The History of Independence Day and Fireworks in La Mirada E-mail
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Friday, 04 July 2014 15:23

Re-posted from 2013

The 4th of July has been celebrated in La Mirada for over 120 of our Nation’s 237 years of existence. It could be longer; this is just what we have learned from documents found during research.

In the late nineteenth century, ranch hands on Andrew McNally’s Windermere Ranch enjoyed the Fourth of July by eating cut watermelon and resting underneath the shade of pepper trees.

La Mirada Blog Facebook fan Sharon Collins-Shepard recalls the first fireworks stands appearing in La Mirada in the late 1950’s, “I moved to La Mirada in 1955. I'm thinking the first fireworks stands went up around ‘58 or ‘59. They use to have one on the corner of Valley View and Rosecrans where the Market Basket was (now a Pep Boys).”

We’re not sure what year the first organized celebration of fireworks occurred in La Mirada, but it appears to be the early 70’s.

We believe 1977 was the last year of the annual Independence Day fireworks shows at Regional Park, before it was cancelled due to crowd control issues and the famous rock-throwing incident that shut down the show.

In The Kiwanis Club of La Mirada history manual, historian Mark Royston writes the community fireworks show was resurrected eight years later in 1985 when member Ari Barendrecht suggested they organize their own event and hold it at La Mirada High School’s Goodman Stadium on July 4th of every year.

The reemergence of the event was a success.

3rd Annual La Mirada Blog Fest to Showcase La Mirada Talent E-mail
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3rd Annual La Mirada Blog Fest 2012 PosterA celebration of the La Mirada Community and its Heritage; Art Exhibit Added This Year; Last Year as Blog Fest

La Mirada~The 3rd Annual La Mirada Blog Fest will take place Saturday August 18th, 2012 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at La Mirada Regional Park, 13701 Adelfa Drive  in La Mirada.

This free grassroots event-which is changing its name to the La Mirada Olive Fest in 2013-is a celebration of La Mirada’s rich heritage and its history.

The festivities will feature live music with three bands, and an art exhibit with almost all of the performers and artists connected to La Mirada.

A meet-and-greet with La Mirada Legends, influential people from La Mirada’s past, is also scheduled. Residents and fans will have the opportunity to sit down and talk with these amazing people.

Other community organizations are expected to attend and a raffle will also take place for attendees to participate in. Prizes include: four tickets to Knott's; 2 tickets to Dodgers; 2 custom-made candle sets; 2012 edition last Blog Fest poster in frame and a custom necklace set by Sharden Creations.

The art exhibit will include a display by the Arts Colony of La Mirada, along with artists Angela Langseth, Amanda Palmer, Mario Lopez, Sharden Creations and more.

Also scheduled to be at event are Temple Beth Ohr with an “Ask the Rabbi” booth from 12-2; the La Mirada Lamplighter; La Mirada Symphony; Friends of La Mirada Library; the La Mirada Memoirs Book and more.

Scheduled Musical Acts

The Groovetones-11:15 a.m.-1:00 p.m.-Carl Agnello, drums; Steve Bravin on bass; and Steve Gage on guitar and vocals. They played at last year’s Blog Fest after forming exclusively for our event and were featured on the front page of the Whittier Daily News. Gage and Carl Agnello both played at the very first La Mirada 4th of July event in 1974 and played at Los Coyotes and Neff High school dances back in the early to mid seventies. Bravin has lived in La Mirada since 1959, played with different bands including Fuze and won first place at the La Mirada Fiesta De Artes in the seventies. The Groovetones are a classic rock band that plays numbers from The Animals, The Hollies, Robin Trower, Be Bop Deluxe, The Yardbirds, Johnny Rivers, The Beatles, The Byrds, and a host of one-hit wonders, playing what you love and grew up on.

