Lighting up the sky

About 4,500 people honored America’s birthday in style Saturday at the Crescenta Valley Fireworks celebration.

Visitors began entering the gates at 4 p.m. to secure prime spots to watch the fireworks, and while they waited they had several food booths and carnival rides to choose from at La Crescenta Elementary School.

The Ward and Terrazas families beat the heat by pitching a tent in the corner of the campus and sat back waiting for more friends to stop by.

“I had seen these fireworks a long time ago when they had them at Crescenta Valley High School,” Nancy Ward said.

The family friends wanted to attend a fireworks show but found many of them had been canceled this year due to finances.

“We got online and found this,” Lafayette Ward said.

The tent protected them from the sun and gave a comforting barrier for their son Garrett, who was seeing his first fireworks celebration. Angelina and Leo Terrazas, along with son Amir, were excited about the event.

“It is a nice way to spend an afternoon,” Angelina said.

The show began about 9 p.m. with Marine Reservist Corp. Danny Gilbert taking the microphone and telling the crowd what America meant to him and how important it was to celebrate the country’s birthday. Gilbert had returned in April from a seven-month tour in Iraq.

Then singer and Glendale resident Ember Vaughan sang the national anthem, bringing the crowd its feet. With that the fireworks show began, and the sky filled with colored fire.

“I just thought the crowd was great,” said Steve Pierce, past president of the Crescenta Valley Fireworks Assn., which sponsored the event. “Everyone was having a good time, and this was one of the best fireworks shows I have ever seen. It was intense. Just when you thought it was over the sky would fill with more.”

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