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What: Annual Family Blast
Who: El Dorado County Fair and Placerville Speedway
Where: El Dorado County Fairgrounds, 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville
When: Thursday, July 4. Gates open at 4 p.m. Live music from 8 to 10 p.m. Fireworks show after the races at dusk
Admission: $3 per person walking in and children 6 and under are free. Parking in the tiers is $5. Per carload is $15 up to six people. For RVs it is $20 per RV under 30 feet, $25 per RV over 30 feet and $45 for RVs staying overnight on the fairgrounds and up to six people
Information: El Dorado County Fairgrounds at 530-621-5860
“The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.” (The Book of Abigail and John: Selected Letters of the Adams Family, 1762-1784, Harvard University Press, 1975, 142).
John Adams in his famous letter of July 3, 1776 to his wife Abigail expressed his thoughts about celebrating the Fourth of July and indeed the day is commemorated with all-out celebrating across the United States.
The Placerville Speedway and the El Dorado County Fair join the festivities and are putting on a worthy celebration befitting Adams’ wishes featuring racing, music, activities and illuminations on Thursday, July 4.
The annual Family Blast takes place at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville. The racing portion of the program is at the Placerville Speedway next to the fairgrounds. The speedway is hosting the annual California Sprint Car Civil War Series — an annual tradition every Fourth of July.
The grande finale of the Family Blast — the fireworks show — is scheduled to start at the completion of the races, according to Marta Viola, deputy manager for the El Dorado County Fair.
Pyro-Spectaculars of Rancho Cordova is presenting fireworks show. The nationally recognized company has been doing the Fourth of July show in Placerville for the last 10 years according to Kevin Gilfillan of Pyro-Spectaculars.
The show will have some special pyrotechnics. Some will be focused on the crowd at the races and some will be for the larger audience outside of the speedway.
“We wanted to make it exciting for the people at the speedway,” Gilfillan said.
On the bigger scene Gilfillan said the overall show will be exciting.
“This year, it’s going to be more vibrant. We’re going to have shells that have secondary effects; the shell breaks and burns in certain colors and burns out. Some will break apart and create the a shell within a shell,” he said.
Pryo-Spectaculars will be busy in the region and out-of-state on the Fourth of July. Gilfillan said the family will be in charge of firework shows in Sacramento and even in New York.
For the music part of the event features the Halie O’ Ryan All-Star Band. The El Dorado County rock ‘n’ roll band is scheduled to perform on the main stage from 6 to 10 p.m.
O’Ryan said that the band will perform cover tunes from The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Grand Funk Railroad, Janis Joplin, Pink, Triumph, Rolling Stones, Kelly Clarkston, Bonnie Raitt and the B-52s.
Members of the band are: O’Ryan, vocals; Gary Cambra, guitar; Jon Dufour, guitar/vocals; Ron Dumonschelle, keyboards; Chris Mancuso, bass; and Bobby Campbell, drums.
Camba’s name may sound familiar to 1980s music fans. He was the guitarist in The Tubes. Two of the group’s smash hits were “One In A Million Girls” and “Talk To Ya Later.”
In the past year, the band has performed at Red Halk Casino.
The band is very excited to perform at the Family Blast.
“We sure hope everyone can make it to the Family Blast,” O’Ryan said. “We are family friendly.”
There will be activities for children at the Family Blast. A maze, peddle tractors, musical instruments, and arts and crafts will be some of the things at the Fourth of July party.
There will be a combination of a bounce house that will have a small wet slide and one tall dry double slide. Wristbands will be mandatory for children playing in the bounce house and they can be purchased at the entrance gates on the fairgrounds for $5 with unlimited usage.
There will be free kids’ contests and games like blowing bubble gum bubbles, games with water balloons and a water sponge relay.
Attendees can bring blankets, lawn chairs, propane barbecues, beverages and food to enjoy at the celebration.
“We just ask attendees to not bring glass or pets,” said Viola.
People attending Family Blast can purchase hamburgers, hot dogs and kettle corn during the night. Plenty of water, as well as sodas and root beer floats will be available for purchase.
Gates open at 4 p.m. Admission is $3 per person. Children 6 and under are free. Parking in the three tiers is $5. Per carload is $15 up to six people. For RVs it is $20 under 30 feet, $25 per RV more than 30 feet and $45 for RVs staying overnight on the fairgrounds and up to six people.
For more information about the Family Blast contact the El Dorado County Fair at 530-621-5860.