From North County to the Coast, there was freedom and fun all around

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY — Independence Day was filled with red, white, and blue from the northern part of the county all the way to the coast this Monday.

For many, the day’s festivities started with a pancake breakfast in Templeton or Avila Beach. But some dedicated celebrators, their day began at 4 a.m. building immaculate sand castles in Cayucos, an over 30-year tradition coming back for the first time in two years. Close to 20 sculptures were created this year, compared to over 30 in 2019.

Then around 11 a.m., the county’s traditional parades were underway.


In Avila Beach, their annual Doggie Parade took place. Adorable pups dressed in their patriotic best down the promenade.

In Cayucos, there was plenty to see, from the sand castle sculptures to their first official parade since the pandemic, featuring roughly 44 floats through the center of town. The day finished with a bang, watching the fireworks show off the pier even amidst the heavy fog. 

Morro Bay hosted a Family Fun Day at Tidelands Park that included a kid’s carnival, a magic show, music, and the First Annual Red, White, and Blue Bike Parade, which was a huge success. 

Thousands flocked to Pismo Beach over the weekend, ready to celebrate a beachside Fourth of July. The weekend concluded with a spectacular firework show at dusk.

Cambria’s old-fashioned Fourth of July Festivities started mid-morning in Shamel Park. Unfortunately, due to overcast weather, their fireworks show was canceled. 

In Templeton, it was the definition of Small Town USA. Tractors, horses, and floats made their way down Main Street, which was lined with people decked out in red, white, and blue. 

“It’s a typical hometown parade. I just love that parade. It’s so special,” said Barbie Butz, a Templeton Rotary member.

As a tradition, Templeton starts the Fourth of July with their pancake breakfast at the Templeton Fire Station. This year was the station’s first year back in full hosting the pancake breakfast after two years of either canceled or modified breakfast.

“It went very well as far as everything that I heard,” said Butz.

The Fourth of July parade was started over 40 years ago by the Kiwani’s Club of Templeton, who then turned it over to the Templeton Rotary Club. This year, the Kiwanis Club of Atascadero came out to help the rotary club with the days events.

Templeton Market and Deli Manager Abby Allen was this year’s grand marshal of the parade. 

According to Butz, all of the announcers did a wonderful job narrating the parade, which included her son Dan Butz.

But what Butz loves most about the parade is that it is a multigenerational event that brings everyone together.

Later in the afternoon, families gathered at the Atascadero Lake Park for the fifth annual Atascadero Fourth of July Music Festival. 

“It was lively concert with musicians who know their craft. We are very grateful they joined us this year,” said Karen McNamara, a member of the Colony Days committee.

This year the festival brought in musical acts known for their Americana sounds as a way to celebrate Independence Day. The festival started off with the Chris Keith Band, featuring Brad Elijah, with Brittain and Silva playing a set in the middle, and the festival ended with Bremen Town.

“Some people were brave enough to dance in front of people,” Gina Ciroco, member of the Atascadero Printery Foundation.

Close to 1,000 people came and went through the park in the afternoon and evening. 

The Colony Days Committee provided a BBQ, and the Atascadero Printery Foundation poured the drinks. Apple pies were there by the Alamode by Recovering Souls and root beer floats by Boy Scouts Troop.

Proceeds from the Atascadero Printery Foundation went to the foundation, and proceeds made by Atascadero Colony Days booths will help fund the Colony Days Parade and events this fall.

The day’s activities created a very Americana atmosphere to the park.

“It was good. It looked like everyone was having a great time,” said Printery Board Member Rick Evans.

People of all ages and all over the county came out to celebrate, including several youth organizations that helped serve the BBQ food. 

“It was great to see the kids participate like that,” said Ciroco.

Almost all of the food was sold out, a clear indicator of a great day.

After an over 10-year break, Paso Robles went off with a bang, bringing back their Fourth of July Celebration at Barney Schwartz Park. The grand celebration started at 2 p.m. with music, food trucks, and plenty of activities.

Paso Robles Maintenance Superintendent and Events Manager Freda Berman said, “Everyone at Barney Schwartz Park seemed happy to be there. The concession stand and food trucks were busy, and the Kids Zone was a big hit.”

The Paso Robles Police Department was on sight all day, ensuring everyone had a safe Fourth of July.

According to Berman, people were coming throughout the park all day and drew big crowds for the fireworks.

“The event was very successful,” said Berman, “People came out for a fun day in the park, and the 20-minute fireworks show was spectacular.”

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