Tag Archives: Fourth of July

Santee Enjoys Another Fourth of July

The Fourth of July has come and gone, and once again Santee had one of the best celebrations around the county. This year we not only had music, food, and fireworks, we had sunshine, which much of the county missed out of because of the lingering June Gloom. Even better, the sun was a friendly glow in the sky, not the blazing inferno we often have on the Fourth of July. Add in all the other amenities and it’s no wonder so many people enjoyed the 2010 Santee Salutes July 4th Celebration. In fact, about the only negative about the day was the need for more restrooms. Although the city did bring in portables, there probably should have been more on the main field, where there was frequently a line of a dozen or more waiting for one of the three at each station.

The celebration was also the first opportunity for many Santee residents to see the improvements and new developments at the Town Square Community Park. A little more than a month ago the Town Center Community Park/SportsplexUSA complex celebrated its grand opening, and although the Santee Salutes festivities were taking place on the existing fields to the west, there has been quite a bit of work connecting the two areas. This includes an extension of River Park Drive past Cuyamaca Street to a new parking lot between Rio Seco School and the SportsplexUSA facilities and a walkway from the parking lot to the ball fields. Once all of the work is completed this will be Santee’s largest and most versatile community park.

As usual, there were many activities to choose from during the day. Championship Gymnastics and Cheer put on a demonstration by some of their students in front of the main stage. Several businesses had booths on the main field, including Pina Business Services and Simply Spa, which was offering free chair massages. Alas, Pina Business Services did not offer to massage your books there. On an adjoining field the Santee Mobile Recreation team had set up several games for younger kids and a stage with DJ Chubz and a young drummer who simply wowed the crowd. Fourteen-year-old Christian, who has only been playing for three years, showed that age has nothing to do with talent and ability as he drummed along with music played by the DJ. Also on the game and music field was a much more sobering display – the SUV that had been struck by an intoxicated driver at the intersection of SR-125 and Mission Gorge Road earlier this year.

On a third field were several inflatables, a laser tag area, and some carnival rides. All of these were busy throughout the afternoon. The fourth field was easily the most popular – the food booth field. Here you had a choice among traditional Fourth of July hot dogs from SPARC (Santee Parks and Recreation Committee), chicken satay from Michael’s Grill, smoothies from Smoothie King, desserts from the Eccentric International Chefs, and much more. Still, with all of the variety of food to choose from, the longest line for most of the day was for kettle corn.

Santee always puts its patriotism on display on the Fourth of July. This year’s opening ceremony included a color guard provided by one of the city’s adopted Marine units, HMH-462, the “Heavy Haulers” from MCAS Miramar. On the stage were representatives from both units as well as Mayor Randy Voepel, City Councilmen Brian Jones and John Minto, Miss Santee, Kimberly Swank, and Miss Teen Santee, Taylor Shelton. Singing Solo provided Imagine Truelove, who sang “God Bless America,” and Kelsie Martin, who sang the National Anthem.

Once again music was provided by 80z All Stars, and their alter-ego, Just Push Play. This year lead singer Nigel Naughty, bassist Devo 2.0, and drummer Karate Kid welcomed newcomer and lead guitarist Jamie Star. The change in band member seemed to make no difference to the crowd, who rocked and danced the afternoon and night away.

The night concluded with fireworks that lived up to everything Santee has come to expect. Thanks go out to Waste Management for their sponsorship of the celebration and to community partners Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse, Cannon Pacific, Rice RV, Bay City Electrical, and Bob’s Crane Service.

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Santee Salutes July 4th, 2010

It’s time again for the annual Santee Salutes July 4th celebration at the Town Center Community Park West ball fields. Every year this is a major event with music, games, food, and, of course, fireworks. The festivities are sponsored by the City of Santee and Waste Management, Inc., and run from 3:30-9:30 pm. The celebration will include a Kids’ Fun Zone with inflatables and games and the City of Santee Mobile Recreation area with free activities and music by DJ Chubz. There will also be live music by the 80z All Stars, a perennial favorite in Santee.

The city cautions that parking in the area is limited, so to help alleviate traffic there will be off-site parking for cars at the Costco and Cameron Family YMCA parking lots and limited RV parking at the new Edgemoor Hospital on Park Center Drive just off Mast Blvd. There will be regular shuttle runs from each of these lots to Rio Seco School, next to the fields. There will also be traffic control in the area with resident-only travel on Bilteer Drive, Bilteer Court, San Remo Drive, Conejo Place, Magnolia Park Drive, Verde Vista Lane, Day Creek Trail, and Leavesly Trail. In addition, Cuyamaca Street will be closed to all traffic between 8:00 and 10:00 pm.

