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This July 4 was a great day to take a running slide down a wet, cool, slippery track.

It was a July 4 to remember.  The usual great things were there in surplus -- dozens of red, white and blue carts, cooling dips at Lake Clementia, family barbecues.  And there were some unusual things too -- a sprinkle of rain to start the day and a heat record before the day was done.

The heat may have caused some changes in plans, and it was certainly the chief topic of conversation, but it didn’t impact any of Rancho Murieta’s July 4 events.

If you were out and about, you saw a sprinkle from a passing cloud around 7:30 a.m., as the holiday events were getting under way. By the afternoon, with an official high downtown of 110, it marked Sacramento’s seventh straight day of temperatures of 105 or more, which ties a record set in August 1990.

Johnnie Powell, a forecaster with the U.S. Weather Service in Sacramento, said humidity wasn’t a problem Thursday. In fact, by the afternoon, the humidity was low. So why did we feel miserable? “It doesn’t matter what the humidity is when it’s 110,” he said with a laugh. Some area highs could have hit 113 or 114, he added.

Here's Rancho Murieta, CA, July 4, 2013.

The Fun Run

Fun Run

Fun Run organizer John McNamee captures times as runners cross the finish line.

Fun Run winnersYes, the Fun Run is a race, but it can also be looked at the first parade of the day, as cyclists, kids on scooters and the occasional dog join the fittest of residents in a 5K sprint through Murieta North neighborhoods. This year about 160 runners signed up. Susan Huddleston Hopkey placed first for the women and Jonathan Ahmann led the men. Both are repeat winners who set records in previous races. Future record-setters competed in children's races according to age. The run is sponsored by Erin Howard of Murieta Health Club.

See a gallery with 42 photos from the Fun Run


Pancake Breakfast

Pancake Breakfast

Some of the seats for the Pancake Breakfast have water views.

The Kiwanis Club Pancake Breakfast helps prepare families for a long day of holiday festivities with a hearty meal and lets them catch up with neighbors as they enjoy it at the Gazebo overlooking Laguna Joaquin. The meal is prepared by volunteers who set the standard for community involvement.

See a gallery with 22 photos from the Pancake Breakfast


July 4 Parade


Not every princess in the parade had her own float.  This one was among the winners.

You can't buy a costume for a golf cart, which is one of the reasons the parade down Murieta Parkway is quirky, individualistic and downright inspired every year. It's also an index of what Rancho Murieta holds dear. That's why there are Boy Scouts marching behind the fire engines, crowds of children on decorated bikes and trikes, Little League and softball All-Stars in the back of trucks decorated in red, white and blue, and beloved classic cars, as well as dressed-up golf carts. The parade is sponsored by the Rancho Murieta Association.

See a gallery of parade preparation with 87 photos
See a step-by-step gallery of the parade on Murieta Parkway with 111 photos

The parade winners were:

Most Patriotic: Haidel family (helicopter)
Most Creative: Sizemore family (pirate)
Most Fun: Smith family (circus)
Best Decorated: Blaisdell and Whichard families (Super Mario)
Honorable Mentions: O’Conner family (Barnum), Barr family (rubber duck), Angle family, Dubey family, Flores family, RM Women’s’ Club Blood Drive, Souza Family

Most Patriotic: Presley and Kendall Overgaard
Most Creative: Olivia and Elina Samson, Jayden and Jordan Freitas, Elizabeth Norboe
Most Fun: Hanna Milton and Jenna Rau
Best Decorated: Addison Pohll
Honorable Mentions: Girl Scout Troup 1426, Angelina Brian

Most Patriotic: Dominic, Andrew and Nate Tozi
Most Creative: Abe Samson, John Norboe, Justin Freitas
Most Fun: Darin Kelly
Best Decorated: Davis Kennedy
Honorable Mention: Keegan Ford, Mady and Rory Torres, Brady Rae

Carnival at Lake Clementia

Bounce house

The bounce house screen brings an artistic look to child's play.

The Carnival at Lake Clementia is all about children, so the Optimist Club makes sure there are games, bounce houses and plenty of water rides. This year the Big Kahuna water slide was a popular destination. The children also receive a free hot dog lunch. The swim lake and beach are available for all to enjoy.

See a gallery with 11 photos from the carnival


Country Club event, Gazebo music, fireworks

Conga line

A conga line happens almost every year during the Gazebo's dancing.

This year the Rancho Murieta Country Club premiered a new event with live music, a barbecue, and cabanas for viewing the fireworks in style.

It starts off slowly, but a crowd forms at the Gazebo and the next thing you know a conga line is threading its way through the parking lot as the d.j. plays "Hot, Hot, Hot." Why not have a good time with your friends while you wait for the fireworks to start? The Optimist Club makes the party possible.

Following the dancing at the Gazebo, the grand finale is the fireworks display that lights up the night sky with new configurations of  color every year. As "Stars and Stripes Forever" plays at the Gazebo, people on blankets scattered around Laguna Joaquin look skyward. They know July 4 always goes out with a bang in Rancho Murieta. The fireworks show is sponsored by the Rancho Murieta Association.

See a gallery with 41 photos from the Country Club and Gazebo events and fireworks

Townhouse decoration winners

By Cyndi Thompson

The Murieta Townhouses Inc. Communications Committee awarded the 2013 Decorating Contest winners Wednesday. First place went Darleen and Fred Beno on Lago Drive. Second place was Candy Hearn on Chesbro. Third place was Dixie Kieffer on Lindero. Congratulations to our winners and thank you to all who decorated. It's looking quite festive around the neighborhood. A special thank you to this years judges who endured the heat and scoured the community looking for decorations.

Darleen Beno

First place went to Darleen and Fred Beno.

Second place

Candy Hearn took second place.

Dixie KiefferDix

Dixie Kieffer took third place.

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Neighbor Steve DeMello's photos

Community photographer Steve DeMello, who has shared many wonderful photos in these pages, offers a couple of looks at the July 4 parade.  There are larger versions to be seen here.

Steve DeMello

Steve DeMello photo

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