The imminent four-day fiesta that is the “Grand Old Fourth of July” on Bainbridge is set to include some brand new attractions as well as all the beloved traditions that have long made the patriotic palooza the tentpole of the island’s cultural calendar.
This year marks the 51st year the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce will host “the island’s biggest party,” which reportedly attracts between 25,000 and 30,000 people.
The 2018 Grand Old 4th includes all the tradition’s traditional elements: the pancake breakfast, all-day street fair, Fun Run benefiting Bainbridge Youth Services, the classic and antique car show, live music, lots of food, the Kids’ Zone, photo club exhibit at Waterfront Park Community Center, beer-and-wine garden, a party-capping fireworks show by Bainbridge Fireworks, and plenty of family fun across the island.
New to the party this year: “Da Train,” miniature trackless train rides; and the return of the pizza eating contest, sponsored by the award-winning That’s a Some Pizza, now with three separate age groups competing, each with a grand prize of free pizza for a year.
A full event schedule and information about parking, shuttles, street closures and more is available at www.GrandOld4th.com.
Saturday, June 30
The 58th annual Bainbridge Island Rotary Auction & Rummage Sale returns to Woodward Middle School from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The annual tantalizing preview night will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 29.
Visit www.bainbridgerotaryauc tion.org for all the details.
Last year’s event set a record, raising more than $585,000, and officials expect this year to be even bigger and better.
Sunday, July 1
The annual free Boaters Fair will once again take over the city dock in Waterfront Park from 4 to 7 p.m.
Learn how to do knot-tying, watch a helicopter rescue demonstration, and meet the women of team “Sail Like A Girl” who competed in this year’s Race to Alaska, a 750-nautical mile race from Port Townsend to Ketchikan, Alaska.
Learn about the Bainbridge Island Police Department’s Marine Services Unit. Tour the 33-foot “Marine 8,” used for search-and-rescue missions, vessel assistance and environmental response, and also check out “Marine 11” – an 18-foot vessel that is often used for boating safety checks, boater education and enforcement of “No-Wake Zones” around Bainbridge Island;
Meet Grant Winther, who started Boater’s Fair nearly 20 years ago when he and his comrades at the USCG Auxiliary Flotilla 4-8 started the event to teach people about boating safety;
Come aboard and celebrate FELICITY ANN — a 23-foot wooden boat previously owned by the first woman to make a solo Atlantic crossing in 1953. The newly-restored vessel is now homeported in Port Hadlock and is on a “Victory Lap” this summer in the Salish Sea with an all-women crew.
Visit www.bainbridgewa.gov/boatersfair to learn more.
Tuesday, July 3
The July 3 Street Dance will overtake Winslow Way from 6 to 11 p.m., with live music, food booths, dancing and family-friendly fun.
Bring your family and friends to this traditional event, now in its 31st year for free and fun for the whole family.
Winslow Way will be closed off to through traffic, and year’s biggest party will begin with delicious local food offerings, the always-popular Music Masters DJ, and three fantastic bands to dance the night away to: The Haus Band, Out of Order, and Psycho Sushi.
In the Kids’ Area: A wonderful “visiting princess” makes her return to entertain the young ones. Face painting and Balloon Brothers add to the fun, and this year, for the first time, a Touch A Truck area.
Visit www.bainbridgedowntown.org to learn more.
Wednesday, July 4
The party begins in earnest on the big day at 7 a.m. at the annual pancake breakfast in the Town & Country Market parking lot (breakfast is served until 11 a.m.).
The 29th annual Bainbridge Youth Services Fun Run (early bird, reduced registration runs through July 3 at www.bifunrun.com; race-day signups go from 7 to 8:30 a.m.) kicks off with three separate start times: 9 a.m. sees the start of the 1-mile run, 9:15 a.m. the 5K dash and 10:30 a.m. the Kids Dash, starting at Winslow Green.
The street fair will be going strong from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., featuring more than 100 arts-and-crafts, food, nonprofit and information booths. It is located in the heart of downtown, spanning the Town & Country parking lot, Bjune and Brien streets and the newly-renovated Waterfront Park, too.
The classic, antique and special interest car show runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the lots behind Columbia and Chase Banks.
At 9:30 a.m. the Stars & Strikes Old Timers’ Baseball Game will begin at Bainbridge High School.
The pizza eating contest begins at 11:30 a.m. in the T&C lot, while live music and children’s entertainment abounds in Winslow Mall and Waterfront Park.
The famous mile-long parade begins promptly at 1 p.m., moving Madison Avenue and Winslow Way, featuring more than 100 units — floats, marching bands, bagpipes, horses, dogs, sports teams, military units, local nonprofits and businesses. As in years past, thousands of people are expected to line the one-mile parade route to watch the small-town spectacle unfold.
The whole party is capped with a stunning fireworks show over Eagle Harbor at dusk (about 10 p.m.) put on by Bainbridge Fireworks.
Visit www.grandold4th.com for a complete list of events.