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Patriotism unfurls at Celebrate America

By: Lauren Gibbs, The Placer Herald
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Filling the gap left from the Rocklin Jubilee suspension last year, the second annual Celebrate America plans to entertain. Last year’s event attracted approximately 6,000 people and this year they’re expecting 10,000 to gather for the patriotic event, according to Kent Ferrin, creative arts director of Sunset Christian Center in Rocklin. The celebration, which starts at 4 p.m. Saturday, will include food and business vendors, an inflatable kids area and local talent on stage until 8 p.m. The talent includes performances by a dance studio, karate studio, exhibitions, local singers and a magician. “A lot of different local flavor of talent,” Ferrin said. At 8 p.m. the stage transforms into a backdrop for a military tribute. A choir will sing as small performances take place, honoring police, firemen and military service men and women. A 13-minute fireworks show will act as the night’s finale. “It’s a great way to celebrate the Fourth of July, to honor the military and it’s also a great community event, a family-friendly event with no alcohol,” Ferrin said. “It’s a great way for the community to come together and have a great celebration.” The free event is open to everyone, Ferrin said, and will also include recruitment from each branch of service. It takes the help of approximately 350 volunteers from Sunset Christian Center to make the day happen. Rocklin resident Lana Gartin is one of the singers in the choir and said it’s a celebration that’s hard to explain to someone who has never seen it, but it’s a special event. “It’s a real patriotic tribute to America,” she said. For months, the choir has put in hours of practice, as the choir is featured in almost every song during the evening, Gartin said. Two of her favorites are when the choir sings “Hero for Today” and actors take the stage acting out historic moments in history and singing all the hymns of all of the branches of the military. “That just gets me every time,” she said. Also included in the production are renditions of “It’s a Grand Old Flag,” and Neil Diamond songs, among other songs. Ferrin said he envisions it like an old-fashioned Fourth of July picnic for the community with all-lawn seating. “Find a place on the grass and relax,” he said. “I just really want to encourage people to come out early, enjoy the food; a time to see friends.” Celebrate America When: 4-10 p.m.; performance starts at 8 p.m. June 26 Where: Twin Oaks Park, 5500 Park Drive in Rocklin Cost: Free Information: celebrateamericaonline.com