Ryan Chartrand

Central Coast residents convened at Mitchell Park on Tuesday afternoon for the annual Fourth of July festival.

Children raced through obstacle courses, the San Luis Obispo County Band played in the newly constructed gazebo and city officials were subjected to a dunk tank – all in the name of the Fourth of July.

City councilman Paul Brown was one such official.

“In San Luis Obispo, it’s been awhile since we’ve done stuff (for the Fourth of July),” he said while soaking wet. He proceeded to congratulate the boy who dunked him on his great shot.

“I’m just here to get wet,” Brown said.

The festivities have been held in San Luis Obispo for the past 10 years and have been previously located at Santa Rosa Park and the Damon Garcia Sports Fields. This year, Mitchell Park was selected to honor the gazebo created by the Rotary Club.

“It’s a tradition to have an old-fashioned family event,” said Rich Ogden, recreation supervisor for the San Luis Obispo Parks and Recreation Department, which helped organize the event.

Taylor Hannula, a student at Mission College Preparatory High School, spent this Fourth of July serving snow cones to visitors.

“Last year (I was working) with cotton candy, so it was a little stickier,” she said.

The event, organized by the city of San Luis Obispo and the Rotary Club, was entirely free with the exception of the food booth.

Many locals said they enjoyed the alternative to fireworks and the competition with local beach communities.

“I think it’s great – it’s perfect small-time America,” said local resident Ron Todaro as he watched his granddaughter, McKenzie, get her face painted. “We’ll definitely bring more of the family next year.”

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