By Gregg Scott
No one is exactly sure why, but the annual migration to Chester was quite a bit larger than the past few years. Of course, the dreaded ‘Covid’ shutdown had some effect and maybe the devastation of the Dixie Fire brought many longtime visitors up to see it in person, but general consensus seems to be that both locals and tourists alike are just ready to get out and celebrate, especially on Independence Day.
By 10 o’clock on Monday morning the Main Street of Chester from the Collins Pine Lawn to the Bidwell House was packed, shoulder to shoulder, with folks waiting to watch the annual Lake Almanor Area Chamber of Commerce 4th of July Parade. The Grand Marshalls of the parade this year were riding on a 40-foot flatbed to accommodate the nine first responders that represented the hundreds plus that helped keep our community safe during the Dixie Fire. Many residents have voiced the idea that without these people we wouldn’t even be having this parade.
Fire engines and equipment from local, state and federal agencies followed their representatives on the truck with an abundance of floats and entries all thanking them. There were a multitude of classic vehicles to treat the eyes of most any car enthusiast. Equine entries are always a joy to watch, bands playing live music, gymnastic and dance teams, local businesses and service organizations and even a plethora of off-road vehicles were there, just to name a few. There was even a visit from neighboring Lassen County Royalty with 2021 Miss Lassen County Alliyah Yerington, Ambassadress Emmalee Rotlisberger and Princess Georgia Bennett attending with their entourage.
It should be mentioned that the festivities don’t stop when the parade is finished. Most attendees migrate to the Chester Park where the Lake Almanor Elks Lodge 2626 was hosting a crafts fair with music, food and entertainment added to the mix. Another reason to be at the park was to watch as the Rotary Club of Chester dumped the thousand plus little yellow ducks into the Feather River so they could swim their race in the Great Feather River Duck Race. All in all, what a day of celebration and what a great sight to see so many folks out having a good time.