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Rancho Murieta's 2007 Fourth of July celebration had all the traditional elements – a red, white and blue parade led by fire trucks, an afternoon at the lake, and fireworks filling the night sky to end the day. Did we mention the temperature topped 100?

In the early morning cool, while the Kiwanis Club served up pancakes at the Gazebo, runners in the 25th annual Fun Run headed down Lago Drive to begin the 5K run. Once again Kyle Fujitsubo emerged as the fastest person in Rancho Murieta, breaking the 16:30 record he set last year with a time of 15:43.

Tina Bowers won in the women’s division with a time of 20:57.


Slip 'n' Dip

The carnival had some appealing choices on a triple-digit day.


The Murieta Activities Club parade headed down Murieta Parkway about 10 a.m., with Station 59 leading the way and squirting the crowd with water as the heat began its ascent to triple digits.

This year’s grand marshal was Randy Jenco, the man who built the pedestrian bridge that now connects Murieta North and South. He’s also the president of Cosumnes River Little League, which was represented in the parade by truckloads of boys and girls wearing their team uniforms.

Following the Boy Scouts and the kids on bikes and other vehicles, more than 100 golf carts took center stage in a joyous display of ingenuity, imagination and patriotic fervor. This year the carts included a towering birthday cake to the nation, exotic islands on wheels, a schooner and a pirate ship, a rolling homage to Disney characters, and a dazzling array of stars and stripes, and red, white and blue.

Exotic cars cruised down the Parkway to end the parade.

The celebration continued at Lake Clementia, where community groups contributed to the carnival organized by Murieta Activities Club volunteers.

New this year were kayak races for kids 10 and older. There were also teenage surfers using colorful, flat boards to slide through the water at the lake’s edge.

The water slide bounce house was back and was joined by a new water feature that kept a steady stream of children drenched and delighted.



Sometimes pigtails come in really handy -- like when you're in the July 4 carnival's watermelon-eating contest.


The Optimist Club provided 700 free hot dog lunches, the Boy Scouts offered snow cones of every hue and flavor, and hamburgers sizzled on the grill.

For old-fashioned fun, there was a watermelon-eating contest. Asa Jennings, the founder of the Murieta Activities Club, introduced the contest and it’s now a carnival tradition.

The evening’s festivities included DJ Dewey Parker getting everyone up and dancing the chicken dance (twice!) and other favorites at the Gazebo.

The Rancho Murieta Association fireworks show brought the evening to a close with ooohs and ahhhs of appreciation for this year’s pyrotechnic wonders. This one had two endings before the real ending arrived -- cascading booms and a flood of light that turned Laguna Joaquin from night to day. It’s a given – each year’s display is the best ever.

Here's a look at the day:

7:30 a.m. Fun Run

Kids' race
The kids had fun with their race.
Kyle Fujitsubo
The 25th annual Fun Run saw a record set by Kyle Fujitsubo, who shaved almost a minute off his record from last year.
Women running
Some of the race's female contestants work their way through the early part of the race. More than 50 adults competed and a dozen children ran the kids' course.
Race winners
Men's division
1. Kyle Fujitsubo, 15:43
2. Jonathan Ahmann, 16:26
3. Steve Gilgrass, 18:11
Women's division
1. Tina Bowers, 20:57
2. Dawnell Sauve, 21:11
3. Janet Shippy, 23:08

7:30 a.m. Pancake breakfast


At the pancake breakfast, Kiwanis volunteers kept the pancakes, sausage and eggs coming for hundreds of hungry customers while Chaya’s Trio teamed with members of the Bluebox band to produce a gentle, jazzy sound with sophisticated standards like “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.”


Pancakes boy

Benjamin Snyder, who's almost 3, and his mom, Aga, were among those who enjoyed breakfast at the Gazebo.



Friends of Justin Nelson turned their grief over his death from leukemia Monday into an effort the raise funds for his family. From left, Carisse Platt, Bailey O’Brien, Morgan Ogden, Sammy Swimley, Hailey Hayes, Desiree Bonner and Kathleen Werner held a bake sale at the Gazebo. Justin, 15, battled the disease for six years.  “He taught us many lessons,” said Hailey Hayes’ mother, Jeanne Hayes. “The chief one was courage.”



RMA's Maintenance Department workers, who play a key role in making the day happen, enjoy breakfast before resuming work.


9:15 a.m. Lining up for the parade

Awaiting parade

Preschoolers sit on their float, awaiting the start of the parade.


Kids in all kinds of vehicles, and on foot, made a sea of red, white and blue before the parade stepped off.


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