Rocklin Jubilee 'largest ever'

More than 25,000 fill Johnson-Springview Park for fireworks show
By: Michael Althouse, The Placer Herald
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The 2008 Rocklin Jubilee was one of the largest ever with an estimated 30,000 people in attendance throughout the day and as many as 25,000 viewing the fireworks show Saturday night, according to city and police officials. And with only two arrests coming from the event, it was one of the most peaceful, said Officer Dave Johnstone of the Rocklin Police Department. The 2007 Jubilee produced seven arrests. “Last year it seemed like we had a lot of people come from outside the city,” Johnstone said. “This year everyone behaved themselves.” According to Johnstone, there was one arrest for public intoxication and one for domestic violence. “In my 28 years (coming to the Jubilee), this has been one of the best,” he said. The event began at 6:30 a.m. with a pancake breakfast fundraiser hosted by Cub Scout Pack 29 at Johnson-Springview Park. Tom Hulsman, spokesperson for Pack 29, said parents and Scouts volunteered their time to serve nearly 1,000 breakfasts for the Scouts’ largest fundraiser of the year. “We hope to raise at least $2,000 to help pay for activities and awards throughout the year,” Hulsman said. The Pack numbers 60 boys, most of which left to participate in the 9 a.m. parade led by Grand Marshal Larry Osborne. This year’s theme, Rocklin Granite Jubilee, “A Community Solid as a Rock,” was reflected in the approximately 50 different entries in the 90-minute parade that wound through downtown streets before coming to an end at Springview Middle School. In addition to the pancake breakfast, Johnson-Springview Park was host to the many sponsors’ booths as well as a kids’ play area, two stages and a fireworks extravaganza at 9:45 p.m. to close the event. Attending as a sponsor for the first time, Wal Mart was promoting one of its charities, “Give Kids the World,” a village in Florida that helps terminally ill and handicapped children. However, according to Anna Moratz, the assistant manager for the Wal Mart on Lead Hill Boulevard, the store was also raising awareness and support for a planned Super Center at the proposed Rocklin Crossings shopping center. “We have had a lot of positive support from the people of Rocklin,” Moratz said. Another sponsor, R.C. Willey, was participating in its third Jubilee, according to General Manager Tammy Cooper. “It’s good exposure for us and it gets us out in the community,” Cooper said. R.C. Willey gave away “a couple thousand” prizes to those patiently waiting in a line that at times numbered more than 100 people. A newer Rocklin resident, Jennifer Karczewski, came with her seven year-old son, Dylan. “We moved here about two years ago from Antioch,” Karczewski said, adding, “This is a town that has truly kept its focus on the community.” For Dylan Karczewski, his second Jubilee was similar to his first, “I’m excited that we’re going to see fireworks.” Among the many booths were some providing public awareness services ranging from blood pressure testing to autism awareness to services for those affected by alcoholism. One such booth came without any organizational backing except an $800 donation from NEC Corporation to purchase prizes for those taking a “Constitution quiz.” Laura Koerner, a 13-year Rocklin resident, has set her booth up at the Jubilee for the past six years. “I started doing it after 9/11. I saw people flying their flags and I wondered if people really knew what the Bill of Rights actually said,” she said. According to Koerner, who is studying to be a teacher, there is a great deal of misinformation regarding what the government can and cannot do. The annual Jubilee, which began on 1968, used to be called Depot Days, according to Rocklin City Council member George Magnuson. “It keeps on growing every year,” he said. “It’s mostly volunteers that make it work.” “Some people look forward to this every year and some don’t even know it exists,” Magnuson said. “So far, this looks like a pretty good crowd.” Rocklin Community Services and Facilities Director Mark Riemer said the event was “almost flawless,” citing some changes from last year that helped keep alcohol related problems to a minimum. “We took a very active role in checking bags and coolers. It probably eliminated 80 to 90 percent of the alcohol coming in,” Riemer said. “We also worked with the Rotary Club to make sure we established very clear rules regarding the operating times of the beer garden,” he said. “Everything kind of came together,” Riemer said. The event raised about $50,000, which is used to offset the approximately $100,000 it costs to put it on. Although the final decision about the fireworks show is left to the fire department, Riemer said the city did everything it could to be prepared. “We have a very aggressive weed abatement program, weeds were cut down to less than one inch and we had wet the area down thoroughly,” Riemer said. Rocklin Fire Chief Bill Mikesell said the decision regarding whether or not to have a fireworks show is made just before it is scheduled to begin. “We always question right up to the moment the show starts,” Mikesell said. “If the wind pushes the fireworks over the trees, there could be a problem.” “The city parks and facilities did a phenomenal job trimming the grass down to the earth,” he said. Mikesell was concerned, however, about the few illegal fireworks observed going off outside the park. “If they are caught, we will vigorously prosecute. There is zero tolerance for illegal fireworks,” he said.