When there was more dirt than streetscape on Main Street in Newhall, about 90 years ago, chances were you would hear hoofbeats instead of car engines. Even better was the chance that those hoofbeats and the horses and riders producing them were being recorded on a box camera for all the world to see.
Welcome to Newhallywood, where movie magic has been made since Bronco Billy Anderson rode his trusty steed into town. It may not be New York City, but Santa Clarita has been the location for thousands – no, millions – of films in every genre, earning it the modern nickname of “Movietown, U.S.A.” – the theme of this year’s Fourth of July Parade.
In movie talk, those last few paragraphs would be called exposition. Now here’s the real plot: The Fourth of July Parade will be held this year on Sunday, July 4th, and will begin at its traditional spot in Hart Park, at the end of Main Street in downtown Newhall. Marchers, riders, walkers, floats, horses….you get the idea…will proceed down Main Street, turning at Lyons Avenue heading toward Orchard Village Road, where they will turn right and end on 16th Street.
Participants are encouraged to decorate and dress in theme – “Movietown U.S.A.” as well as keeping in mind the permanent ‘sub-theme’ – “Celebrating America’s Independence.” Expect to see a lot of red, white and blue. Those embracing cinema and patriotism together could expect to take home a lovely trophy.
You can watch the parade from the parade route, as announcers will be stationed along the way to let you know all the details of the approaching entries.
One thing the parade needs is music, especially marching bands. It is the dream of the parade committee that the high schools would be a part of this hallowed, patriotic tradition, but alas, they have not for several years. Maybe this year…..plus, music makes marchers keep in step.
Participating is easy. Go online, get an application, download the rules and information so you have the inside scoop on where to go and what to do and send your completed application back with your entrance fee ($35 for non-commercial entries and $150 for commercial entries. If there is a corporate logo showing, or it’s a business, that makes it a commercial entry. No arguing.)
There is a lot more information on the parade, including frequently asked questions, a route map, history and pictures from previous parades, at the parade’s website here.
And that big white antique fire engine you’ll see in the first division? That would be the gang from KHTS, your hometown station, carrying on an American tradition.