TWENTYNINE PALMS — Hundreds of Twentynine Palms residents gathered at Luckie Park to celebrate the nation’s independence with music, games, food and fireworks Thursday, July 4.
The celebration was organized by the city of Twentynine Palms with help from Reach Out Morongo Basin, which was placed in charge of vendors.
Vendors sold everything from tacos to hamburgers and hot dogs. One vendor had a line of clothing on sale while another featured novelty items.
The Luckie Park swimming pool was open for part of the afternoon. Children also played in portable inflatable water slides set up in the outfield of one of the baseball diamonds on the north side of the park.
Reach Out Morongo Basin did steady business with its face painting business and hosted watermelon eating contests.
A drawing featured a wide variety of prizes.
Richard Finn represented Mil-Tree, an artistic outreach to veterans, along with his friend Kaiser the singing dog.
On the other side of Joe Davis Drive, in the community services building, workers from Lifestream were taking blood donations and handing out movie tickets as rewards.
Sheriff’s deputies were on hand and Morongo Basin Ambulance had an ambulance standing by in case anyone had a medical emergency.
Burrtec Waste and Recycling brought a white dumpster for youngsters to paint on. Feed 29, formerly known as the 29 Palms Community Food Pantry, was on hand collecting donations.
Officials from the High Desert Storm youth football association were on hand collecting signups for the season that will begin in September. Carlton Thrasher said Storm officials were hoping to field four youth teams.
Gary Daigneault, from radio station Z1077, provided music and announcements during much of the afternoon.
One highlight of the afternoon and evening was local actor Horace Miller leading the all-star band Another Type of Gumbo through a set of R and B and rock and roll songs.
During the concert Christina Gorke, from Flobox, wowed crowds with her work on stilts.
The portable version of the iconic “29!” sculpture, based on a design by local artist Chuck Capliner, attracted attention.
Students from the Hand to Hand Martial Arts dojo who take their lessons in the racquetball courts at the park gave a demonstration of their skills.
The topper to the evening was a first class fireworks display which saw residents oohing and aahing the pyrotechnics fired from Tom Nicoll Memorial Stadium across Two Mile Road from Luckie Park.