DOWNEY - The city of Downey joins a great American tradition this year as it celebrates its first ever 4th of July Bike Parade in conjunction with Independence Day fireworks at Downey High School.This custom goes as far back as the 1880's in the mining town of Telluride, CO, where miners partied on the 4th, one of only two days off for them per year. The event continued to flourish until a hiatus of several years in the 1970's. It was reinstituted in the late 1980's and is so popular these days that it warranted mention on Martha Stewart's "Summer Living" website page. (Martha Stewart, bicycling advocate--who knew?) Closer to home in Long Beach, philanthropic activist Justin Rudd's Community Action Team is sponsoring the "Great American 4th of July Kids' Bike Parade," which has been taking place since 2004 and last year fielded more than 500 participants. Here in Downey the parade is being sponsored by Calvary Chapel and will take place next Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. on the track of the Downey High School athletic field prior to free fireworks and music, also under the sponsorship of Calvary Chapel, in partnership with the City of Downey. Food and refreshments will also be available from booster clubs raising funds in support of local fire and police. Sustainability advocate Steve Perez, "The Green Gardener," has spearheaded the parade in Downey, which seeks, beyond the nationwide patriotic celebration, to bring attention to bicycling as an important activity for young people in a culture with so many health issues stemming from sedentary behavior and widespread obesity. Registration for the event begins at 4:30. Prizes will be awarded for the best decorated and most patriotic bikes, as well as for the oldest and youngest riders. In keeping with accepted bicycle safety standards, participating minors must wear helmets.
********** Published: June 28, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 11