Centennial Fourth: Lummi Nation will be special guest for Fourth of July

Friday Harbor reaches into its history for its centennial Fourth of July celebration – a historical and cultural connection that predates incorporation and predates the settlement era.

Members of the Lummi Indian Nation, the First People of San Juan Island, will be special guests at the town’s Fourth of July celebration with three days of special presentations, including participation in the Fourth of July Parade.

The cultural events are free and open to the public, and are being coordinated by the Lummi Ventures Program and artist Doug Bison of the Friday Harbor Centennial Advisory Committee.

On July 3 beginning at 9 a.m., Lummi artists will have works in various media on display at the San Juan Island Grange Hall.

At noon, islanders can watch as traditional 11-man sea-going canoes arrive in Friday Harbor. Lummi Cultural Director James “Smitty” Hillaire will lead a welcoming ceremony and Mayor David Jones will present a proclamation.

At 6 p.m., an opening ceremony will be held at the San Juan Historical Museum, 405 Price St., Friday Harbor, followed by an evening of cultural presentations.

July 4, Lummi art display and sales resume in the Grange Hall at 9 a.m. The parade begins at 10:30 a.m., with Hillaire as grand marshal. The Lummi Nation Color Guard will lead the parade, and will accompany canoes and canoe family members dressed in regalia.

After the parade, cultural arts demonstrations will take place at the Grange, the historical museum and in downtown Friday Harbor. Among the artists: Charles Miller, who helped carve the healing poles sent from Lummi to the cities attacked on Sept. 11, 2001.

July 5, art sales continue at the Grange.

Lummi maintains cultural and historical sites, as well as environmental and marine resources, on San Juan and other islands in the archipelago. In 2004 and 2008, Lummi and other Coast Salish canoe families visited San Juan Island en route to Cowichan, B.C., during the Canoe Journey.

In addition to Lummi’s presentations, the parade, and the Pig War Picnic (presented by the Kiwanis Club), the Friday Harbor Fire Department will celebrate its 100th year with a weekend of events. The weekend includes an Antique Fire Apparatus and Car Show, bucket brigades, a tri-tip barbecue dinner, and Ceremony of Recognition of Fallen Firefighters.

A guide to all of the island’s Fourth of July festivities will be published in the July 1 Island Scene.

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