EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been corrected to delete the demolition derby and fireworks show originally planned in Forks on Tuesday. Both were canceled because of a fire at the end of Bogachiel Way.
The Fourth of July burst out all over the North Olympic Peninsula on Tuesday.
Port Angeles welcomed the USS Momsen and its crew during its special edition Fourth of July celebration with the theme of “Anchored in Tradition, Sailing Toward the Future,” to mark the 100-year anniversary of the Port of Port Angeles.
The crew led free tours of the ship from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and sailors participated in activities throughout town, including its parade at 6 p.m.
In the 11 a.m. cornhole tournament at Pebble Beach Park on the Port Angeles waterfront, 24 teams, including four teams of sailors from the USS Momsen, competed in a double-elimination tournament.
“Twenty-four teams, double elimination rounds, the first team to 21 wins!” yelled Port Angeles Deputy Mayor Brendan Meyer into the PA system, kicking off the tournament.
By about 1:30 p.m., the tournament had dwindled down to the losing teams from the first round and the winning teams from the first round facing off.
The excitement even drew the attention of Port Angeles’ own friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
“I want to thank America’s hero, Spider-Man, and of course our friends from the U.S. Navy,” Meyer said to cheers and applause from the crowd gathered to watch the tournament.
Sailors in their dress whites could be seen on every street in Port Angeles, engaging in the day’s activities or just stopping to chat with residents and visitors alike.
“It’s been really cool to chat with people and just get involved in the community events,” said one sailor who declined to be identified. “I know a lot of us are looking forward to being at the baseball game tonight.”
Sailors were invited to the Lefties Tuesday night game, during which the Navy Northwest Brass Band of Naval Base Bangor in Bremerton was set to kick off the game with the National Anthem.
The band first hit the stage at City Pier, where crowds of young and old gathered to listen as they enjoyed treats from local vendors.
At The Gateway transit center, sailors engaged with kids and families in making flags and playing games.
“It’s great to have them here and overall to see everyone out here after the last few years,” Port Angeles resident Joanne May said.
A Lawnmower Derby on City Pier preceded the downtown parade, which included the three port commissioners — Connie Beauvais, Colleen McAleer and Steven Burke — who served as grand marshals.
At 8 p.m. was a concert on City Pier followed by a fireworks show at Pebble Beach at dusk.
In Forks, among the events were an 8 a.m. Garrison Flag Raising at Tillicum Park by the mayor and U.S. Coast Guard Station Quillayute River, a kiddies parade, vendors, arts and crafts show and salmon bake.
The Grand Parade moved through town at noon.
Sequim residents gathered at Carrie Blake Park for a free concert of patriotic music by the Sequim City Band that included a color guard presentation by the Dungeness Unit of the Cadet Color Guard of the Civil Air Patrol.
At 5:30 p.m., the Buck Ellard Band performed, followed by Black Diamond Junction at 8 p.m., leading up to a fireworks show at dusk.
In Port Townsend, Fiddles on the Fourth, the 2023 Fiddle Tunes Festival, entertained at the McCurdy Pavilion at Fort Worden in the afternoon while the Port Townsend Summer Band and the Community Chorus of Port Townsend and East Jefferson County provided a free program of patriotic music in a Fourth of July concert at Pope Marine Park in the evening.
In Port Hadlock, live music was performed at the Old Alcohol Plant Inn.
Reporter Ken Park can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.