Independence: Races, parades, fireworks, and more

Americana on display for annual An Edmonds Kind of 4th
By Brian Soergel | Jul 03, 2019
Photo by: Brian Soergel Spectators lined up by the public address announcer’s table on Main Street in Edmonds for last year’s parades.

Want to celebrate America’s 243rd 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 112th anniversary this year.

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 about 150 volunteers.

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

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 9 a.m. at City Park on Third Avenue South and finishes along the parade route.

People can register on the day from 7-8:45 a.m. at City Park.

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 the day of to run or walk in the event.

For registration forms and more information, go to


Here’s a reminder from the City of Edmonds:

The placement of lawn chairs and other items along the parade route will be allowed after 6 p.m. Wednesday evening, July 3.

Participants should refrain from chaining or otherwise attaching chairs to each other and to stationary items such as trees and sign posts. This policy is to allow parade-goers to stake out their viewing places somewhat in advance, as has been the tradition, but to also avoid the safety and access concerns of lengthy sidewalk obstructions well in advance of the Fourth.

After 6 a.m. on July 4, streets along the parade route will be closed to traffic by the Edmonds Police Department, so personal vehicle access to the route will not be possible until after the parade clears.

Chairs and other items placed in the right-of-way along the parade route before 6 p.m. Wednesday will be removed by the Public Works Department. They may be retrieved during regular business hours at the Public Works Building at 7110 210th St. SW. Information: 425-771-0235.

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 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.

Shubert Ho is the grand marshal.

To march in the parade, fill out a registration form, along with a fee of $25 per group and $25 per vehicle. Go to 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 third 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 begins at around 10 p.m. The fireworks, traditionally set to patriotic music, this year will feature newer, popular songs, Urban said.

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

The City of Edmonds Public Works’ Royce Napolitino will sing the national anthem.

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


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