Celebrate Independence Day in Issaquah with parade

June 26, 2012

By Christina Corrales-Toy

Fireworks are banned in Issaquah and surrounding areas, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of ways to celebrate Independence Day.

From Sammamish’s annual Fourth on the Plateau celebration and fireworks show, to Issaquah’s Down Home Fourth of July and Heritage Day event, there are several family-friendly options to honor the red, white and blue on July 4.

Fourth on the Plateau

The annual Fourth on the Plateau celebration, the nearest place to see a fireworks show, kicks off at 6 p.m. July 4 at the Sammamish Commons. In between that and the 10 p.m. fireworks display attendees can enjoy food hot off the grill from various vendors, children’s activities and live music.

The event is free for everyone, but there is a $5 charge for the kids’ area in the lower commons, which includes bouncy toys and face painting. Parking at Skyline High School, Sammamish Hills Lutheran Church and Mary, Queen of Peace is $5 with the money set to benefit various charities. Free parking is available at Eastside Catholic School, Discovery Elementary School, Pine Lake Park and the Sammamish Park & Ride.

Personal barbecues or grills are not allowed into the site. Event organizers also ask that all pets be left at home.

Fireworks regulations

In Issaquah, discharging fireworks is banned on Independence Day and the rest of the year. Usually, Issaquah Police Department officers issue a verbal warning for fireworks and confiscate them for a first offense. If police catch revelers setting off fireworks again, a citation is issued.

  • Residents in unincorporated King County communities, such as Klahanie and Mirrormont, face looser rules, but some restrictions apply.
  • Fireworks can be discharged only from 9 a.m. to midnight July 4.
  • Fireworks sales are legal beginning at noon June 28 until 11 p.m. and then daily between the hours of 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. through July 4. No sales can occur after July 4.
  • To purchase fireworks, you must be at least 16 years of age with picture identification.

Fireworks for sale

Issaquah Christian Church will begin selling fireworks at noon June 28 on its property at 10328 Issaquah-Hobart Road S.E. Proceeds from the sale of the fireworks will support several church endeavors including house-building in Mexico; medical missions to Uganda, Africa and Haiti; and Issaquah Christian Church Women’s Ministries.

Sales continue daily from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. through July 4

The annual Down Home Fourth of July starts with the Kids, Pets N’ Pride Parade at 11 a.m. at Rainier Boulevard North at the intersection of Northwest Dogwood Street and Front Street North. The parade travels along Front Street North to East Sunset Way, ending at Veterans’ Memorial Field.

The parade is free, but participants must register. Registration forms can be found online, at the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center or in The Issaquah Press. Registrants can also sign up at the event before the parade, starting at 10 a.m.

Robin Kelley, director of festivals for the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce, encourages participants to sign up early, though, because the earlier parade-     goers sign up, the earlier they will appear in the parade lineup.

The annual parade features hundreds of kids, parents, community members and pets. In the past, kids have brought all sorts of pets, including snakes and chickens, according to Kelley. Children are encouraged to dress in patriotic gear and decorate their bikes and wagons in red, white and blue. All participants riding bikes must wear helmets.

“It’s like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting,” Kelley said of the parade. “It’s all of the red, white and blue you can imagine in the purest sense.”

One advantage of the parade, Kelley said, is that there are very few motorized vehicles. The parade usually begins with a few cars carrying prominent community members, but after that, it’s all bicycles, wagons and people walking. Because of that, participants are allowed to throw candy toward spectators in a safe manner.

“Probably the biggest dilemma for the kids in the community is if they want to be in the parade throwing the candy, or on the curb collecting the candy,” Kelley said.

After the parade, families can take part in the many activities offered at Veterans’ Memorial Field. Inflatables, pony rides, old-fashioned races, music and vendor booths are just some of the fun things to do.

One of the more popular attractions at the event is the slug race and beauty contest. Slugs will not be provided, so participants must bring their own. Kids can dress up their favorite slugs or train them to compete in the speed race.

“Some communities have frog jumping and different things like that, but in Issaquah, the predominant local critter seems to be the slug lately,” Kelley said.

For more Independence Day fun, head over to the Issaquah Train Depot Museum where children and adults can literally get their hands on history as part of Heritage Day activities.

Children can learn more about the history of Issaquah while dressing up in historic fashions, using soap and a scrub board to do laundry, whipping cream into butter, splitting a cedar shingle in the tradition of Issaquah’s historic logging industry and more.

Erica Maniez, director of Issaquah History Museums, said Heritage Day is a great opportunity for children and adults to learn about Issaquah’s history and celebrate the community.

“It’s the largest event that we put on all year, but it’s probably our favorite one to do because it’s just fun to connect with the kids and see them getting excited about history,” Maniez said.

The event, in its 11th year, is held in conjunction with Issaquah’s Down Home Fourth of July. Activities are held in and around the Issaquah Train Depot Museum.

Issaquah’s Down Home Fourth of July and Heritage Day celebration goes from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission to the event is free.

Christina Corrales-Toy: 392-6434, ext. 241, or isspress@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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