picture of the 1904 Fourth of July Parade

1904 Fourth of July Parade

The 1904 Fourth of July parade proceeded down Yosemite Avenue and, as this photograph shows, passed the Alta Hotel on C Street. The day stood in sharp contrast to the Fourth of July celebration of 1903 when deserted streets gave mute testimony to the fact that Madera did not officially observe Independence Day that year. Such was the chagrin of the business community that in 1904, Madera’s Fourth of July celebration was so elaborate that it had visitors from all over. Floats and bands came from Fresno, Merced, and Modesto. William M. Hughes was the parade marshal, and seats were set up along Yosemite Avenue with ice water barrels liberally distributed for the comfort of the onlookers. After the parade, there were the usual Fourth of July activities, complete with orations, patriotic music, and fireworks. Madera had learned a lesson—nature abhors a vacuum. Never again would it allow Independence Day to go by without a proper observance. (Madera ImagesBill Coate)

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