ACIL hosts family friendly ‘Welcome Back America’ celebration in Minor Park

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Evelyn Schmidt sparkles for the occasion at the Anza Civic Improvement League’s “Welcome Back America” festivities in Minor Park. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo

The Anza Civic Improvement League hosted the “Welcome Back America” celebration in Minor Park Saturday, July 4. The event offered two live bands, vendors, the Thimble Club’s traditional pancake breakfast, Friends Uniting Neighbor’s Group barbecue, horseshoe games, children’s playground and more.

Social distancing and masks were recommended by ACIL board members for all those attending the event. Many people gathered in family groups and removed their masks for photos and eating.

The band Cowboy Bang Bang performed after Cody Wild from San Diego started the day’s musical entertainment with 70s rock favorites.

Phil Canaday takes a break from assisting with the pancake breakfast at the Anza Civic Improvement League’s “Welcome Back America” festivities in Minor Park Saturday, July 4. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo

Pancakes with watermelon, eggs and sausages were prepared by Thimble Club volunteers, with assistance from other local civic organizations.

The F.U.N. Group served a chicken barbecue lunch complete with beans and watermelon.

“I arrived late in the day, but there was still music and lunch being served,” Edi Kandel said. “I wanted to go and see people out and about enjoying themselves. A bit of normalcy if you will. I’m so glad I did.”

Besides the barbecue and pancakes, various food vendors offered hot dogs, tacos, snow cones and cotton candy for sale.

“The food was great, and Marcy had a wonderful time playing with the other children,” Ed Budrovic said.

Children played on the park’s playground, tossed horseshoes, enjoyed treats and ran shrieking through a sprinkler supplied by ACIL.

Chicken quarters are grilled by members of the Friends Uniting Neighbors Group at the Anza Civic Improvement League’s “Welcome Back America” festivities in Minor Park. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo

“It was nice to see some friends I haven’t seen since the virus and hear live music on our Independence Day. God bless the U.S.A.,” musician John Knori said.

For more information on ACIL events, visit them on Facebook or at http://anzacivic.org.

Diane Sieker can be reached by email at dsieker@reedermedia.com.

Marcy Budrovic is dressed for the Fourth of July holiday at the Anza Civic Improvement League’s “Welcome Back America” festivities in Minor Park. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
From left, Myrna Hawthorn, Reba Schultz, Phil and Paola Canaday, Vanessa Sayers and Clare Beach prepare the Thimble Club’s pancake breakfast at the Anza Civic Improvement League’s “Welcome Back America” festivities in Minor Park. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
Cody Wild opens the musical entertainment at the Anza Civic Improvement League’s “Welcome Back America” festivities in Minor Park. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
Vanessa Sayers has a blast at the Anza Civic Improvement League’s “Welcome Back America” festivities in Minor Park. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
Magician Caleb wows onlookers with expert illusions at the Anza Civic Improvement League’s “Welcome Back America” festivities in Minor Park. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
Charles Cadwell, president of Anza Civic Improvement League, helps vendors set up at ACIL’s “Welcome Back America” festivities in Minor Park. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
John Cannon and his performing pooch enjoy the music at the Anza Civic Improvement League’s “Welcome Back America” festivities in Minor Park. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
Tabitha Dawes, left, and daughter Sedona Dawes-Vollmer enjoy the events at the Anza Civic Improvement League’s “Welcome Back America” festivities in Minor Park. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
Breana Schmidt takes a pose at the Anza Civic Improvement League’s “Welcome Back America” festivities in Minor Park. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
John Knori arrives to cheer on his fellow musicians at the Anza Civic Improvement League’s “Welcome Back America” festivities in Minor Park. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
Teri Morelli takes her son Zak for a ride in the sprinkler at the Anza Civic Improvement League’s “Welcome Back America” festivities in Minor Park. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
Frontman Danny Foye leads Cowboy Bang Bang as they play rock ‘n’ roll favorites at the Anza Civic Improvement League’s “Welcome Back America” festivities in Minor Park. Anza Valley Outlook/Amy Procop photo