Images of Independence Day From Across California

3 weeks ago 9

U.S.|Images of Independence Day From Across California

California today

Tuesday: A newly reopened state celebrates.

Jill Cowan

July 6, 2021, 8:51 a.m. ET


A Fourth of July parade in Ojai on Saturday.
Credit...Clara Mokri for The New York Times

Good morning.

Across California over the weekend, there were parades and fireworks — legal and not. Families had beach barbecues and flew American flags. Dogs were dressed for the occasion, and so were their people. Campers hiked in national parks, visitors lined up for Dole Whips at Disneyland, and children pressed their masked faces to the glass of the penguin exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

The Fourth of July weekend felt like a preview of the summer to come in California, without limits on businesses or gatherings. In fact, this year, Gov. Gavin Newsom and state tourism officials have been trying to juice back up what was a $145-billion-a-year industry.

Tourism officials have framed vacationing in California by Californians as a kind of act of local patriotism.

It was a stark contrast with the holiday last year, when officials were pleading with residents to forego traditions, to stay away from loved ones in the face of a surge of coronavirus cases.

But some enduring fears lingered.

Public health leaders have warned of the risks of the more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, especially for unvaccinated Californians. Officials across the country, including in California, described a violent weekend. The threat of bigger, destructive wildfires continues to loom. And we’re still in a devastating drought.

Nevertheless, the memory of the past year made the festivities this year more poignant.

“We missed out on so much missed memories, missed moments, missed celebrations and birthdays, you know, and that this year now we can get back to life,” Dr. Jerry Abraham told The Los Angeles Times in this feature about the meaning of the holiday. “So that to me is freedom. That to me is independence.”


Credit...Clara Mokri for The New York Times


Credit...Tracy Barbutes/Reuters


Credit...Clara Mokri for The New York Times


Credit...Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group, via Associated Press


Credit...Noah Berger/Associated Press

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Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from U.C. Berkeley and has reported all over the state, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles — but she always wants to see more. Follow along here or on Twitter.

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