Edmonds: Ready for a July 4th celebration

Americana on display for annual An Edmonds Kind of 4th.
By Brian Soergel | Jul 01, 2018
Photo by: Brian Soergel Much of the community turns out for Edmonds’ July 4th parades. Pictured is last year’s children’s parade.

Want to celebrate America’s 242nd anniversary on July 4? Edmonds has you covered with the annual An Edmonds Kind of 4th.

As always, activities are organized and put on by the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce, itself celebrating its 111th anniversary this year.

If you want, you can just watch. There are races, two parades, a waterball competition, music and, of course, a spectacular fireworks show.

But there’s plenty of community involvement that helps make Edmonds’ July 4th come together, including a plethora of volunteers. There’s also still time to register to participate in some of the scheduled events.

Money for Edmonds’ July 4th activities are funded fully from the Chamber of Commerce, according to President and CEO Greg Urban.

About half comes from the Hazel Miller Foundation, a quarter from the 5K race fees and a quarter from float registration.

Here’s a look at the day’s events.

Beat Brackett races

Want to get off to a fast start on the 4th of July?

Come chase ol’ man Brackett (that would be Edmonds founder George Brackett, brought back to life with beard each summer) through the streets of Edmonds during the Beat Brackett 5K. It begins at 10 a.m. at City Park on Third Avenue and finishes along the parade route.

The run, which regularly draws 700-plus registrants, includes performance shirts, electronic timing, costume contest and beards, and gives awards to top finishers and those able to beat Brackett (actually a fast gentleman from modern times).

Not up to a full 5K race? The Baby Brackett 1K is an option for families with young children.

You can register on the day to run or walk in the event.

Lucas Lacambra was the overall winner in last year’s 5K with a time of 17:04.

For registration forms and more information, go to www.BeatBrackett.com.

Children’s Parade

This popular event begins at 11:30 a.m.

Unlike the main parade, which charges $25 per business and group entries to help support future events, there is no cost to enter the children's parade. However, signage or promotional materials are not allowed.

Register for the parade in the IGA/ACE parking lot at Fifth Avenue South and Howell Street from 10:15 to 11:10 a.m. The Children’s Parade welcomes local kids and families in their best red-white-and-blue holiday costumes, along with decorated bikes, scooters, strollers and wagons.

Awards for best bike/scooter, best wagon/stroller, most patriotic and most original.

Main parade

Families, groups and businesses are invited to march in the parade, which attracts more than 15,000 spectators. There are six different awards categories for floats, from most patriotic to best decorated.

Lindsay and Carolyn Echelbarger are the grand marshals.

To march in the parade, fill out a registration form, along with a fee of $25 per group and $25 per vehicle. Go to www.edmondsfourth.com or call 425-670-1496.

Firefighters Waterball Competition

The annual event is at 2:30 p.m. at City Park. Volunteer firefighters from Snohomish County Fire District 1 host the free event, a Fourth of July tradition for years.

Picnicking is encouraged.

Waterball is a little like tug-of-war with water. Two teams of three firefighters compete in each round, using a fire hose to blast water at a ball suspended on a long, overhead cable. The first team to push the ball over to the opposing team’s side wins.

Firefighters aren’t the only ones who end up getting drenched as the competition heats up. After the championship round, kids can run through the spray and even take a turn on the nozzle with the help of firefighters.

Evening entertainment and vendors

It all begins – and by that we mean food and entertainment – at 6 p.m. at Civic Park, 310 Sixth Avenue N.

More than a dozen local food trucks and vendors will be competing for your dollars, and there will be activities for kids.

When the DJ starts spinning tunes, dancing is not mandatory, but super encouraged.

Beard and mustache competition

The Brackett’s Beard and Mustache contest, now in its second year, is in honor of city founder George Brackett, who himself was quite a hirsute fellow. There will be prizes to winners of the Best Natural Mustache, Best Natural Beard and Best Festive (where anything goes – all ages, male or female, natural or fake fur welcome) categories.

Come to the stage in Civic Park at 8:30 p.m., get your photo taken and display your face to the judges at 9 p.m. Register in advance online or show up early to fill out a consent form.


The fireworks and light show – by Entertainment Fireworks in Olympia – begins at around 10 p.m., when it finally gets dark around these parts this time of year. The fireworks, traditionally set to patriotic music, this year will feature newer, popular songs, Urban said.

As new sewer lines are currently being installed at Civic Park and the grandstands have been torn down, those watching the fireworks will be directed to the north side of the field.

Vendors traditionally located on Sixth Avenue North will be placed on the basketball court at the Boys and Girls Club.

Enjoy the legal fireworks show – setting off your own fireworks is prohibited in Edmonds city limits.

Keeping the tradition alive

Although An Edmonds Kind of Fourth is seen as a given each Independence Day, it relies on the public’s donations and corporate sponsorships to continue.

It received two major grants this year.

In April, the Edmonds-based Hazel Miller Foundation awarded the Edmonds Chamber Foundation a $35,000 grant. And earlier this month, the Hubbard Family Foundation made a $3,500 grant.

“The minimal fees for marching in the parade go to help fund the 4th of July, which is privately funded by the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce with business sponsorships, registration fees and grants,” Urban said.

“As an example, fees collected for the parade are typically less than the cost of the insurance policy for the day’s events. We are always looking for community support of the event, tax-deductible donations can be made to the Edmonds Chamber Foundation.”


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