Story by Quinn Manzo
Photo by Oscar Walsh
Dads Uniting Dads in Education and Service (D.U.D.E.S) is bringing the Fourth of July festivities to South Pas residents in light of the cancellation of the annual parade and fireworks show. In addition, the South Pasadena Recreation Department and the South Pasadena Arts Council (SPARC) collaborated to create a “Festival of Art” community members can walk through and enjoy.
SPPD Police Chief Joe Ortiz stated at the city council meeting on Wednesday, July 1 that any use of fireworks in South Pasadena is strictly illegal, per a countywide public health mandate.
D.U.D.E.S members will caravan around town to specific residences decked out in patriotic decorations and perform shows for patrons of South Pasadena PTA Council’s “Back2Class” fundraiser.
Donations will provide safety supplies for classrooms when they reopen next school year and are due by Friday, July 10. Residents will receive various prizes based on their donation level to the “Back2Class” cause. D.U.D.E.S hopes to support the local schools while also inspiring positive energy and celebration on the patriotic holiday.
“Everyone in the D.U.D.E.S. loves the July 4th parade, and we love bringing some fun and joy to the local events where we volunteer,” Vice President of Service Projects John Aboud said. “Nothing can replace the feeling of the usual Festival of Balloons, but we hope we can provide some excitement and help our schools at the same time.”
SPARC contributed to the festive spirit by commissioning students to paint windows of stores and restaurants with images of joyful moments or playful objects. Works include “Celebrate Together” by incoming senior Zoe Albornoz which features balloons and fireworks, and “We Are In This Together” by Molly and Scarlett Kirschenbaum depicting a rainbow and musical instruments.
Also, the Recreation Department encouraged community members to express hope and togetherness by decorating poster boards for the “Festival of Art” with the theme, “Better Together – Six Feet Apart.”
The D.U.D.E.S performances will take place at various individual residences throughout Saturday, July 4, while the community-created artwork is currently visible along Fair Oaks Avenue and Mission Street.