Wednesday Jun 03 2009
Miss the Rocklin Jubilee? Don’t worry, Celebrate America is here to fill the void
By: Lauren Weber, The Placer Herald
With the suspension of Rocklin Jubilee, which attracted more than 25,000 attendees in previous years, one event hopes to conjure up enough food, fun and fireworks to fill the gap left by the suspended Rocklin Jubilee. Celebrate America, to be held on June 27, the same day Rocklin Jubilee would have been scheduled, is planned to feature many of the same festive favorites such as food booths, bounce houses for kids, music and a fireworks finale. The free event is in the planning and rehearsal stage, under the direction of Kent Ferrin, creative arts director of Sunset Christian Church in Rocklin. And although Ferrin is a fairly new Rocklin resident, he’s no stranger to the planning of community events. Ferrin previously organized The Singing Flag, an event that has been held in Concord for more than 20 years and attracted more than 25,000 people a year. His next endeavor was The Spirit of America in Memphis, Tenn. that he directed for eight years. As soon as Ferrin got word that the Rocklin Jubilee would be suspended this year, he started planning for Celebrate America shortly after. He said he hopes to attract between 5,000 and 10,000 people. “This is our gift to the community,” Ferrin said. Among the events of the day are inflatables for kids, what Ferrin calls “play land USA,” approximately 150 people set in the choir and cast, traditional favorites such as “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” and “Coming to America” sung and a recognition of people in the military. “The show itself will be very entertaining and very emotional,” Ferrin said. “Our main focus is celebrating our country, our military and part of it, we feel, is to celebrate our God.” Ferrin said approximately 15 percent of the two-hour performances will have a religious-focus with a sermon by Pastor Greg Fairrington. The rest will pay tribute to the United States, its people and military personnel. Dave Leatherman, college pastor at Sunset Christian Center, is in charge of directing military personnel involved in the event such as honor guard. As a former military man himself, Leatherman said Celebrate America is a way to honor servicemen and women. “I think it’s a great thing just in general to celebrate with our community our entire country,” he said. Through songs and performance, the military will be honored, Ferrin said. Celebrate America will “pay tribute to our military by honoring those that have served and are serving.” Before the evening show, community members can taste and sample food from local restaurants and businesses. Ferrin said he envisions an old-fashioned fourth of July-like picnic. “Rocklin really has a very community feel to it,” Ferrin said. “The opportunity to come together as a community is a great thing.” With Ferrin’s previous success leading other large events, he said he hopes to see Celebrate America return to Rocklin next year, without bringing competition against the Rocklin Jubilee when and if it returns. “In our minds, we would love to see it become and annual event.” For more information, go to celebrateamericaonline.com. Celebrate America When: Starting at 3 p.m., June 27; performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Where: Twin Oaks Park, 5500 Park Drive, Rocklin Placer Herald’s Lauren Weber can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.