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Happy Fourth of July; here's what's happening today

San Juan Island
San Juan Island's Fourth of July celebration will include special presentations by the Lummi Indian Nation, the Friday Harbor Fire Department's 100th birthday, and activities, entertainment and fireworks in Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor.
— image credit: Journal file photo

Arguably, this will be an island Fourth of July celebration unlike any other.

Representatives of the Lummi Indian Nation — the First People of San Juan Island — are special guests at the town’s Fourth of July celebration, including participation in the Fourth of July Parade.

The town fire department celebrates its 100 years of service to the community with several events.

And regular annual events also take place: the parade, Rock the Dock, activities in Roche Harbor, as well as fireworks shows in Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor.

Here’s your guide to the Fourth:

Friday Harbor
The first event today is the Firecracker 5000 5K Foot Race, which begins at 8 a.m. at the Best Western Friday Harbor Suites. Call 378-4449 to sign up.

The parade begins at 10:30 a.m., with Lummi Cultural Director James Hillaire representing the Lummi Indian Nation as grand marshal. The parade will feature a canoe and canoe family members dressed in regalia.

After the parade, Lummi cultural arts demonstrations will take place at the Grange 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.

The Pig War Picnic, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club, begins after the parade at the San Juan Historical Museum. The entertainment lineup includes National Park Ranger Mike Vouri’s Pig War Story, and live music by Anthemology, The One More Time Band, The Ottomatics, and Sugar on the Floor.

Picnic activities include a bucket brigade, cake walk, egg toss, face painting, parade awards, pie-eating contest, and three-legged race. Lunch is $5: barbecued pork sandwiches, hot dogs, chips, soft drinks, and hot fudge sundaes.

The Timebenders headline at the Rotary Club’s Rock the Dock party at 6 p.m. in the Port of Friday Harbor parking lot. Tickets are $10; children 10 and younger get in for free.

Rock the Dock is sponsored by Islanders Bank; proceeds from the event will be used in Rotary’s campaign to eradicate polio.

“We’ve been working on that for 20 years and it’s about to happen,” said Mary Kalbert, a past district governor of the organization.

“There are only a few places on Earth where there’s still polio. We took it on in 1985 and we’re almost there,” she said of polio’s eradication.

Kalbert said Rotary International has raised about $500 million for the fight against polio; almost half of that came from a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant of $100 million, which was matched by Rotary International.

Picnic food, soft drinks and water will be available; the event will also feature a beer and wine garden.

At Rock the Dock, you can be a part of what Kalbert calls “the world’s longest conga line.” She doesn’t expect the conga line to make the Guinness Book of World Records. “Since it’s Friday Harbor’s centennial, we should have at least 100 people in the conga line,” she said.

The fireworks display will illuminate the sky at dusk.

During Fourth of July weekend, the Friday Harbor Fire Department will celebrate its centennial as well.

On Friday, a dozen antique fire trucks will arrive by ferry from Canada and the U.S. A spaghetti supper will follow at the fire station at 5 p.m.

The antique trucks will participate in the Fourth of July parade down Spring Street, followed by lunch at the fire station. After lunch, you can inspect the vehicles at the Antique Fire Apparatus and Car Show and watch firefighter teams compete in such games as bucket brigades and hose lays. That evening, a tri-tip barbecue dinner will be served at the town’s Fire Station.

On Sunday, the volunteers will host their traditional Pancake Breakfast with firefighters from San Juan Island Fire District 3. The final event will be Sunday afternoon at the port with the Ceremony of Recognition of Fallen Firefighters, a cannon salute and official recognition of the Friday Harbor Volunteer Fire Department’s 100th Birthday.

Income from the meals and the sale of Centennial memorabilia (hats, shirts, mugs, books, photos) will help support the Fire Fighters Association.

Roche Harbor
Roche Harbor’s Fourth of July celebration begins today at 9 a.m., with a 2.9-mile Fun Run along the country lanes of the historic village. Prizes will be awarded for the winner in each division.

From 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., children’s games will take place on the pool lawn. The Donut-Eating Contest takes place on the West Lawn at 1:30 p.m..

The blindfolded dinghy race is at 3:30 p.m., followed by the log-rolling contest at 4 p.m. The results of the Roche Harbor mayor’s race will be announced at 4:30 p.m. Ballots are available at the harbormaster’s office. The results of the boat-decorating contest will be announced at 6 p.m.

The fireworks display over the bay begins at 10:30 p.m. No personal fireworks are allowed.

Roche Harbor offers a varied entertainment lineup this week.

Alternative rocker Jim Basnight performs in the bar gazebo through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Scrubs & Meg perform songs from the 1950s, '60s and ’70s today, 4-6 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 3 p.m.

Dave Calhoun performs Jimmy Buffett-style on the West Lawn today, 3-6 p.m. David Bayley performs ragtime piano on Market Square through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Keith Busha & Friends perform blues on the bar deck Sunday, 4-6 p.m.

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