Monday, July 12, 2010

Independence Day in Bridgeport, California

The little Eastern Sierra town of Bridgeport, California, which is a few miles from where we camp, has a wonderful 4th of July celebration which we enjoyed on our recent vacation.

This year was Bridgeport's 148th annual 4th of July celebration -- and it was our second time to spend Independence Day in Bridgeport.

Bridgeport has a population of 843, per the sign as you enter town. The 4th of July parade draws hundreds:

The respect expressed by the crowds for the flag and the military is heartwarming.

The guests at nearby Hunewill Ranch ride in the parade:

Passengers in the various emergency response vehicles in the parade threw candy to the kids watching the parade:

Celebrations went on throughout the long weekend in front of the historic Mono County Courthouse, built in 1880. Here it is on the 4th:

There was a rodeo on both Saturday and Sunday. Is this Western Americana, or what?

There were "mud volleyball" games which were hilarious to watch:

There was also a fabulous used book sale at the library all weekend long. We found many treasures. My finds included a couple of books I recall reading from my local library as a teenager, George Eells' GINGER, LORETTA AND IRENE WHO? and Elizabeth Gray Vining's WINDOWS FOR THE CROWN PRINCE, about an American woman's four years tutoring the Japanese Crown Prince (now Emperor) Akihito in post-WWII Japan. (Vining wrote classic children's literature such as ADAM OF THE ROAD under the name Elizabeth Janet Gray.) I also found Richard Schickel's 1968 book THE DISNEY VERSION, still in print today. My children found some classic literature we didn't yet own, including ROBINSON CRUSOE, TALES OF THE ARABIAN NIGHTS, and a beautiful hardcover with dust jacket of Allen Drury's ADVISE AND CONSENT.

At dusk on the 4th everyone gathers on the roads near the airport...

...for fireworks which are set off at the airport, next to Bridgeport Reservoir:

There are no lights on the road back to our campground near Lower Twin Lake, but after the fireworks one could see red taillights miles into the distance as all the campers returned "home." The long line of cars reminded us of the last shot in FIELD OF DREAMS!

Related post: Out of the Past in Bridgeport, California.


Blogger panavia999 said...

Bridgeport is one of my favorite California towns. Thanks for the photos.

2:51 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

So glad you're familiar with it, Panavia. I've been going there since I was 5 or 6 and feel it's my "home away from home." It's an extra-special place.

Best wishes,

2:53 PM  
Blogger Irene said...

If we are ever able to go on another little road trip, this is the place I'm going to suggest to my hubby. We always go up the coast, it's time to go the other direction! Love the photos.

5:05 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

You'd love it, Irene! The 395 has lots of interesting things to explore as you head north, and there are several good places to eat in the Bridgeport area once you're there. I'll be posting more about it in the near future.

Best wishes,

5:09 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

That was a refreshing post, Laura. An all-American small town celebrating Indendence Day together...just doesn't get much better than that. Love it.

8:58 PM  
Blogger panavia999 said...

Carson City used to be my home away from home. We used to stay at the Super 8 Motel (cheap and clean!) and travel up and down 395 and surrounding area, usually in Autumn and Winter. Carson City area is getting too crowded now, but 395 is a great highway to travel. Once Autumn we took 395 from Yosemite to the Columbia River, then crossed the Cascades to Puget Sound, returning to California along the coast. You can imagine all the lovely Autumn colors we saw. I always travel with Roadside Geology books from Mountain Press, and there is lots to learn. Best vacation ever.

10:12 AM  

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