The concert benefited Colony Days’ upcoming 50th Celebration

by Christianna Marks, Camille DeVaul, and Becca Sligh

ATASCADERO — Everyone’s favorite Fourth of July music fest was back in Atascadero for its sixth year. Families, friends, and neighbors headed to the Atascadero Lake Park Band Stand on July 4 from 4 to 8 p.m. for the free Atascadero 4th of July Music Festival. The festival is this year’s kickoff for Atascadero Colony Days’ 50th Celebration.

“It’s been very festive with the bluegrass over there; that’s amazing. I feel like I’m in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. It’s really awesome. A good time,” said Colony Days volunteer Maria Smith. “People have been lovely. It’s just very family oriented.”


Photos by Rick Evans

The festival featured music primarily celebrating Americana tunes, ranging from gospel and country to rock ‘n’ roll, with a little bit of everything else thrown in too. Music began at 4 p.m. with Actual Grass. 4 on the Floor Dance Band took to the stage next, and the evening ended with the Atascadero Community Band. Both Actual Grass and 4 on the Floor Dance Band were created especially for the music festival.

“We always look forward to gigs to just enjoy the music, enjoy each other’s company. Play together,” said Joel Demir, founding member of both SLOpickers and Actual Grass.

On top of all the musical entertainment, the festival also included vendors, access to the park’s playground, food, and drinks, with the Colony Days’ booth selling out of their much-loved tri-tip sandwiches before 6 p.m.

The Atascadero 4th of July Music Festival is an annual fundraiser for Atascadero Colony Days.

“It is a fundraiser for Colony Days. One hundred percent of it [the money] goes to Colony Days,” added Smith.

Photos by Becca Sligh

Bright and early, Templeton started off the celebrations with its annual free pancake breakfast at the Templeton Fire Station. For over 40 years, the city has hosted its Templeton Fourth of July parade. It was started by the Kiwanis Club of Templeton, who then turned it over to the Templeton Rotary Club. This year’s parade theme was “United We Soar.”

Wendy Dow of the Templeton Rotary Club told Paso Robles Press/Atascadero News on parade day, “I am most excited to see the Templeton Rotary float. We’ll be at the end of a parade. We are the people that have been working hard for months to pull this parade together, partnering with the Paso in Templeton Chamber of Commerce, who is going to be handling all the activities at the park today. We are expecting the best turnout ever. We have six announcing booths this year, which is the most we’ve ever had. We also have a bus shuttle service, so the parking should be the most under control it’s ever been. We’ve got a lot of good things going on.”

The Templeton Historical Society had a booth set out selling homemade cookies, cakes, and bread to help raise funds for the museum and society.

Photos by Becca Sligh

Beth Walker from the Templeton Historical Society told us what she loves most about the towns Fourth of July traditions, “The hometown feel, the kids, the parade, the celebration in the park and all the people loving America.”

The parade strolled through Main Street with ponies, horses, mariachi band, vintage cars, and local youth groups in tow. Chad Stevens announced parade floats alongside Bobby Horn. Following the parade, the Joy Bonner Band played in the park. Pacific Harvest Catering was present for its first Fourth of July in the Park.

Jessica Litten with Pacific Harvest Catering told us during the day’s celebrations, “This has been absolutely amazing. It’s our first time here at the Fourth of July in the park, and it’s been awesome so far. We are excited to see all of the community … and we hope to do more community events.”

Wherever you were this Independence Day, we hope it was full of freedom, fireworks, and fun.

Photos by Becca Sligh