Shortly after noon on Sunday, cars decorated with American flags, Mike Garcia posters, and red, white and blue balloons lined up in the parking lot of Furniture Now off of Valencia Boulevard for a Fourth of July car parade and “Trump flag rally” organized by the SCV GOP: Republicans of Santa Clarita.
The crowds were accompanied by music and sidewalk supporters with mini American flags, waving to the cars as they passed by. By 1 p.m., there were more than 50 cars filled with families and couples going down Valencia Boulevard participating in the car parade.
Upon cancellation of the annual City of Santa Clarita’s Fourth of July parade due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, SCV GOP decided to host a car parade starting in Valencia and ending at The Route 66 Classic Grill in Canyon Country. The attendees were accompanied by local elected officials, such as Assemblywoman Suzette Valladares (R-Santa Clarita) and City Councilmember Jason Gibbs. Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Santa Clarita) participated in an Independence Day parade in Acton, but also met with the SCV GOP parade at Route 66.
“It is marvelous to celebrate our individual independence”, said B.J. Atkins, SCV Water Board trustee and a parade attendee, accompanied by his wife, Jeannie. “We’ve lived in the Santa Clarita Valley for 54 years… and just missed the Newhall Parade, so this is the next best thing,” Atkins said.
Other attendees refused requests for comment, with one person citing concern over being “in trouble” with their place of employment. The offices of Garcia and Valladares did not respond after multiple requests for comment went to voicemail.
Local activists and Democrats took notice of a particular flag seen on a livestream provided by the radio station KHTS of a truck driving down Main Street in Newhall. The flag combined the American flag with a Confederate battle flag used by General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia (commonly mislabeled as the national flag of the Confederate States of America), according to the American Civil War Museum website, along with the rattlesnake of the Gadsden flag. The image was screenshot and shared across various social media platforms.
With former president Donald Trump no longer in the White House following his loss last November, Atkins said he believes that “come the midterms, the House [of Representatives] will go back to the Republicans, and I believe the Senate will be lost to the Democrats as well. I believe by 2024, Trump will be back in office.”
Garcia and Valladares are both running for re-election in 2022.
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