NCW — Independence Day means eating red, white, and blue turbo rocket Popsicles in the backyard with your brother. It’s your grandma’s faded American flag T-shirt, watching your father light fireworks while wearing a mosquito net. Like us, local towns have their own traditions. They embrace diversity in celebration of the same idea. While we feast on stacks of pancakes that rival Lincoln’s top hat or enjoy fireworks, let’s remember that the struggle for the freedoms we enjoy today was not like the pretty bursts of sound and color we’ll see in the sky.
The celebration begins on Thursday at 1 p.m. with food and craft vendors in Walla Walla Point Park. Live music and entertainment will begin at 4 p.m., followed by fireworks at about 10:15 p.m. Link shuttles will run from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. from Shopko on Maple Street to the Blue Bird parking lot on Walla Walla Avenue for transportation to the free fireworks show.
On Thursday, West Coast Glass will present the Getaway — the new name for the commercial area that includes West Coast Glass, Ra food truck, and Osprey Paddleshack at the south end of Walla Walla Point Park. There will be glass art demonstrations, studio tours, and kayak and canoe rentals. Gates and the beer garden open at noon, live music begins at 6 p.m. Tickets cost $3.
The splashes made by cannon-ballers and high-divers at the Brewster Pool may rival the fireworks display. On Thursday, there will be free swimming at the Brewster Pool from 1 to 4 p.m., food booths in Columbia Cove Park, and a parade down Seventh Street at 11 a.m. The fireworks will begin at dusk at Columbia Cove Park. For more information, call 689-3464 or visit brewsterchamber.org. Chelan Saturday’s “Rockin’ Fireworks” display doesn’t need amps to jam. The fireworks will begin at about 10 p.m. and last for about 20 minutes. Viewing the show on the lake, from downtown Chelan, Don Morse Park, Lakeside Park, or throughout Chelan’s lower basin area will feel like a front row seat.
Our country is blessed with good-hearted family competition. Family games begin at 10 a.m. on Thursday at the Chesaw Rodeo Arena and include a cross country saw contest, egg toss, nail driving for speed contest, three-legged race, and wild cow milking contest. There is no entry fee. The parade will line up at 12:30 p.m. and the rodeo begins at 1 p.m. Kids can ride a calf or team up with a buddy to catch one and tie a ribbon on its tail. Little tykes can catch chickens and take them home. For more information, call 485-2103 or 485-3223.
On Saturday, come to downtown Conconully for festivities on Main Street. Registration for the parade and car show begins at 9:30 a.m. and lasts until 11:30 a.m. Children’s games begin at 11 a.m., the old west gunfight begins at 1:30 p.m., the parade at 2 p.m., and the duck race at 5 p.m. For more information, call 826-9050 or visit conconully.com. Ephrata Winning America’s independence wasn’t a hole-in-one, but at Oasis Park’s golf tournament, you can putt to celebrate. Golfers of all ages and levels of experience are welcome to participate in this fun, patriotic event on Thursday. To honor the occasion, hole marker flags have been replaced with American flags held by uniformed soldiers of the local National Guard’s 1161st Transportation Company. Sign up begins at 9 a.m. at Oasis Park’s office. Teams will be drawn as a four-person scramble at 10 a.m., followed by an immediate start. Free hotdogs and sodas will be provided after the tournament. This event costs $1 per person, plus $10 for nine holes or $15 for the entire day. For more information, call 754-5102 or visit oasisrvandgolfcourse.com.
Who knew a small town of about 700 people could bake the world’s largest cherry pie? Have a slice for free at noon on Thursday. The festivities will take place at the George Community Park and include the Cherry Bomb Run, breakfast at the George Community Hall kitchen, a patriot presentation, an open air market with food and kid’s games, the Stars, Bars & Classic Cars Show, and a parade. There will be on-stage entertainment throughout the day, including the Line-Dancing Grannies and Darnell Scott & Desert Blues Band. This free event will end with fireworks at dusk. For more information and a complete schedule, visit georgecommunityhall.com or call 785-3401.
Grand Coulee Dam
The Festival of America from Thursday through Saturday will feature arts and crafts, food, a car show, and live musical entertainment on two outdoor stages at the lower park next to the Grand Coulee Dam Visitor Center. Laser light shows are performed nightly at 10 p.m. on the face of the dam. There will be fireworks over the dam after the laser light show on Thursday. For more information, call 633-3074 or 633-9265.
Life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness — and bouncy houses. At Kinderfest, revolutionaries can enjoy arts and crafts, games, and entertainment for free in downtown Leavenworth from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m on Thursday. For more information, call 548-5807. On Saturday, enjoy “Red, White, and Blues” at Thousand Trails in Plain from 1 to 9 p.m. The event costs $6 for members and $7 for encore and includes a costume contest, baseball, kite-making, tug of war over the creek, a watermelon relay in the pool, and more. There will be a blues concert in the evening featuring the Darnell Scott & Desert Blues Band. For more information, call 763-2020.
Your mother may have scolded you for spitting, but at Allisons of Manson on Thursday at 2 p.m., your saliva-flinging expertise could win you a prize at the cherry pit spit competition. From 2 to 4 p.m., bring kids and bikes to downtown Manson to watch or take part in the parade. Fill up on the Kiwanis BBQ Chicken Dinner at the Manson Grange from 2 to 7 p.m. and enjoy music in Manson Bay Park featuring the Lake Boys at 7 p.m. The day will conclude with fireworks over Manson Bay at 10:15 p.m. For more information, call 687-9505.
The fireworks display will take place on Thursday at dusk over Lake Osoyoos. The best viewing point is from Deep Bay Park, but the fireworks can be seen from many locations around town. For more information, visit orovillewashington.com
At Smokiam Days, enjoy music, food, and craft vendors in East Beach Park Friday through Saturday. Before the 11 a.m. parade Saturday, feast on pancakes, eggs, ham, orange juice, coffee, and tea from 7 to 10 a.m. at the Soap Lake Senior Center. Breakfast costs $5 per person. Check in, line up, and judging for the parade begins at 9 a.m. in front of McKay Rehab. There will be a horseshoe tournament in the park at noon and an art show at the Soap Lake Art Museum from 7 to 11 p.m. On the Notaras Lodge lawn there will be an apple wood baked salmon and rib feed from 2 to 7 p.m. During the feed, a raffle will be held for $500. After fireworks at dusk over the lake, perhaps the raffle winner will buy his fellow patriots a beer. For more information, call 246-1660 or visit soaplakeforlocals.com
The Methow Arts Festival doesn’t need fireworks — they have people dressed in spark-themed costumes with torches and flaming headdresses to light up the day. After the 11 a.m. parade downtown on Thursday, about a dozen art booths will fill Twisp River Park. Make a wooden boat, painted lantern, leather cuff bracelet, sand mandala, or magic scroll. The event will last from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., featuring live music, food, dancers, a pie eating contest, and baby goats. Admission is $5 for kids and $6 for adults. For more information, call 997-4004 or visit methowvalleyarts.org.