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August 11, 2022

Scotts Valley’s Independence Day Celebration Set For July 3

For locals that have been missing the snap, crackle and pop of 4th of July fireworks, Scotts Valley’s new City Manager, Mali LaGoe, has you covered.

LaGoe, who moved to Scotts Valley in January, has never celebrated Independence Day Scotts Valley-style. This year, LaGoe, who was chosen as the new city manager in November of last year, will be overseeing the return of the city’s 4th of July event—this year, it’s going to be held on Sunday, July 3—and is excited to spread the good news.

LaGoe says that this year’s event will be similar to the pre-Covid experience guests previously enjoyed. Scott Valley last had fireworks in 2019 and the city tried to keep the Independence Day momentum going despite the pandemic. In 2020, Scotts Valley featured a virtual parade, with the return of a live parade in 2021, but neither year featured the traditional fireworks show that brings residents to the Skypark area. 

“It’s a big event, and it takes many months of planning. We were unsure if we could hold the event this year due to Covid, but we recognize that it’s an important event for the community,” said LaGoe. 

Attendees will be able to revel in community spirit starting with the live parade at 3pm down Scotts Valley Drive followed by a flyover, and culminating with the fireworks festival at Skypark starting at 4pm. 

In years past, the event functioned as a fundraiser for—and was hosted by—Scotts Valley Parks and Recreation Advocates, a local group that supported Scotts Valley parks. 

“That agency has since dissolved, so we don’t have the same level of community support as we previously did,” said LaGoe. “As a result, the planning for the event has fallen more on the city. We’ve partnered with the Scotts Valley Education Foundation (SVEF) and are working with them to host the fireworks event.” 

LaGoe says SVEF will be in charge of the Kids’ Zone—a “wonderland” for young attendees, complete with large inflatables, a big trampoline, face painting, an obstacle course and plenty of room to run around. 

The gates at Skypark open at 4pm, with the fireworks starting at 9:15pm. Notably, the Kids’ Zone is an event within an event, with tickets on sale in advance or at the gate. All proceeds from the Kids’ Zone go to support SVEF.

Overall, LaGoe says the city is focused on the larger event. 

“We’re going to have tasty barbecue and other great food for sale. Whiting foods is coming with Boardwalk favorites like Dippin’ Dots and cotton candy; Penny Ice Creamery will be selling scoops, and other vendors will be joining in. We will also have two live bands: the Joint Chiefs will play from 4pm-6pm, and James Durbin and the Lost Boys will perform from 7pm until the fireworks start,” she said.

In terms of Covid protocols, LaGoe says she and her staff are doing all they can to make sure everyone stays safe while they have fun and celebrate the Fourth. 

“Everything will be held outside, and we’re limiting attendance for safety, and to create social distancing,” she added. 

Skypark will be entirely fenced off for the event, with two locations for entry and exit: by the Scotts Valley Library, or on the Skypark side of the park. In addition, crews will regularly be disinfecting high-touch surfaces.

LaGoe said she is excited to experience this event for the first time. 

“It’s going to be a great opportunity for our community to come together. This event has always been one of the main staples of the community, and we’re excited to bring it back,” said LaGoe. “We’re grateful for the many sponsors and SVEF for stepping up, and we look forward to people coming out. It’s going to be a great opportunity for great food, great music, fun family activities, and the opportunity to celebrate our country in a small-town atmosphere.”

Looking to attend? Tickets are $10/advance + fee per ticket; $15/at the door. SVEF will be selling Kid-Zone tickets in packs of 25; they’re available at bit.ly/3NdqDx3 or at the Zone. Volunteers are still needed for the fireworks event at Skypark; interested parties can find more information at scottsvalley.org.

Christina Wise
Christina Wise covers politics, education, art & culture, and housing issues. She has a degree in Communication from San Diego State University, and has lived in the San Lorenzo Valley since 1996. She's a community advocate and a mother of two.

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