Peninsula: Public fireworks planned in all directions

The night sky over the North Olympic Peninsula will light up with the rockets’ red glare Wednesday during public fireworks displays in Forks, Port Angeles and Port Townsend.

Music, fun and parades — including the first parade in Port Angeles in years plus Forks’ famous “Old-Fashioned 4th of July” parade — will highlight festivities throughout the day until the boom of explosions begins about 10 p.m.

Wherever you go, pack a picnic and a blanket and plan to stake out your fireworks viewing location early. Prime spots fill fast.

Here’s what’s planned:

Forks

The holiday begins with a pancake breakfast from 8-11 a.m. at the Forks Elks Lodge, 941 Merchant Rd.

The breakfast is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and children 5 and older. Children 5 and under eat free.

* At 10 a.m. an arts and crafts show sponsored by Far West Art League will commence at Forks Middle School. The show will continue until about 4 p.m.

* Main Street hosts a Kiddies Parade through downtown at 11:45 a.m. The event is hosted by the Forks Emblem Club.

* Shortly thereafter, the grand parade makes its way through downtown.

* The Forks Lions Club sponsors its annual salmon bake at 1 p.m. at Tillicum Park.

While the salmon is being served, Heidi’s School of Dance will perform on stage starting a 1:15 p.m.

* At 3 p.m., Tillicum Park Arena opens up for the annual Fourth of July Demolition Derby. Gates open at 2 p.m. The cost is $6.

While winding down from the crunching of cars, music will be played in the park at 8:30 p.m. until dusk, when the fireworks begin.

Port Angeles

The Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce has revived a long-forgotten tradition — a Fourth of July parade.

It starts at 4 p.m. The parade’s grand marshal is Scooter Chapman, celebrating 50 years with KONP radio.

There are plenty of viewing spots on First and Front streets from which to watch the parade.

The chamber is encouraging the public to attend the parade and then walk over to the City Pier where stages will host five bands before the fireworks explode over the harbor.

You can get dinner from restaurant vendors who will have outdoor grills on the waterfront. There will be ice cream and games for kids.

The parade features 35 participants and starts at the west end of the downtown, at the intersection of Valley and West First streets.

It will feature marching groups, unusual trucks and vintage cars, fire engines, logging trucks and bike racers.’

The parade travels down First to Lincoln Street, where it makes a left toward Front Street.

Completing the downtown loop, the parade concludes when it come back to Valley.

* The 20-person Home School Band will play at the First Street Fountain from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

* The five bands at the pier:

Billy Corvette and the Smashers, 4-5 p.m.; George Snyder and the Olympic Jazzmen, 5-6 p.m.; Tongue and Groove, 6-7 p.m.; Luck of the Draw, 7-8 p.m.; The Vibratones, 8-10 p.m.

Port Townsend

Events will include a street dance, the unveiling of historic signs and a time capsule at Union Wharf, Centrum Fiddle Tunes and the Indian Island Deer Run.

A $10,000, 35-minute fireworks display will be launched from a U.S. Navy barge off the waterfront between Indian Point and the entrance to the harbor.

Jefferson Transit will have free shuttle buses from the Haines Place Park-and-Ride lot to beachfront viewing locations throughout the evening.

The fireworks are sponsored by the Sunrise Rotary Club of Port Townsend with financial assistance from other Rotary clubs and the Port Townsend Paper Corp.

* The Indian Island Deer Run kicks off Independence Day events.

From 9 a.m. to noon there’s a 12K run and a shorter walk through the dense forest of Indian Island.

Arrive at the gate to Naval Magazine Indian Island by 8 a.m. to register for the run or the walk.

Participants and their families are invited to stay for a picnic at Crane Point, but the grounds are not open to the general public this year.

For more information, contact call 360-379-5943.

* At 1 p.m., a historical bronze plaque will be unveiled at Union Wharf by Mayor Geoff Masci, part of the celebration of Port Townsend’s 150th anniversary.

Inside the base of the sign will be a time capsule, containing pieces of the city’s history, from photos to a roof tile from the courthouse.

* At 2 p.m., the first of Centrum’s Fiddle Tunes concerts kicks off in McCurdy Pavilion at Fort Worden State Park.

Four groups of performers will be on stage, from Alan Jabbour and James Reed playing “hot fiddle tunes from Virginia” to Kenny Hall playing “old-time” mandolin.

Tickets are $14; $3 for children 14 and under.

* From 5 to 9 p.m., Jefferson Transit will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a party and community street dance at the Haines Place Park and Ride.

The event will feature the music of Haywire, corn on the cob, hot dogs and soft drinks.

Afterwards, free buses will take people to see the fireworks.

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