Don Brennan-1:15 p.m.-2:30 p.m.-Don was born and raised in La Mirada. He played with Steve Gage of The Groovetones, in the 80’s with a band called Audio, playing all around Southern California. He formed The Naked Eye with former La Mirada neighbor Michele Barr and they have released 3 CD’s and won Best Folk at 2006 OC Music Awards. He released solo album in 2008. Won best Acoustic Artist at 2008 Star Music Awards. Married 29 years to Pam who he met at the old Woolco in La Mirada.  He specializes in finger-style acoustic guitar. Opened for America at the Coach House and featured in the La Mirada Lamplighter earlier this year. Currently plays all over So Cal. Website:

One of a Kind History Book for La Mirada Scheduled for Release in 2013 E-mail
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Deadline to for entries extended to September 1st, 2012

La Miradans Glen Cantrell, Raymond Fernandez, Morgan Hurley and Tony Aiello are right now working on the first ever of its kind history book along with many, many La Mirada folks who

Authors for new "real life" history book about La Mirada scheduled for release in 2013- l to r, Glen Cantrell, Morgan Hurley, Raymond Fernandez, and Tony Aiello gathered at The Carriage recently.

were raised in the same Community.

This La Mirada Community Memoirs sets a brand new standard in city history books where history will be presented factually and chronologically with the memories of our fellow neighbors who lived throughout the City.

Six decades of cherished and not so pleasant memories will be put into book format with no holds barred.

Send in your story about growing and living in La Mirada and be part of this one of a kind book to be published in 2013.

The deadline to submit your memory is September 1st, 2012. Submit your entries to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The book is currently heading over 100,000 words, making this book epic status. Join us fellow La Miradans as we remember The Courtesy Capitol of the World - La Mirada.


La Mirada, and Its News, Has Always Been a Part of Her Life E-mail
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Tuesday, 31 January 2012 19:26

Morgan Hurley, Daughter of La Mirada Lamplighter Managing Editor Dick Hurley, Remembers Early La Mirada and Welcomes the New Lamplighter. Look for this story in this weekends edition of the new Lamlighter.

When I first heard that the La Mirada Lamplighter might be stepping back into the spotlight in my beloved home town, I wasn't quite sure how I felt about that.

After all, I was born right around the time my father, Richard (Dick) Hurley really began to come into his own with the original Lamplighter newspaper.

My older brother Jet was a few years older but away each week at school in Riverside, so until my sister Palmer and brother Blaze were born five and six years later, consecutively, the Lamplighter was my only sibling.

I say sibling because even though it was my dad's profession, my household lived and breathed that newspaper and it was an intimate part of my own childhood and life from my earliest days.

As a youngster, I proudly greeted every adult I ever met with, "do you know that little green newspaper, the Lamplighter? That's my daddy's paper."

I reveled in my dad's profession, accompanying him to the office while he worked, first in the stationery store down from Thrifty's in the Mall and then in an office in Ed Spitalnick's Realty office on Adelfa.

I can still smell the ink from the typing tape on his old fashioned Remington Rand typewriter, and the loud hum of his IBM Selectric in his later years.

Dad often brought me along when he had to do a photo shoot at public events, where he always held his Yashica Mat twin lens camera arms-length high above his 5'6" frame, eyes looking up into the viewfinder, to  get the best angle and shot over the crowd.

I was one of the first (if not the first) news-girls in town in 1975. I got up at 4 am every Thursday and 6 am every Saturday to stuff, fold, rubber-band and deliver up to 50 papers on my bicycle, to my neighborhood route , sandwiched between La Mirada Blvd and the Biola Creek.

Residents Past and Present Are Invited to Submit Stories For New La Mirada Book E-mail
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Sunday, 20 November 2011 21:50

History Book About La Mirada to be Filled With Real Stories

La Mirada~People who grew up in the local suburb of La Mirada, approximately 30 miles south east of Los Angeles, now have the opportunity to share memories of their childhood experience of living in the town.

Four current or one-time residents of La Mirada ("The Mirror"), so named by Andrew McNally, the patriarchal leader of the Neff-McNally family that later produced the Rand-McNally publishing corporation, have decided to take stories from other residents through May 1st, 2012.

Work on the book will then begin in January of 2012 and the expected publishing date will be sometime in December of 2012.

The four involved in the compilation are well-known in the community in their own rights and hope to spark a large response, as a result.


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