Mariposa County 4th of July Carnival & Fireworks

July 3, 2009 6:10:59 PM PDT
Mariposa County is gearing up for a big Fourth of July carnival and fireworks show. Two wildfires forced organizers to postpone and then cancel last year's event."Last year at this time the Mariposa County Fairgrounds were filled with firefighters using this area as a base camp. But this year it's all set for a celebration of our country's independence and this community's determination." Sara Sandrik, Action News

This Fourth Of July the Mariposa County Fairgrounds will be filled with all of the festivities residents missed out on last year, including a free kids carnival.

Eleanor Keuning, Mariposa Kiwanis Club President said, "We have music, we have food, and entertainment, and then in the evening we do have the fireworks."

Last Independence Day, the Kiwanis Club had to postpone the celebration because firefighters were staging at the fairgrounds as they battled the nearly 28 hundred acre oliver fire. Organizers rescheduled the event for July 26th, but on July 25th, the devastating telegraph fire forced them to cancel.

Helen Kwalwasser, Kiwanis Club Fireworks Chair said, "It was a very sad year for mariposa not only because we didn't have the fireworks but because so many people lost their homes and their property."

Now, one year later, the fairgrounds are free, and residents are recovering from the devastating blaze. Many of the 30 homes that were destroyed have been replaced with modular homes, including both of the houses the McClard family lost in the fire.

"We've lived from place to place, and it's kind of nice to have our spot back." Amber McClard said rebuilding hasn't been easy, and there's still a long way to go. But the tragedy has created a strong support system.

"I'm really impressed at how everyone has come together and helped everyone out, and my husband has been doing a lot of work for the people around here and it's kind of nice that we can all come together." And now the McClard's plan to join their neighbors again at Saturday's celebration as they honor their country and their community.

The carnival will run from noon to 6pm Saturday. And the fireworks will start after sunset.

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