While Burbank's tradition of presenting a pyrotechnical spectacular at the Starlight Bowl was suspended due to the dry conditions of our hillside, nothing stood in the way of the tradition of celebrating our nation's independence with backyard parties and barbecues.
Among the most traditional of those soirées is the annual Fourth of July party thrown by former Burbank Mayor Mary Lou Howard. When I started writing this column back in 1995, Howard's Independence Day gatherings were already a wellestablished tradition. It's an annual gathering of past and present elected and appointed city officials, retired and active members of the Burbank Police Department, union representatives, local business leaders and longtime Howard friends and supporters.
This year's guest list included Vice Mayor Dave Golonski, his wife, Barbara Sykes and their son, John; former Burbank Fire Chief Mike Davis and his wife, JoAnn; City Clerk Margarita Campos and her husband, Vince; City Treasurer Donna Anderson; Burbank Water and Power General Manager Ron Davis and his wife, Cheryl, and Bob Hope Airport Chief of Police Ed Skvarna, Executive Director Dios Marrero and commissioners Charlie Lombardo and Don Brown.
Others enjoying the celebration included City Councilman Gary Bric and his wife, Shelly; Jack and Barbara Wildermuth, Bruce Redman, Ellie and Harry Myer, Max Andrews, Jon Howard and Jack O'Neill, who serves as the chief operating officer of the Bob Hope Family Estate. Also in attendance were Richard and Rilla Raad, Brett Loutensock, Tom and Linda Jimentz, Greg Campbell, Dick and Josie Kowatch, Cam Brown and Kim Clark.
While Howard's Fourth of July parties are a long-standing tradition, Amanda Shreckengost-Canfield, of Warner Bros., has begun a new tradition. This year, she hosted the second of what she plans to be an annual Independence Day bash for studio colleagues, family and friends.
The smell of barbecued meats wafted from patio to pool and beyond as Aaron Lee Harvey and the hostess shared turns overseeing the grill. Among those who enjoyed the cook's renderings were Michelle Aponte, Michael Parisi, Jill Stein, Thom Herbst, Athena Fleming, Laura Newcombe, Eric Patten and Anthony Rodriguez.
While some ate, others played and relaxed in the pool and Jacuzzi. It was there that Rob Synoski, taking a rare day off from work, shared company with actor Dean Ricca, who has just been cast as Cogsworth in the Glendale Centre Theatre's production of "Beauty and the Beast," which will open on Aug. 22 and run through Oct. 13. Also keeping cool in the pool were actor Ron Linares, who starred in the independent cult classic film, "The Visitant," Erika Stoldorf, Irene Petrosyan, Alan Van Dyke, Jeremy Bennington, Adam Sukert, Mikel Miller and motivational speaker and author Daniel Ferguson.
Others on hand to celebrate the Fourth included April Villareal, Karen Storlien, Catherine and Monica MacGillivray, Matt Donnelly, Erin Domier, Marisela Lopez, Susan Libicki, Kenny Brashear, Gabe Romero, Daniel Gutierrez, John Cannizzaro, Spencer Downie, Frederico Rosas, Marci Lopez, Marcella Riley, television personality and actress Michele Gomez and comedian Scott Adams.