Menifee Observes Independence Day With Parade, Fireworks

Update: Go to our Facebook page for a gallery of additional photos from Saturday's event. ...

Update: Go to our Facebook page for a gallery of additional photos from Saturday's event.

The skies above Wheatfield Park lit up with a fireworks show that entertained thousands Saturday night.
Community spirit soared Saturday when the residents of Menifee held an early celebration of the nation's Independence Day with a parade, festival and fireworks show.

The event, sponsored by the City of Menifee, Lake Menifee Women's Club and Valley-Wide Recreation and Parks District, is annually held on the Saturday before July 4. Although the calendar this year set that date six days before the holiday, thousands lined La Piedra Road for the parade and filled Wheatfield Park for a festival and spectacular fireworks show.

Longtime resident and Menifee Union School District board member Bob O'Donnell (left) served as grand marshal for the parade, which began at Mt. San Jacinto College and traveled down La Piedra Road, then south on Menifee Road and into Wheatfield Park.

Menifee Mayor Scott Mann and the rest of the city council members also rode in the parade, which featured youth groups and civic organizations. Children scrambled from their curbside seats to chase down candy thrown from the parade participants.

After the parade, people of all ages strolled through aisles of vendor booths in the park and set up to view the fireworks show. Children enjoyed a rock climbing wall, bounce houses and a kids' zone, while members of the Gale Webb Extreme Sports and Air Show performed bike and skateboard tricks. Hijinx Band and Cloud provided musical entertainment.

In a brief address to the crowd before the national anthem and fireworks show, Mann spoke of the importance of the freedom Americans enjoy and the history behind it.

"The spirit of Independence Day is not only about the United States officially becoming a country," Mann told the crowd. "It's about celebrating the values that the country was founded upon.

"Remember that as Americans, we should continue to embody the values our country was built on. These are principles that we achieve and not just state. Our country, just like the City of Menifee, remains a work in progress.

"So on the advice