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Bam! Boom! Bang! Your guide to celebrating the Fourth of July in Kitsap County | Kitsap Week
If our Founding Fathers had known that we would celebrate Independence Day with pancake breakfasts and fun runs, would they have made a provision in the Declaration of Independence for: Life, liberty and unlimited maple syrup and Bengay?
What: Tiny Town is a place where kids can have some old-fashioned fun such as three-legged races, pie-eating contests and slug races.
When: Tiny Town opens on Saturday and runs through Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (It will close during Monday’s parade, but will reopen after the singing of the National Anthem.)
Where: Kola Kole Park, 26096 W. First St., NE.
Good to know: No need to bring your own slug, the Slug Wranglers will wrestle one up for you.
Info: For a full list of activities and times visit www.kingstontinytown.com
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What: Kingston’s Got Talent (a spin-off from the television series).
When: 1 p.m. on Saturday
Where: Kola Kole Park, 26096 W. First St., NE.
Good to know: Juliet Deggendorfer, vice president of Kingston’s 4th of July celebration, said, “I’m a big believer in giving someone a stage and an audience if they desire.” Previous winners include a dancing sisters duo and a vocalist. This year’s winner will perform on the big music stage on July 4.
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What: Open-mic time for anyone who wishes to perform.
When: Saturday at 7 p.m.
Where: Mike Wallace Park at the Port of Kingston Marina.
Good to know: Depending on the number of acts, performers will be limited to 20 minutes.
When City Council member Debbi Lester heard the annual July 3rd Street Dance was cancelled this year (due to a number of reasons, such as the downtown construction project and volunteers stretched too thin because of the overlapping Rotary Auction), she didn’t take the news well. Instead, she decided to put her organizing skills to use, recruit some like-minded people and continue the tradition.
And while it’s an open event, typically only folks who live on or near Bainbridge Island attend.
“July 3rd is our time as a town to come together,” Lester said. One could say July 3rd is the rehearsal dinner for the giant event on the Fourth.
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What: The Summer Vibes Party features live music from the 10-piece funk band Mutha Knows Best, Chele’s Kitchen, DJ Riz from KEXP and more. Performances by break dancers, fire spinners and Guy Sidora with his big red ball. The party features a beer garden and food vendors. Children’s activities include face painting, chalk art and hula hooping.
When: July 3, from 4-11 p.m.
Where: Town Square (between City Hall and the Bainbridge Performing Arts)
Good to know: “This is a park and walk event, don’t even try to park nearby,” Lester said. She said if you try to park near downtown, you will end up getting frustrated. Instead, plenty of parking can be found at the high school, library and Eagle Harbor Church. It is a zero-waste event; all vendors will serve recyclable and compostable products.
What: Red, White and Blue Breakfast
When: Sunday, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Where: Greater Hansville Community Center.
Good to know: An annual tradition in Hansville, the Community Center will once again cook an all-you-can-eat breakfast. Come enjoy your fill of pancakes, scrambled eggs, ham, fruit, juice and coffee at a reasonable price.
What: Tiny Town continues (see listing under Saturday).
Poulsbo is known for its Viking heritage and for celebrating the Fourth of July one day early, and this year will be no different.
According to longtime Poulsbo resident Cheryl White, who wrote an article about Poulsbo’s 3rd of July for the Sons of Norway Lodge newsletter in 2010, this annual tradition began with the Navy.
“For many years, the Naval Station at Keyport put on a splendid display of fireworks for naval personnel and employees on the Third of July,” she wrote.
“The crowds enjoying the fireworks grew bigger and bigger each year until the roads in Keyport could barely handle the traffic.”
She said the Navy approached Poulsbo city officials to see if they could take over the event and they agreed. It has now grown into an afternoon and evening full of musical acts and vendors selling tasty treats.
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What: 3rd of July celebration with live music and entertainment, including cloggers and patriotic music. The day culminates with a fireworks show over Liberty Bay.
When: Sunday beginning around noon and ending after the fireworks show. Fireworks are scheduled to begin around 10:15 p.m.
Where: Entertainment will be performed at Kvelstad Pavilion at Muriel Iverson Williams Waterfront Park. Vendors will line along the parkway next to the park.
Good to know: Children’s activities this year include a giant slide and pony rides.
