July 7, 2008

501st In the News

The 501st was in a rash of newspapers over the past couple of days with events all over the place:

Crestline festival draws thousands
CRESTLINE - Plenty of people lined Lake Drive on Saturday to watch a parade of small businesses, big bikers and others fly the American flag on floats, fenders and fire engines.

Thousands turned out to the Jamboree Parade and Festival, presented by the Chamber of Commerce.

The parade snaked to Lake Gregory, where vendors sold summertime staples - hamburgers, hot dogs, shaved ice and schwag.

Humberto Sandez set up shop under a flag-emblazoned welcome banner that hung from a street light. He sold Lucha Libre wrestling masks.

"Rey Mysterio is most popular," he said. "And Nacho Libre."

There were almost as many dogs as hot dogs. Boxers, bulldogs and mutts abounded.

Tina Taylor of Running Springs and her daughter, Danielle, took advantage of the crowd and sought owners for two 9-week-old mastiff and Australian Shepherd mixes, the last of a 12-puppy litter.

Corey Abrantes of Crestline took the fawn-colored one for his daughter, Adriana.

"My wife saw it," Abrantes said.

Attendees wore red, white and blue wherever they could. On buttons. On bikini tops. On beaded beards.

Plenty of tattoos, too. Baby boomers with ponytails, and tattoos. Generation-Xers with soul patches, and tattoos. Kids with ball caps, and rub-off tattoos.

The Star Wars 501st Legion of Stormtroopers made an appearance. They didn't cause any trouble. "Vader's Fist" was on a goodwill mission to raise awareness for various charities.

Scott Linting, also known as "Stormtrooper TK7971," arrived from Las Vegas. He and about 20 others from Arizona and Southern California signed autographs and took pictures with fans.

"In order for me to suit up, I have to have a higher purpose," Linting said. "I like to work with Make-a-Wish Foundation."

His suit costs about $1,200.

A chili cook-off starts at 8 a.m. today.


METRO--CRESTLINE--LAKE GREGORY--JAMBO--Stormtroopers with the 501st Stormtrooper Legion walk the parade route as thousands of people turned out for the 2008 Jamboree Parade and Festival in the Lake Gregory area of Crestline in the San Bernardino Mountains, Saturday, July 5, 2008.

METRO--CRESTLINE--LAKE GREGORY--JAMBO--Bounty hunters Jango Fett, Scott Chana of Phoenix Az.,right, pretends to put gas in Boba Fett's tank, Andy Forrester of Las Vegas, as the 501st Stormtrooper Legion unwinds after the parade. Thousands of people turned out for the 2008 Jamboree Parade and Festival in the Lake Gregory area of Crestline in the San Bernardino Mountains, Saturday, July 5, 2008.

Fourth of July/Mary Lou Retton parade Friday

FAIRMONT — The parade route for the Main Street Fairmont Fourth of July Celebration — Welcome Home Mary Lou Retton parade has been announced.

Lineup is at 4 p.m.. and the parade will start at 5 p.m.

The parade route will start at Third Street, turn down Fairmont Avenue/Adams Street, turn right at Jefferson Street, go over the Million Dollar Bridge, turn right onto Merchant Street and disband at Palatine Park.

The numbers below represent the parade line up and will be painted or drawn on the street and the location/direction follows. If you have any questions please call the Main Street Fairmont office at 366-0468.

37. Garrison Carieda of the 501st Legion — at corner of First Street and Virginia Avenue, face Virginia Avenue.

Full Article: http://www.timeswv.com/intodayspaper/local_story_185020258.html

Can't rain on our parade
By Michael Hays, mhays@pottsmerc.com

POTTSTOWN - Instead of sparklers, the wet masses along High Street held umbrellas as they watched a procession of cars and floats, horses and dogs, and people both young and old during Friday's parade.

The soggy Independence Day celebration ended Friday night, as thousands turning out despite the damp to watch the annual fireworks display.

Once again rain was an unwelcome blemish on Pottstown's Fourth of July celebration, but residents appeared to take it in stride. A light drizzle fell during the parade's early moments before falling more steadily after 11 a.m.

For a holiday honored with red, white and blue, a spattering of umbrellas in brown, black, green, orange and purple contributed to the sidewalks' visual diversity.

Tom Smoyer, a quarry worker from Bechtelsville, needed no such protection. Standing beneath a dripping gutter, a shirtless Smoyer took it all in with a cold drink in his hand.

"It ain't that bad. People take showers all the time. It's just a drizzle," he said.

Smoyer had a bit of the revolutionary spirit in him on this Independence Day, saying it might be time for another protest similar to the Boston Tea Party. He'd like to see gas prices drop to $2 per gallon, even if for just a couple of months.

"Give at least the working man a break," Smoyer said.

In 1978, Pottstown held its first community-wide Fourth of July celebration. Americans were in the midst of an oil crisis, complete with rationing and long lines at the station. The federal government set the national speed limit at 55 mph - in an attempt to help people conserve gasoline - only to lift the restriction in 1995.

With a barrel of oil setting new record highs in 2008, AAA predicted there would be 400,000 fewer vehicles on the road during this holiday.

Gasoline at $4 per gallon doesn't appear to bother everyone, as several cars sat idling on side streets throughout the borough, providing both cover and air conditioning for occupants.

People sought shelter wherever they could - under trees, storefronts, carports and front porches. A small crowd gathered under the drive-up window at National Penn Bank.

Winston Kelly and Kevin Wright were among them. Although happy with this parade, both men would like to see the annual Memorial Day parade grow in both size and significance.

"We should honor the vets, but we don't," Wright said.

A more visible Memorial Day parade would bring more recognition to men and women who have served their country, they said.

"What does Darth Vader have to do with the Fourth of July?" another man asked, in reference to the unit of "Star Wars" stormtroopers, members of the Fighting 501st costuming organization, that was a small part of the parade.

Full Article: http://www.zwire.com/site/index.cfm?newsid=19831744&BRD=1674&PAG=461&dept_id=635482&rfi=8

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