Enjoy a day filled with fun, and please remember to leave the fireworks to the experts.

Santee Salutes July 4th, 2009, included the presentation of colors by the U.S. Marine Corps.

The 80z All Stars rocked the event

For more on last year’s event, see Santee Salutes July 4th in a Big Way.

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Santee Salutes July 4th in a Big Way

Santee Salutes July 4th

When it comes to celebrations, Santee knows how to do it right, especially on the Fourth of July.  Last Saturday was the annual Santee Salutes July 4th Celebration, held at the Town Center Ball Fields next to Rio Seco School on Cuyamaca St.  The fun kicked off at 3:30 pm and continued until the fireworks ended well after 9:00 pm, and included rides, games, food, and music.  Santee’s adopted USMC unit from Miramar, HMH 462, the Heavy Haulers, provided the Color Guard for the ceremonies; Lt. Colonel Ronnie Carson, commanding officer of HMH 462, was the keynote speaker, guest of honor, and honorary mayor for the day.

Lt. Col. Ronnie Carson, HMH 462

A big “Thank You” goes out not only to the City of Santee, but also to the event’s major sponsors, Waste Management and RCP Block and Brick.  In addition to these companies, several local businesses helped out, setting up booths or selling food in conjunction with community groups.  This was truly a community event, at all levels.

Business Booths

July 4th Business Sponsors

Food Booths

July 4th Food

Before the main ceremonies, the crowd was entertained by a group calling itself “Bootylicious,” playing music of the 70s.  What was probably the highlight of their performance was a rollicking rendition of YMCA.  Interestingly, aside from their afros, platforms, and 70s outfits, they bore a striking resemblance to the musical headliners, 80z All Stars (insert nod and wink here).

Bootylicious and YMCA

Mayor Randy Voepel began the opening ceremonies and introduced the guests, including Lt. Col. Carson, Councilmember Brian Jones, Miss Santee, Miss Santee Teen, Miss Santee Runners-Up and Princesses, and special singers.  After the presentation of the colors, eight-year-old Natalie Sako sang the National Anthem, followed by Brittany Siler and Madeline Cepeda singing “America the Beautiful.”  Even though she is only eight, Natalie has a voice that could easily come out of someone three times her age.  Brittany and Madeline performed a great harmony duet, although they did have a tough spot, following Natalie.  After the songs, Lt. Col. Carson spoke, followed again by Mayor Voepel, and finally Miss Santee, Sierra Billock, and Miss Santee Teen, Nicole Ehlke, gave a rundown of the activities for the day.

(L-R) Brian Jones, Lt. Col. Ronnie Carson, Mayor Randy Voepel, Sierra Billock, Nicole Ehlke, Miss Santee Runners-Up and Princesses, and Brittany Siler and Madeline Cepeda listen as Natalie Sako sings the National Anthem

 Natalie Sako Sings the National Anthem

Madeline Cepeda and Brittany Siler perform “America the Beautiful”

Madeline Cepeda and Brittany Siler

(L-R) Santee Princess Miranda, Miss Santee – Sierra Billock, Miss Santee Teen – Nicole Ehlke, Santee Princesses Madison and Michelle, Miss Santee Runner-Up – Monique Edmond, Miss Congeniality – Rhawnie Kelsch, Miss Santee Teen Runner-Up – Taylor Shelton

Miss Santee, Miss Santee Teen, Runners-Up, and Princesses

Following the ceremonies, the 80z All Stars took the stage to entertain until 9:00 pm.  This high-energy group is always a hit at Santee events, including this year’s Street Fair and the Santee Summer Concert Series.  Featuring lead singer Nigel Naughty, guitarist Motley Who, bassist Devo 2.0, and drummer Karate Kid, the group kept people hopping and dancing all through the evening.

80z All Stars

As with any good July 4th celebration, the night ended with a literal bang as fireworks lit up the sky and patriotic music filled the air.  The approximately 20-minute show seemed to satisfy everyone, eliciting multiple “oohs” and “ahhs” from the crowd.


Finally, I want to commend the people of Santee for their great behavior during and after the celebration.  On KUSI News the following morning a reporter joined a Boy Scout troop in Mira Mesa as they picked up dozens of bags of trash left after the July 4th celebration there.  As I left the Santee event I saw very little trash lying around – just another example of the small-town neighbor attitude in our community.  Way to go, Santee

I will have more pictures up soon.


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