South Pasadena.”

PHOTO: Melissa Snyder | The South Pasadenan | Decked out in plenty of red, white and blue, 4th of July in South Pasadena featured a traditional pancake breakfast, parade along Mission Street and old-fashioned fireworks show at South Pasadena High School to cap the day. Pictured center is outgoing Community Services Director, Sheila Pautsch.
PHOTO: Melissa Snyder | The South Pasadenan | Decked out in plenty of red, white and blue, 4th of July in South Pasadena featured a traditional pancake breakfast, parade along Mission Street and old-fashioned fireworks show at South Pasadena High School to cap the day. Pictured center is outgoing Community Services Director, Sheila Pautsch.

On the day of the parade, overseeing all operations to ensure that everything ran smoothly, was Sheila Pautch, South Pasadena’s community services director, who was looking to retiring in the middle of July after 15 years working for the city until she was asked to stay on longer. With the departure of City Manager Armine Chaparyan, Pautch, the city’s community services director, and Solinsky will team as the acting city manager until a new one is brought on board potentially in the next three months.

PHOTO: Melissa Snyder | The South Pasadenan | Decked out in plenty of red, white and blue, 4th of July in South Pasadena featured a traditional pancake breakfast, parade along Mission Street and old-fashioned fireworks show at South Pasadena High School to cap the day.
PHOTO: Melissa Snyder | The South Pasadenan | Decked out in plenty of red, white and blue, 4th of July in South Pasadena featured a traditional pancake breakfast, parade along Mission Street and old-fashioned fireworks show at South Pasadena High School to cap the day.

“In a city manager role I will be overseeing the daily operations of the city, ensuring efficiently delivery of public services, and working closely with staff and City Council,” Pautch explained. “My goal for the next three months is to listen to staff, stakeholders, and community groups to address and improve services.”

Summing up her role regarding the 4th of July, she assured: “Everything went very well!” said Pautch at the day’s conclusion.

PHOTO: Esteban Lopez | The South Pasadenan News | 4th of July Pancake Breakfast produced by the South Pasadena Kiwanis Club, hosted at the Fire Station by the SPFD | Left to Right: Ted Gerber, Public Works Director; Angelica Frausto-Lupo, Community Development Director; Jon Primuth, City Councilmember; Bob Joe, Past City Councilmember; Anteneh Tesfaye Deputy Director of Public Works
PHOTO: Esteban Lopez | The South Pasadenan News | 4th of July Pancake Breakfast produced by the South Pasadena Kiwanis Club, hosted at the Fire Station by the SPFD | Left to Right: Ted Gerber, Public Works Director; Angelica Frausto-Lupo, Community Development Director; Jon Primuth, City Councilmember; Bob Joe, past City Councilmember; Anteneh Tesfaye, Deputy Director of Public Works.

Others like Ed Donnelly, the president of the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Committee, an organization responsible for putting a float in New Year’s Day spectacle in Pasadena each year, would agree. He takes a look at the 4th of July’s deep impact, saying: “In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson laid out the inalienable rights of Americans to oppose tyranny and throw off the yoke of a King and ruled by fiat. Every 4th of July in South Pasadena we celebrate this quintessential embrace of liberty by bringing together all corners of our community who regard each other as true peers that share the same values that were immortalized on parchment in Philadelphia 248 years ago.”

Waking up early to kick-start the day was John Vandercook, a longtime Kiwanis Club member, who was busy in the trenches at the fire station flipping pancakes. Later Vandercook and his wife, Peggy, enjoyed the remainder of the Fourth with those around town.

PHOTO: provided by Bill Glazier | The South Pasadenan | John Vandercook and Peggy O'Leary at the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast on 4th of July.
PHOTO: Provided by Bill Glazier | The South Pasadenan | John Vandercook and Peggy O’Leary at the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast on 4th of July.

“The long tradition of celebrating July 4th in South Pasadena not only is a fun time of being with your friends and neighbors but a day that reminds us of what we mutually share in being a part of a wonderful community,” he said.

Long hours go into ensuring a memorable day for residents and visitors to the city, and Pautch was quick to pass along her praise to a number of parties who helped to make it happen. “I would like to thank City Council for their support, community members for their continued dedication, and city staff for coordinating a successful Festival of Balloons,” she noted.

PHOTO: Melissa Snyder | The South Pasadenan | Decked out in plenty of red, white and blue, 4th of July in South Pasadena featured a traditional pancake breakfast, parade along Mission Street and old-fashioned fireworks show at South Pasadena High School to cap the day.
PHOTO: Melissa Snyder | The South Pasadenan | Decked out in plenty of red, white and blue, 4th of July in South Pasadena featured a traditional pancake breakfast, parade along Mission Street and old-fashioned fireworks show at South Pasadena High School to cap the day.
PHOTO: Melissa Snyder | The South Pasadenan | Decked out in plenty of red, white and blue, 4th of July in South Pasadena featured a traditional pancake breakfast, parade along Mission Street and old-fashioned fireworks show at South Pasadena High School to cap the day.
PHOTO: Melissa Snyder | The South Pasadenan | Decked out in plenty of red, white and blue, 4th of July in South Pasadena featured a traditional pancake breakfast, parade along Mission Street and old-fashioned fireworks show at South Pasadena High School to cap the day.
PHOTO: Melissa Snyder | The South Pasadenan | Decked out in plenty of red, white and blue, 4th of July in South Pasadena featured a traditional pancake breakfast, parade along Mission Street and old-fashioned fireworks show at South Pasadena High School to cap the day.
PHOTO: Melissa Snyder | The South Pasadenan | Decked out in plenty of red, white and blue, 4th of July in South Pasadena featured a traditional pancake breakfast, parade along Mission Street and old-fashioned fireworks show at South Pasadena High School to cap the day.
PHOTO: Melissa Snyder | The South Pasadenan | Decked out in plenty of red, white and blue, 4th of July in South Pasadena featured a traditional pancake breakfast, parade along Mission Street and old-fashioned fireworks show at South Pasadena High School to cap the day.
PHOTO: Melissa Snyder | The South Pasadenan | Decked out in plenty of red, white and blue, 4th of July in South Pasadena featured a traditional pancake breakfast, parade along Mission Street and old-fashioned fireworks show at South Pasadena High School to cap the day.
PHOTO: Melissa Snyder | The South Pasadenan | Decked out in plenty of red, white and blue, 4th of July in South Pasadena featured a traditional pancake breakfast, parade along Mission Street and old-fashioned fireworks show at South Pasadena High School to cap the day.
PHOTO: provided by Sally Kilby | The South Pasadenan | Justin Levy, MD, holds his daughter, Quinn Levy at the annual Festival of Balloons parade on Mission Street in South Pasadena.