The city of Highland celebrated Independence Day by joyfully gathering along Base Line for the annual Fourth of July Parade ⎯ the first gathering of the Highland community in 15 months.

Spectators and parade participates alike were decked out in red, while and blue and they were equally happy to see and greet each other during the morning parade, the opening of Highland’s Independence Day celebration.

Forty clubs, youth groups, businesses and other organizations filled the parade with cheer as they drove, rode, walked and rolled from Base Line and Church Avenue to Highland Community Park on Central Avenue.

The Radiant Rubies of Highland, a local chapter of the Red Hat Society and this year’s parade grand marshal, filled three cars with members dressed in their distinctive red and purple flair.

Many local officials also participated including Mayor Penny Lilburn, Councilman Jesse Chavez, Councilwoman Anaeli Solano, Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh, Assemblyman James Ramos, County Supervisor Dawn Rowe and Congressman Jay Obernolte.

For Solano, who drove in the parade with her husband and their 8-month-old son Benjamin, the parade triggered a “release of anxiety and felt like a return to normalcy.”

“It was so refreshing seeing people together again,” Solano said, who was pregnant during much of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was so exciting and a lot of genuine fun,” Solano said. “Sharing it with my son has been one of the best experiences, seeing him react. The turn out was amazing, and I stayed afterward and watched the rest of the parade and listened to the [Rancho Santa Miguel] Banda play.”

San Bernardino residents Sam and Stephanie Cereceres drove their grandchildren in the back of their 1952 Sea Grave fire engine. The fire engine once served in South Gate and is a veteran of the Pasadena Rose Parade. In fact, it still wears the “Pasadena Fire Department” logo from when it participated in the Rose Parade’s 125th anniversary parade in 2015.

Sam said he’s been collecting cars for years and has always wanted a fire engine. So, when he heard one that had been used in the Rose Parade was available he quickly decided to purchase it.

“You do what you need and want to do for the community,” Stephanie said about their participation in local community events.

This year the usual showing of antique and classic cars was complimented by strong presence of modern muscle cars.

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