Anderson, Redding Explode This Long Weekend

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Anderson truly does explode with music, food, auto racing and, finally, fireworks for Anderson Explodes, the annual community festival on July 3 at the Shasta District Fairgrounds.

The fairgrounds gates open at 4 p.m. on Sunday, the 4-H and FFA start serving a barbecue dinner (that I never miss) around 5 p.m., and the California Air National Guard’s rock and roll band is scheduled to take to the Pepsi Stage at 6, to be followed by the National Guard’s jazz band later in the evening. The green flag flies for midget and stock car racing on the three-eighths-mile oval track at 6 p.m. Meanwhile, there are other activities for kids, as well as food and drink to enjoy throughout the afternoon and evening. Once the music and racing wraps up and darkness arrives – usually a little after 10 p.m. – the fireworks head skyward from the north end of the fairgrounds.

Best of all, admission to the fairgrounds is free. Tickets for the races cost $12, and, obviously, there’s a charge for food and beverages. But you’re free to pack a picnic (sans alcohol) and blanket, and to enjoy the afternoon and evening on the lawn or under a shade tree. Plenty of people simply stake out a spot in a neighborhood around the fairgrounds to take in the pyrotechnics. Just pay attention to the “No Parking” signs.

Last year’s Anderson Explodes was memorable because it actually did not end until July 4th. A strong, dry north wind caused postponement and then interruptions to the fireworks program, which finally ended after midnight. Sunday’s forecast is for hot, hot, hot. A breeze would feel nice during the afternoon, but let’s hope for calm conditions after sundown.

Of course, Redding’s Freedom Festival is scheduled as always for the Convention Center grounds on July 4. Five bands and the Gold Country Dancers are on Monday’s bill from 5 p.m. until just before 10, when the fireworks program is scheduled to commence. Like Anderson Explodes, the event is free of charge.

If you simply can’t wait for the booming and flashing lights to start, you may enjoy fireworks after the Colt .45s’ game at Tiger Field in Redding on Saturday, July 2. The Auburn Mudcats are in town for a three-game series, and the first pitch on Saturday is scheduled for 7 p.m. Fireworks will fill the sky after the final out.

On Today’s A La Carte menu:

Cottonwood cycling … The California Transportation Commission has allocated $276,000 for construction of a bike path along a stretch of Lake California Drive from Lake Boulevard to about the Taylor’s Wash bridge. I’m sure Lake California residents would like to see the bike path extend all the way to the front gate of their community, but this is a start. The commission also allocated $92,000 for construction of a Dorris Centennial Welcome Plaza along Highway 97 in the tiny Siskiyou County town. There’s no doubt Dorris could use the investment.

How do you say MHADAB? … Shasta County’s Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Advisory Board is seeking someone 16 to 26 years old to join the board. The ideal candidate uses some of the local mental health, alcohol or drug services that the board oversees. For an application, call 225-5900.

Coloring between the lines … Are you paying attention to the first Citizens Redistricting Commission? As I’m sure you know, state lawmakers used to draw the boundaries for Assembly, state Senate and Congressional districts. But we voters decided to hand the task to an independent citizens panel, which doesn’t give a darn about where incumbents live or how to ensure certain political parties win certain seats. What a concept! Anyway, under the first draft maps, Shasta County would fall into a new Assembly district but keep about the same state Senate and Congressional districts. Reviewing the maps some of the background information on the commission’s website seems like an appropriate activity for Independence Day.

shigley-mugshotPaul Shigley is a freelance journalist based in Western Shasta County, CA, and is not spooked by loud noises. He may be reached at

A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment.

has been a professional journalist since 1987. For 12 years, he served as editor or senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a statewide trade publication for land use planners, real estate development professionals and attorneys. Prior to that, he worked as a reporter or editor at newspapers in Redding, Grass Valley, Napa and Calistoga. Shigley's work also has appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Planning magazine, Governing magazine, California Law Week, National Speed Sport News and elsewhere. In addition, he is co-author of Guide to California Planning, a college text and reference book, and is currently working on a book for the American Planning Association about the Bay Delta and California water resources. A graduate of California State University, Sacramento, Shigley has contributed to A News Cafe since 2009. He and his wife, Dana, live in western Shasta County.
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