Summer Vibes Party to rock ‘the rock’

The community-organized July 3 Summer Vibes Party runs from 4 to 11 p.m. July 3 in Town Square, the site of the Farmers’ Market.


The July 3 Street Dance is a long-standing island tradition.

“I think it was founded the year we were born,” said Heather Isabella, part of the eclectic tribe of event producers known as Island Vibes.

The beloved street dance was off for 2011 for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the missing “street” upon which to have it. In case you’re fresh off the boat, or from another planet, Winslow Way, the traditional site of the dance, is undergoing “improvements.”

For some, it was hard to imagine a long Fourth of July weekend without it.

“It’s my favorite of all the events,” said Debbi Lester – take your pick among her roles as City Council member, City Repair advocate and “Art Access” publisher. “It’s focused on the people socializing.”

She approached Island Vibes to see how they felt about co-creating an alternative event this year. It meshed perfectly with the Vibes’ mission of bringing people together around music “to celebrate the abundance of life.”

“Debbi recognized our skill and has trust in our creative sense, our ability to bring acts together,” said Isabella’s husband, Sean Matteson, who has DJ’d numerous events on the island.

“This community is unique, abundant, resourceful, creative, full of flavor. Appreciating it keeps it alive,” Matteson said.

Given the long-standing tradition of a July 3 event, a broad spectrum of islanders, too numerous to list, rallied to create an alternative event with little more than a month to plan it.

“It truly is community created,” Matteson said.

“The July 3 Summer Vibes Party steering committee has a much greater appreciation for all that BIDA and now BIDA/Chamber do for this community and know firsthand now what an enormous undertaking it is to put on an event of this scale,” Lester said.

Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce Director of Operations and Marketing Andie Mackin said she was glad the group was organizing a placeholder event this year.

Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council agreed to act as fiscal agent. Donations have been steady and any funds raised above the $6,000 budget will go to City Repair and BIAHC.

The smaller size of the site restricted the number of bands and food vendors, who were signed first come-first served, Lester said.

The event will feature island favorites Chele’s Kitchen, Ranger and the ReArrangers and Mike Sharp and the Lubricators. Headliners include a 10-piece funk band, Mutha Knows Best, and KEXP DJ “Riz.”

As a free, all-ages event, activities for kids and kids-at-heart include hula hoops, face painting, break dancing demonstrations and fire spinners. Guy Sidora is in town for a visit. Will he bring the Big Red Ball?

Proceeds from the beer and wine garden, which features Hale’s Ale and local wines, will go to Friends of the Farms.

For more information, contact


The community-organized July 3 Summer Vibes Party runs from 4 to 11 p.m. July 3 in Town Square, the site of the Farmers’ Market.

Admission is free, but funds are shy of the targeted budget by about $700. All donations are welcomed.

Tax deductible donations can be made to: Arts & Humanities Council (put July 3 City Repair on the check memo line), 221 Winslow Way West, Suite 201, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110.

Volunteers are still needed also. Contact for more information.

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