GUSTINE - A community which prides itself on patriotism and celebrations will showcase both in the coming week, as Gustine once again plays host to a festive Fourth of July gala.
Gustine has been celebrating Independence Day with fireworks and other festivities for more than a century....a red, white and blue-themed tradition which the community holds dear.
A full slate of July 4 activities are in store on Independence Day....but the festivities start several days earlier.
The fourth annual Westside Color Run will be held this Saturday morning, June 29, and a new Miss Gustine will be crowned Saturday evening.
The Gustine FFA annual truck and tractor pull celebrates its 35th year Wednesday evening, July 3, in the Gustine High stadium.
That sets the stage for another Fourth of July gala in Gustine, which starts with a parade, continues with activities in Henry Miller Park and comes to a close with the fireworks show that evening.
Westside Color Run/Walk
Color will be in the air - and coating the runners - when the fourth annual color run/walk takes to the streets of Gustine promptly at 8 a.m. A pre-run zumba session begins at 7:15 a.m. The run starts and finishes in downtown Gustine.
Participants are doused with colored powder as they make their way over the course, and take part in a massive color celebration as they gather at the conclusion of the popular event.
“It has taken off,” said Tiffany Vitorino, the city’s recreation coordinator. “People enjoy it. We have more people getting groups together this year and coming up with different themes.”
Sixteen teams had registered for the run as of June 19, she noted.
Vitorino said she expects more than 300 people to participate.
Registration remains open through the city of Gustine website, from 5-7 p.m. Friday, June 28, at the high school or the morning of the event (advance registration is requested).
The event is a benefit for the Gustine Recreation Department and Gustine High School.
Miss Gustine Pageant
A new Little Miss Gustine, Little Mr. Gustine and Miss Gustine will be crowned Saturday evening at Gustine High School.
The evening gets under way with the Little Mr. and Miss Gustine Contest at 5:30, followed by the Miss Gustine Pageant. Admission is $10.
Five girls are competing for the title of Little Miss Gustine. They include Alyssa Reyes, Elise Elliott, Delilah Perreira, Kinley Correia and Macy Nunes.
Three boys, Helder Costa Jr., Remy Ceja and Mikey Lange, will compete for the title of Little Mr. Gustine.
The Miss Gustine Pageant will feature four contestants, Roselyn Sandoval, Madison Bettencourt, Aubrie Hazan and Amanda Oliveira.
Truck and tractor pulls take center stage Wednesday evening, July 3, as the Gustine FFA hosts its pull, which is the longest continually-running high school pull in the nation. The competition begins at 6 p.m. in the Gustine High stadium. Admission is $10 for adults; $5 for children under 12.
Fourth of July festivities
The traditional July 4 parade, organized by the Gustine Chamber of Commerce, begins at 10:30 a.m. to start a festive day. Glen Beard is being honored as grand marshal.
Park activities and fireworks, each organized by a community committee working with Vitorino, are also in store on Independence Day.
Vanessa Rogers, executive director of the chamber, said she anticipates upward of 60 parade participants.
“We have more than normal so far, and we are having people who haven’t been in the parade before coming in for entry forms,” she noted.
Parade entry is still open, Rogers said. Advance registration is requested. Call the Gustine chamber, 854-6975, for registration or additional information.
The afternoon park activities and attractions include a variety of food trucks, craft booths, a cornhole tournament, horse and train rides, and much more.
Cornhole tournament teams may register through the city’s website. Teams may register that morning, based on space availability. The tournament will begin around 11:30 or noon, Vitorino reported.
The city swimming pool will be open from noon to 2 p.m. Admission is free for children 12 and under.
Fireworks bring another Fourth of July to a close - with a new twist.
While the Gustine High stadium will continue to be the viewing venue, the pyrotechnics will be launched from the city soccer field on Jensen Road (road closures will be in effect for portions of Jensen).
Stadium gates open at 6:30 p.m.
A number of food trucks will stay over from the afternoon park festivities to cater to the fireworks crowd as well, Vitorino said, and there will be music in the stadium.
The new fireworks show format will allow for use of larger shells, she noted.
“We’re being told that the fireworks are going to be bigger and better, and they will be set to a new musical score,” Vitorino explained. “We want families to come out to the stadium and relax after a busy day....hopefully it will just be a nice night for people to enjoy the fireworks.”
The fireworks show is made possible by community contributions. Admission to the show is free, but donations are accepted.