Independence Day events honor sacrifice

A large crowd packed the Selma High Staley Stadium in this 2016 file photo to watch the fireworks display. 

One of America’s biggest national holidays is on approach.  Independence Day is one of the largest celebratory days in American society, especially since the mid-twentieth century.  While celebrations were smaller or even non-existent last year, several celebrations are coming back in 2021.

Most notably is the Independence Day celebration held by the city of Selma.  However, Selma does things a little bit different.  They have historically held their celebration on July 3, the day before Independence Day.

According to Bob Allen of the Selma Chamber of Commerce, the reason for this unusual date of celebration is pretty unique.  A Russian sports team came to Fresno for a match against one of the local teams during the summer of 1996 and they were eager to see a Fourth of July celebration.

But they were due to leave on July 4, before the fireworks.  That’s where Selma stepped in.  The city organized their holiday celebration the day before to honor the athletes' request.  The event was such a huge success for the city and its local businesses that it has been consistently holding the event on July 3 for 31 years, not counting 2020.

The city of Selma stands in accordance with the Fresno County COVID protocols.  Masks and social distancing are encouraged but are not required.

The event will be held at Selma High School’s Stanley Stadium, which can hold anywhere between 7,500-10,000 people.  Gates open at 5:30 p.m.  Tickets will be sold at the gate until the stadium is full.

Patrons will find local vendors selling food and other offerings, the Dave Aguallo Band will provide live music on the main stage, and once it gets dark enough, that’s when the real fun begins.

The fireworks display is partially sponsored by the American Legion Post 12.  The demonstration itself will be provided and maintained by Pyro Spectaculars, a pyrotechnics company based out of Rialto..

While many cities are still holding off from such bold declarations and celebrations, Selma is ready and willing to put another fantastic year on the books. 

If you have questions about the event, contact the Selma Chamber of Commerce at 559-891-2235.

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