Bainbridge's July 3rd Street Dance and Barbeque returns after one-year hiatus

Get ready to dust off those dancing shoes. Organizers of Bainbridge's beloved July 3rd Street Dance and Barbeque said the event will return this summer to Winslow.

The Bainbridge Island Downtown Association announced Tuesday the dance would be held on the island's downtown main street. The event had a one-year hiatus after street construction on Winslow Way forced the cancellation of the dance in 2011. It was the first cancellation in the event's almost-25 year history.

The event was a bit iffy for this year, as well. Traditional funding sources, including support from the city of Bainbridge Island, had disappeared with the sour economy. Organizers turned to local businesses to revive the dance and barbecue.

Andrea Mackin, executive director of the Bainbridge Island Downtown Association, gave the credit to Columbia Bank, one of the group's long-standing partners, for stepping forward with funds to guarantee the event would happen.

“I shared the news that we were going to find a way to bring the Street Dance back with Ann Bopp, branch manager for our local Columbia Bank. She said, ‘Hang on until I can get back to you!’" Mackin recalled.

"Her team at the Winslow branch ran the request all the way up the corporate chain of command to Bank CEO Melanie Dressel and they literally responded with their commitment in less than five hours,” she said.

“This is an event that means so much to the local community,” Mackin added. “The July 3rd Street Dance is such a deeply-rooted island tradition. Each year on the eve of the Independence Day holiday our streets fill with children, parents, and grandparents who come to downtown Winslow to see old friends, enjoy great local food and music, and dance in the streets. Columbia Bank’s incredible support makes it possible for us to keep this tradition alive.”

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