Celebrate Independence Day in downtown Issaquah

June 21, 2011

By Laura Geggel

Children with pet dogs, cats, hamsters, chickens or snakes are invited to dress them up and register them for the Down Home 4th of July & Heritage Day celebration.

The annual parade boasts hundreds of pets sporting patriotic colors and children on decorated bicycles.

One year, “One of the groups was a tap-dancing group, so they did tap-dancing routines on cookie sheets,” Pauline Middlehurst, Issaquah Chamber of Commerce spawnsor manager, said.

Registration is free for the 11 a.m. Kids, Pets N’ Pride Parade, but participants must fill out a form before they begin marching. Paradegoers can find the form online, or in The Issaquah Press. Registrants can sign up the day of the event at 10 a.m. July 4 at 425 Rainier Blvd. N.

All bicycling participants must wear a helmet. Children and teenagers in the parade can also throw candy, though they must supply the sweets themselves.

After the parade, a celebration will entertain the whole family. Children will find activities at Veterans Memorial Field, including potato sack and three-legged races, pony rides, live music and face painting.

If you go

Down Home 4th of July & Heritage Day

  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 4
  • Downtown Issaquah and Veterans’ Memorial Field
  • 140 E. Sunset Way
  • Register for the parade, volunteering, garage sale or for a booth at www.salmondays.org or by clipping out the form in The Issaquah Press.

They can also bring their slimy mollusk friends.

“We have a slug race, and they’ll compete in heats,” Middlehurst said.

Slug tamers will place their pets in the middle of a target sign. The first slug that makes it to the outer circle wins.

“They need to start training them now so they’re really fast,” Middlehurst joked.

Slugs can also enter a beauty pageant, with their decoration left to the discretion of their owner.

Children and teenagers must find their own slugs, and they can bring multiples.

“It’s B.Y.O.S. — bring your own slug,” Middlehurst said.

The parade and festival still need volunteers, who can also register online.

“We need big muscles for set up and tear down, and we need people to play with the kids,” Middlehurst said.

Volunteers who are at least 14 years old can also help decorate Veterans Memorial Field with red, white and blue; paint faces; help with the retail booths; or organize the children’s activities.

The festival also lends itself to shoppers. For $20, sellers can buy a 10-by-10-foot space for a garage sale. Local businesses, nonprofit organizations, restaurants and artists can buy booth space from $20 to $150.

Children and adults can learn more about Issaquah’s history at the Heritage Festival. The festival will present antique logging machinery, old-fashioned butter making and a dressing up station for children.

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