Fireworks, parade await Issaquah on Independence Day

June 28, 2011

On Independence Day, Issaquah residents can head downtown for the annual parade, churn butter at the Train Depot Museum, participate in a slug race or drive to Sammamish for the annual plateau celebration.

Practice fireworks safety

King County fire officials remind Independence Day revelers to use caution if they plan to discharge fireworks to celebrate the holiday.

Use only approved, legal and common fireworks from reliable state- and King County Fire Marshal-licensed retailers.

Remember: If a firework has a stick or fins, and if it goes up or if it blows up, it is illegal in Washington.

Celebrants should always have a responsible adult light all fireworks, and avoid aerial fireworks. Use eye protection, too.

Have a garden hose or a fire extinguisher handy during fireworks-related activities.

Use fireworks under outdoor conditions only, away from buildings, wood-shingled houses, trees and dry fields.

Light one item at a time, move away quickly and keep a safe distance away. Dispose of used fireworks by first soaking them in water.

If a firework does not light or discharge, adults should wait at least five minutes before approaching the device.

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 putting 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 remain legal only between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. through July 4, and no sales can occur after Independence Day.

People must be at least 16 and present a form of photo identification in order to purchase fireworks.

The annual Down Home Fourth of July begins 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 is free, but participants must fill out a form before they begin marching. Paradegoers can find the form online, or in The Issaquah Press. Registrants also can sign up the day of the event at 10 a.m. July 4 at 425 Rainier Blvd. N.

After the parade, families can plays games at Veterans’ Memorial Field and learn about Issaquah’s history from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Issaquah Train Depot Museum’s Heritage Day celebration, 50 Rainier Boulevard N.

On Veterans’ Memorial Field, children can enter potato sack, slug and three-legged races, go for pony rides and have their faces painted.

At the depot, children can get free passports and collect stamps as they visit different stations to do old-time activities, including splitting a cedar shingle, using homemade soap to scrub clothes, dressing in historic garb and whipping cream into butter. Other activities include operating an historic pump car and trying out an historic stump puller.

“I’m always a big fan of the butter, because nothing tastes quite so good as butter that you made yourself,” Museums Director Erica Maniez said.

The depot still needs volunteers. Call 392-3500 or email info@issaquahhistory.org to learn more.

Once the sky darkens, Issaquah residents can flock to Sammamish for the annual fireworks show and carnival-style gathering from 7-10 p.m. at the Sammamish Commons, near City Hall at 801 228th Ave S.E., Sammamish.

The 10 p.m. fireworks show should last between 20 and 25 minutes.

“Hopefully this year there’ll be sun,” said Joanna Puthoff, Sammamish’s facility coordinator. “As rainy as it was last year, we actually had a good amount of people show up. The plaza still ended up packed.”

The children’s play area will feature pay-to-play bouncy toys, carnival-style games and activities put on by Skyhawks Sports Camps. The celebration is located on the far end of the lower commons, but is accessible via 222nd Place Southeast.

In addition to the main fireworks event, dozens of vendors will offer food and goodies, like ice cream, elephant ears, burgers, hot dogs, kettle corn, Thai food, barbecue and smoothies. The stage on the plaza will feature music from The Pop Offs from 6-8 p.m. and Dance Factory from 8-10:15 p.m.

Parking is free at Eastside Catholic School, Eastlake High School, Discovery Elementary School, Sammamish Highlands Shopping Center, Pine Lake Park and the Sammamish Park & Ride. Parking closer to Sammamish Commons is $5 at Mary, Queen of Peace Catholic Church, Skyline High School and Sammamish Hills Lutheran Church.

“Come out and be with the people you live around,” Puthoff said. “Out of all the different shows I’ve seen in my life … it’s a great show.”

Laura Geggel: 392-6434, ext. 241, or lgeggel@isspress.com. Chris Huber: 392-6434, ext. 242, or chuber@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

Celebrate Independence Day in downtown Issaquah

June 21, 2011

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.

Read more

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce crowns royalty

May 10, 2011

Hail, King and Queen Issaquah.

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce leaders crowned Evergreen Ford employee Josh Rehn and Hilton Garden Inn employee Laurie Carlisle as king and queen for the year ahead. The pair received royal robes and salmon-shaped crowns at a chamber luncheon April 19.

King and Queen Issaquah serve as goodwill ambassadors to the community. The duo presides at ribbon-cutting ceremonies, participates in the Independence Day and Salmon Days Festival parades, and is honored at chamber events.

Nathan Perea, a former City Council candidate and Issaquah Highlands resident, and Renee Zimmerman, another highlands resident, held the royal titles in 2010.

