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Rancho Cordova’s Patriotic Fourth of July Tradition Continues

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RANCHO CORDOVA -- The city of Rancho Cordova may be one of the most patriotic cities in Northern California.

Home to former military base, Mather Field, the city hosts one of the largest fireworks shows in the region, a carnival, a red, white and blue 5K color run and a parade.

Mara Anderson and her two friends wore matching tutus to show their patriotic spirit.

"You feel like you're in the parade when you run down the main street. It's my favorite run of the year," Anderson said.

Runners were splashed by colored corn starch until they finished at Mills Middle School.

Meanwhile, in the parade staging area, Guardian Knights Drum Corps members held one last practice.

The nonprofit group began as a "stop the violence" campaign 25 years ago. Now they are hoping to win the $5,000 grand prize for the first-ever marching band competition, funded by the city's half-cent sales tax.

"We're going against high schools that have programs. This is our program. This will enable us to do the things like rent a school so we have a place to practice when it rains," said Ron Norman, band director of the Guardian Knights Drum Corps.

They are one of 70 organizations representing at the 32nd annual parade.

The energy, patriotism and excitement are what bring Carol Henderson and a few of her 18 grandchildren back every year.

"I love Rancho, and this is the best parade I've been to here in Sacramento, in years," Henderson said.

After the  parade, the carnival opened at 11 a.m. It has everything from the games to rides and food. In the evening, comes the main event.

"Fireworks. Rancho Cordova has the best fireworks," Henderson said.

It is something the mayor of Rancho Cordova says he is very proud of.

"We've got the Fourth of July fireworks show, but this is the region's largest parade. And we're the only two-day festival we know of. So there is something for everyone here," said Rancho Cordova Mayor David Sander.

The Fireworks Spectacular begins at 9:30 p.m. at Hagan Park .