DOWNEY - Independence Day festivities in Downey this year included the traditional 4th of July fireworks, provided by Calvary Chapel at a combination religious/patriotic themed event at Downey High School, which the church had previously offered at Cerritos College for nine years.Event officials reported attendance at about 12,000, free of any untoward incidents, thanks in part to generous security assistance on the part of volunteers, as well as the Downey Police. Fundraising activities for a number of local causes also recorded a fruitful evening. Another nationwide tradition celebrated for the first time in Downey at the event was a 4th of July Bike Parade, spearheaded by local environmentalist Steve Perez. With more than 60 riders, bicycles of every size and style were decorated in the spirit of the national holiday. (A wheelchair and a scooter were also among the participating two-wheelers.) A diverse group of riders of all ages sashayed twice around the track, including children and youth, families, a few veteran cyclists, and a large contingent from the Kiwanis Green Team. The Green Team, consisting mostly of students from Downey elementary, middle, and high schools, has shown a significant presence at many environmentally friendly events over the course of the last two years. Prizes were awarded to the youngest and oldest riders: 3-year-old Wendy Landeros, and 86-year-old Millie Skredsvigs. Also awarded was a prize for the most patriotic bike, to Thomas Jaramillo. A new bicycle, provided by the two Downey Kiwanis clubs, was the prize for best decorated bike. Appropriately, it was won by Green Team participant Jazmin Alejos, who festooned a borrowed bicycle for the event, since she did not own her own. Ms. Alejos will be happily promenading her own new bicycle, thanks to her participation in the debut of this great American July 4 tradition.
********** Published: July 12, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 13