Issaquah History Museums volunteer Stephen Grate dies in hiking accident

August 10, 2010

Stephen Grate teaches a girl at Heritage Day on July 4 how laundry was done more than 100 years ago. Contributed

Early last decade, a hiker had questions about the long-abandoned coalmines carved into the mountains surrounding Issaquah. The query led Stephen Grate to the Issaquah History Museums in 2003.

From the downtown Issaquah museum, he pored through the mining map collection and rummaged through archives to learn how the 19th century mines operated. Grate earned esteem in his final years for his knowledge of Eastside coalmining heritage and for the hikes he often led to derelict mine sites.

Grate, 52, died Aug. 6 in a hiking accident near Leavenworth. The outdoorsman died from head injuries he sustained in a fall from a rock on Asgaard Pass, a steep and challenging route in the Enchantment Lakes Basin.

The coalmining heritage brought Grate to the museums, but he also contributed to other civic and municipal organizations. Colleagues said the Renton resident brought a quiet passion to each role.

The independent computer consultant served on the Issaquah Cable TV Commission, taught a digital photography class at the Issaquah Valley Senior Center and volunteered as a docent at the historic Issaquah Train Depot. Read more

Issaquah Downhome Fourth of July Parade / July 4, 2010

July 4, 2010

Plan for downtown road closures on the Fourth of July

July 2, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. July 2, 2010

Expect downtown street closures Sunday as Issaquah celebrates Independence Day.

The city plans to close parts of Front Street, Rainier Boulevard North and East Sunset Way to clear roads for the parade during Downhome Fourth of July and Heritage Day. Expect closures to last from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The parade starts at 11 a.m. from Rainier Boulevard North and Northwest Dogwood Street.

Free activities — including games, pony rides and a slug race — follow the parade. The festival runs until 2 p.m.

Read more

Issaquah’s ready for Downhome Fourth of July

June 29, 2010

Longtime Issaquah residents have always enjoyed the low-key, family friendly Downhome Fourth of July and Heritage Day event.

To start the day off, the Kids, Pets ‘N Pride Parade will begin at 11 a.m. starting at Rainier Avenue and Northwest Dogwood Street. Kids can decorate their bikes, wagons, pets or anything else they can think of in patriotic attire and be in the parade, which will end at Veteran’s Memorial Field, according to Robin Kelley, director of festivals.

Veterans’ Memorial Field will host a number of events throughout the day, including a pie-eating contest. It is unknown what kind of pie will be eaten.

“Our goal is that it’s something that is colorful and especially messy,” Kelley said. “Parents and kids sometimes compete against each other.”

Something that has been absent in the past few years from the city’s Fourth of July celebration has been the slug speed race and beauty pageant. The event was brought back this year because of the wet spring that has not been present the past few years.

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Press Editorial

June 29, 2010

The Fourth of July is more than a parade in Issaquah. It’s a day filled with a whole lot of flag waving. Red, white and blue streamers, and bunting and T-shirts will be in the parade of kids, their assorted pets and parents. The colors of patriotism will fly from tricycles, bicycles and wagons as the menagerie walk the length of Front Street North.

But amidst the hoopla, it’s the country’s flag that will wave as much as the people lining the street to cheer on the processional.

Old Glory will be celebrated across the land. For some, it may bring memories of war days gone by. For others, it may mean a GI Bill that paved the way for a college education. Some will be reminded of the constitutional rights guaranteed to us all — free speech and a free press, the right to bear arms, freedom of religion, the right to a speedy trial, the abolishment of slavery, women’s suffrage rights and many others.

Political hacks may get excited that election time is nearing once again, while the person seated next to them is reminded of the good effort of our U.S. athletes in world competition. Some will stand in honor of the passing flags, others will place a hand over their heart. Most will keep silent, enjoying the moment of a town and its citizens that have come together to celebrate all of the above.

The Downhome Fourth of July is an Issaquah tradition, but it’s built on an American tradition — of pride, of hope, of promise.

The parade begins at 11 a.m. Hope to see you there!

City celebrates 4th of July

July 1, 2009

The Fourth of July is right around the corner and so are the festivities.

From the Heritage Day Parade to Providence Point’s annual barbecue, you can stay busy in Issaquah all day long.

But remember, when it comes to private events, you need a city permit to use or possess fireworks, since they are banned within city limits. Issaquah’s fireworks ban includes things like sparklers, cones, fountains and roman candles. Anyone caught in possession of or caught using fireworks will be cited. The city passed the ban in 1993.

Read more

City celebrates 4th of July

June 30, 2009

The Fourth of July is right around the corner and so are the festivities.

From the Heritage Day Parade to Providence Point’s annual barbecue, you can stay busy in Issaquah all day long.

But remember, when it comes to private events, you need a city permit to use or possess fireworks, since they are banned within city limits. Issaquah’s fireworks ban includes things like sparklers, cones, fountains and roman candles. Anyone caught in possession of or caught using fireworks will be cited. The city passed the ban in 1993.

Read more

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