The fireworks are choreographed to music, which can be heard through loud speakers at the water front park. For those viewers not near the park, the music can be heard on KITZ 1400 AM radio.
Organizer Ron Krell encourages people to use shuttle bus transportation. Shuttle buses will pick up people at College Marketplace (Home Depot/Walmart area) as well as North Kitsap High School, Poulsbo Middle School and Poulsbo Elementary. Round-trip cost is $2 for those older than 5.
“July 3 is an unique celebration,” Krell said. “And if you really like fireworks, you can go again somewhere else on the Fourth."
In its 44th year, the Grand Old Fourth of July puts on a day of celebration for the island and beyond. Ferries are full of visitors who choose to celebrate the Fourth of July in a small-town manner.
Jeff Brien, an organizer of the event for the past 18 years, said, “If anyone is nostalgic for the good ol’ days, this is the place to be. You don’t get much more authentic than (the Grand Old Fourth).”
The event is not commercially overdone, he said. The parade still has dogs and kids on bicycles. The theme of this year’s event is “Small town, big heart.”
Bainbridge Island has had some struggles this year with the ongoing construction of Winslow Way, the main street through downtown. Because of the construction, the parade route will be slightly altered this year, although Winslow Way will still be open for pedestrian traffic.
What: Grand Old Fourth of July, in downtown Winslow.
When: Festivities kick off with a pancake breakfast from 7-11 a.m. in the Town & Country parking lot. Street Fair (with more than 100 booths) opens from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Other highlights of the day include a family fun run, classic car show and entertainment at the Waterfront Park stage. (If you missed Valentines Performing Pigs last weekend in Port Orchard, you have another chance to see them at 11 a.m.)
There will be live music throughout the day. The parade begins at 1 p.m. Fireworks will light up the sky over Eagle Harbor around 10 p.m.
Where: All events take place in downtown Bainbridge, everything is consolidated in the downtown core, allowing people to walk from one event to another.
Good to know: Shuttle buses will pick up riders at First Baptist Church (on the corner of Madison Avenue and State Route 305), and Kitsap Bank and Ace Hardware (both on High School Road). Buses will run every 15 minutes from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
New this year is a pizza-eating contest at noon at Waterfront Stage. The parade route will begin at 1 p.m. on Madison Avenue (as usual) and continue down Madison, past Winslow Way, turning left onto Bjune Drive. Synchronized music to the fireworks show can be heard on 107.3 FM.
What: Keyport Fourth of July Celebration.
When: Community Pancake Breakfast from 8 a.m. to noon; parade begins at 1 p.m.; free barbecue and old-fashioned family games from 2-4 p.m.
Where: The food-centered events take place at Keyport Bible Church, 15270 Washington Ave. The parade begins at the fire station on Pacific Avenue.
Good to know: Children and adults are welcome to march in the parade.
What: Feel the Magic 4th of July Celebration.
When: Tiny Town opens at 10 a.m.; parade at noon; Musical Festival at 4 p.m.; fireworks at dusk.
Where: Tiny Town is located at Kola Kole Park, 26096 West First St., NE; Musical Festival is at Mike Wallace Park, Port of Kingston Marina.
Good to know: Pancakes will be flipped at the Kingston Cove Yacht Club Fourth of July Pancake Breakfast beginning at 8 a.m. Runners will lace up their shoes for the annual fun run. A special Fourth of July Farmers Market will take place at Mike Wallace Park from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fireworks will illuminate the sky over Apple Tree Cove around 10:15 p.m.
Organizer Deggendorfer said the Fourth of July committee came up with this year’s theme during last year’s firework show. “The event came together like magic,” she said. “We (the organizers) had a big sigh of relief. It truly was magical.”
What: Fathoms O’ Fun Festival.
When: Beginning at noon, continuing through the fireworks show over Sinclair Inlet.
Where: Musical acts perform in the gazebo at Port Orchard Waterfront Park. Scheduled acts include Christian rock, children’s music and classic rock.
Good to know: The fireworks show can be viewed from Port Orchard to the Naval Shipyard in Bremerton. In past years, the fireworks show has drawn crowds of more than 60,000.
With the assortment of Fourth of July activities to be had in Kitsap, county commissioners may want to consider adopting as our motto “The Land of Red White and Blue.”