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Community rolls with Bird Rock tradition

Beaumont Avenue’s annual Fourth of July celebration is 31 years old this year, but is barely different from when it began in 1979 during the Carter administration: It’s still largely powered by little legs on trikes and bikes.

The free Bird Rock event also remains very much a neighborhood affair.

“It started with four families and was a few kids on tricycles going down one block,” said Julie Cockrell who, along with Erica Meyer, is co-chairing this year’s circus-themed fest dubbed “Under the Beaumont Big Top.”

“Instead of the greatest show on Earth, we’re saying Bird Rock is the greatest neighborhood on Earth,” Cockrell said.

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The neighborly parade continues as a community tradition.

“It encompasses the spirit of this wonderful neighborhood,” Cockrell said. “It’s a summertime event where we all get together and celebrate this beautiful place where we live — La Jolla.”

As usual, the event, funded by $20 donations per family, will include free food and drinks, free children’s activities and a live band playing patriotic music. There will be face-painting, jumpees and slides, hot dogs, lemonade and a cotton candy machine.

Though the Independence Day celebration has stayed local, it has grown. Floats are a big deal now. This year, Cockrell said, there may be as many as 30.

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“We have three awards we give to the floats, including most traditional and most creative,” she said. “We also have the Murphy Cup that goes to the best decorated house on Beaumont.”

As always, a community service award will also be given to a deserving individual. But event organizers aren’t letting on who that will be.

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