I wasn’t born in the United States, but I am a legal resident of the country, and thus have found its insular holidays—such as Thanksgiving, the Super Bowl, and the 4th of July—to be worth taking part in. I’m not yet sure of my plans for the upcoming Independence Day, but in this corner of the earth, opportunities abound. Read on for more.
Ever since I moved to Bellingham—and in the years when my family would start our summertime visits to Lummi Island at the tail end of June—I’ve made it a point to be within viewing distance of the fireworks display that lights up Bellingham Bay as soon as dusk has settled on the holiday that celebrates our country’s independence from Britain. This year, although the “Haggen Family 4th of July Celebration” will be somewhat shortened due to the big day falling in the middle of the week—meaning many revelers will have to return to the workday grind come Thursday morning, holiday hangover be damned—there are still many opportunities to get in on the action. Goings-on will commence at 4:30pm at Squalicum Harbor’s Zuanich Point Park, where bands such as Blessed Coast, the Primetime Band, and the Atlantics will provide the seasonal soundtrack on the back patio of the Squalicum Boathouse. Additionally, there’ll be a variety of food vendors, plenty of activities for the younger set, and an art display featuring winners from the “Essence of Bellingham” competition (I didn’t read anything about a beer garden in the press release, but I’m imagining libations will be available to those who look closely). The fireworks, which are brought to the public by Haggen and the City of Bellingham, will commence at approximately 10:30pm. Find a seat, and settle in for the show. When: 4:30-10:30pm Wed., July 4 Info: http://www.haggen.com or www.cob.org
I’m pretty sure pioneers who made their way to Washington in covered wagons didn’t blow up explosives to celebrate their good fortune, but I’m also guessing that time period is not what party planners in Blaine are referring to when they host the annual “Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration” in the border town. “Thousands come each year to experience all that is red, white and blue,” a press release for the event says. In this case, that means things kick off with a pancake breakfast, continue with a 4th of July Parade down Peace Portal Drive, and include everything from an arts and crafts street fair to a classic car show, historic Plover Ferry rides, a plethora of live music, a salmon barbecue at Semiahmoo Resort and, per usual, a “dazzling” fireworks show over Semiahmoo Bay that will end the evening with a bang. When: 8am-10:15pm Wed., July 4 Info: http://www.blainechamber.com
Not content to light up a few fireworks and call it a night, Sedro-Woolley builds up to the explosive holiday with a weeklong, citywide celebration known as “Loggerrodeo.” As the oldest continuous 4th of July celebration in the state of Washington, the five-day event has a little something for everyone. As the moniker implies, there’s a rodeo for loggers (yep, just like it sounds), but that’s just the beginning. Chainsaw carving competitions, a carnival, a bluegrass jubilee, a beard contest, a living history performance, street dances, a performance by Northwest Ballet, and a Grand Parade will be part of the festivities, and things won’t settle down until the fireworks light up the night just after dusk on the 4th of July. When: June 30-July 4 Info: http://www.loggerrodeo.com
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