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What goes up...

Grand Old Fourth Parade on Bainbridge Island.  - File photos
Grand Old Fourth Parade on Bainbridge Island.
— image credit: File photos

A look at Independence Day Events across the county, lighting the proverbial fuse for Fourth of July.

Whether you’re looking for good patriotic conversation over a pancake breakfast, a cold beverage and a rolling celebration or just a place to sit and enjoy freedom bursting in air, Kitsap is the place.

A conglomeration of socially sovereign states in itself, Kitsap is somewhat of a microcosm of the United States, replete with a variety of immigrants, new age whigs and full-fledged patriots.

The area’s Independence Day celebrations are as diverse as the county itself. From the traditional small-town pancake breakfast and parade in Keyport, to the week-long 41-year-old Fathoms of Fun festival with a carnival and street vendors in Port Orchard to the “zaniest small town parade in America,” replete with a brigade of red, white and blue basset hounds for the Grand Old Fourth on Bainbridge Island, Kitsap’s true colors definitely come out on July 4.

Or July 3 for those who embrace individuality in Poulsbo.

With those thoughts in mind, What’s Up has compiled its annual list of what’s up this year with the county’s four largest celebrations —?Third of July/Fireworks on the Fjord in Poulsbo, Fathoms Of Fun in Port Orchard, Grand Ole Fourth on Bainbridge Island and Kingston’s Fourth of July.

Third of July/Fireworks on the Fjord in Poulsbo

“Yes, it really is the third,” the event’s website, proclaims.

Each year Poulsbo, affectionately known as Little Norway, celebrates the Fourth in its own unique way —?on July 3. Possibly a remnant of the town’s quirky heritage, or perhaps just a way to avoid competition with the celebration to the north in Kingston, each year the Poulsbo waterfront is alight with fun-for-the-whole-family events on the waterfront and, of course, Fireworks on the Fjord (or Liberty Bay). The family fun begins at noon with fireworks at dusk.

On the docket this year along with the town’s traditional eating contests, vendor booths and fireworks at dusk, the Bremerton Symphony will be coming to Poulsbo for a special Centennial Pops Concert at Kvelstad Pavilion at 7 p.m.


Kingston’s Fourth of July

Perhaps out of a bit of jealousy toward its neighbors to the south, or perhaps just because it’s simply gotten that big, the Kingston Fourth of July celebration, one of the oldest in the county, expanded to two days last year, July 3-4.

It remains so this year as the iconic Tiny Town, a village of crafts and activities for kids set up in Mike Wallace Park, opens at 10 a.m. July 3. That day the stage will feature local talent in addition to the traditional slug races and pie-eating contests.

Not to mention those enormous inflatable slides.

For Independence Day proper, Kingston kicks it off with the traditional pancake breakfast at 8 a.m., followed by the small-town parade at noon and a variety of local music starting at 4 p.m., in Marina Park, headlined by the rock and soul band Freddie Pink from 8:30 p.m. to dusk.

And then the fireworks over Apple Tree Cove.

Fathoms of Fun in Port Orchard

Port Orchard hosts its parade and festivities even earlier than Poulsbo, typically the weekend before the Fourth of July. So, if you weren’t there, you already missed the famed Fathoms of Fun Parade and the horseshoe tournament, foot race, street fair and the new street scramble that went along with it last weekend.

However, the carnival at waterfront park is still up through July 5 and around 10:30 p.m. July 4, Wave Broadband presents the Sinclair Inlet Fireworks Show, visible from PO as well as Bremerton over the inlet with an estimated 60,000 spectators.

Grand Old Fourth on Bainbridge Island

This year, as the Island’s annual Fourth of July shindig turns 41, organizers are putting a spotlight on the generation that started the self-described “zaniest small town parade in America.”

It’s hard to attest that as fact, in fact, it’s hard to put into words just what would make Bainbridge’s Independence Day Parade the zaniest in America. Suffice to say What’s Up received an official press release from one of its more quirky entries — the Bainbridge Island Basset Brigade.

Anyway, the parade this year is themed “A Tribute to the Fabulous Fifties” featuring poodle skirts and Buddy Holly glasses galore in the mile long parade.

Also new this year, there will be a Bohemian Village set up in Winslow Green featuring a juried art fair and beat poetry from local artists. And there will also be a Teen Take Over street dance following the parade on Winslow Way featuring local high school bands Army Corps of Architects and Lumberjack.

The adults take over Winslow for their street dance the night before.

Other grand old attractions include the annual street fair on Bjune Street near waterfront park, kids games and entertainment inside the park, the Classic Car Show and a beer garden complete with a Hank Williams Jr. cover band.

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