It was a warm but nice day and the highway was lined with spectators. It was a great turnout to watch the parade and everyone was having fun visiting and seeing those they knew riding down the street.
Several equestrian groups and other organizations dressed up their favorite trailer and themselves and threw candy to the crowd. The first group, the VFW Color Guard and their float following was the Grand Prize Winner. No one rode upon this float as it was dedicated to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
The Hamilton School Band won Best Musical Float this year.
The best surprise was that Margaret Wellman Jaenke was the Grand Marshall this year. In her 90’s, she is a phenomenal driving force that heralds the importance of the area’s history. She is a descendent of several families that homesteaded the area as early as the late 1800s. She taught in the local schools for many years. She is the author of three books about the area’s history and spearheaded the formation of the local Hamilton Museum at the end of Contreas Road in Anza where she is the head curator. On the museum grounds are original homesteads dating back to the early 1900s. She and her family still carry on the family cattle business residing in the high country as their ancestors did, calling it home.
The Party in the Park was packed with good food and vendors of all kinds. The Barn Yard Boyz were playing and helping out at the mic announcing winners to Lions Club raffles. Next to the bandstand was a Dunk booth, a fundraiser for the Anza Community Hall, featuring Mr. Daniel Betts, Vice Principal of Hamilton High school, who had a lot of good-natured folks willing to dunk him for a good cause.
Later the Barn Yard Boyz played for the Anza Days End Dinner Dance at the Community Hall.
“It was a long day full of activities so we were not sure how many people would still have the energy for a dinner-dance to close out the Anza Days celebration. But the Barnyard Boys brought the energy. Louis Ippolito served up good food and the crowd steadily increased. It was a fun night and a great way to close out the celebration,” Anza Community Hall President Noel Donahue said.
All in all the July 4th Anza Day Celebration was a hit.
2015 “Anza Originality” Anza Day Parade Award Winners:
- Grand Prize: Vfw Post Anza Valley Vfw Post 1873 – The Battle Of Iwo Jima “We’re Gone But Not Forgotten”
- Theme Prize: Cahuilla Band On Indians, “Old Fiesta Days”
- President’s Trophy: Thimble Club “103 Years Of Service”
- Best Equestrialn Entry: Riverside County Mounted Posse
- Mule Theme Award: Red Shank Riders
- Best Mule Entry: Red Shank Riders
- Best Vehicle Entry: Anza Valley Auto
- Best Antique Vehicle: 1932 Packard “Light 8 “, Randy Carlson
- Best Antique Tractor: Fallbrook Fire Department
- Best Motorcycle Entry: Phil
- Best Classic Car: 1931 Chevrolet, Bradford Ranch, Barbara Bradford
- Most Unusual Vehicle: 1956 Cadillac Ambulance, Idyllwilde Fire Department
- Best Youth Entry: Bobcat Country Boosters
- Best Musical Entry: Hamilton Bobcat Band: “A Patriotic Salute”
- Most Unusual Entry: Anza Valley Christian Fellowship
- Judges Special Merit Award: Lorraine Elmore, Lorraine’s Pet Supplies