Fireworks and cookouts: An Alhambra Independence Day

Originally published 6.27.13:

We asked Alhambrans how they celebrate the Fourth of July and what it means to them. While some are looking forward to showing off their fireworks or watching the city's annual fireworks show at Almansor Park, others think the firecrackers sold around Alhambra are dangerous and disruptive. Read and listen to their responses below and let us know what you think. How will you be celebrating the Fourth of July? 

My Huynh (left) | Photo by Alfred Dicioco"I’ll be working the Fourth of July at the Anime Expo in Los Angeles. It’s hard, unfortunately, for me to celebrate there because it gets so busy on those days. But it’s fun to see everyone in costume. Two years ago, there was this girl who dressed up as Sailor Moon, but it was a red, white, and blue costume. It was pretty cool to see everyone. A lot of Captain America mixes.”  Tom Reiter, The Comic Cellar

“We’ve just taken the family and watched fireworks, usually in Diamond Bar because we live in Rowland Heights. There was a big, huge field that they had everyone sit on and watch the fireworks show. My in-laws always cook Chinese food. [My kids] were a little scared because they’re still pretty young. They just didn’t want to stay. But it’s always fun. It’s good family time.” –Shawn Thonen, A Tea Yogurt

Maria Ruiz | Photo by Alfred Dicioco

“I think, overall, you don’t celebrate July 4th for the fact that the Declaration was signed. You celebrate it as a day just to have fun. We don’t really see the significance in it.” -My Huynh, Gabrielino High School class of 2013

“Since it is a day people like to celebrate and they take advantage of that day to drink, I think it’s kind of dangerous to drive. I prefer to stay in the city. Even though nowadays the country is not very good, the people still have the spirit. People go and buy fireworks; it still has the meaning. But people take it more for a family tradition.” -Maria Ruiz, Alhambra resident

Ishmael Cazarez | Photo by Alfred Dicioco

“Recently, I hate to say this, but I’ve become an anti-firecracker kind of guy because of what happens to the dogs. They all get scared, they run around. The owners lose their dogs because somebody’s having fun popping these firecrackers. Not to say what it does to our environment – to the ozone. Or how much tonnage of ashes and whatnot gets blown up into it. We can celebrate the birthday of America in much better ways — like having a big, city-sponsored 4th of July cake for everybody.” -Ishmael Cazarez, artist

Interviews were edited condensed.

1 thought on “Fireworks and cookouts: An Alhambra Independence Day”

  1. Linda Trevillian

    I agree 100 percent with the artist, Ishmael Cazarez. Every dog I’ve ever had since I moved to Alhambra in 1962 has suffered greatly from the (mostly illegal) fireworks that too many citizens buy. In recent years, it’s gotten much worse. since about mid-May, we have been unable to take our evening walk, when it’s cool. She simply will not leave the house because of the boom of fireworks. We turn up classical music very loud, but even inside, with all doors and windows closed, she trembles and drools. We medicate her, but I don’t like to do that. I know that many residents feel as I do that fireworks at residences are NOT the way to celebrate our country’s founding.

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