An Edmonds Kind of 4th
The 4th of July in Edmonds is one of the most beloved annual traditions. We get to experience a true small town kind of holiday, the type that has become a rarity.
The old fashioned festivities include a family-friendly 5K race, two back-to-back hometown parades through downtown Edmonds, great food and music, and then the day culminates in a large fireworks show.
The Edmonds Chamber of Commerce produces this day chock-full of events. 2018 marks the 111th year for the Edmonds 4th of July celebrations.
Attendance and participation grows each year. This year, the Chamber anticipates 1000 runners, a crowd of 18,000 to view the two parades, and 15,000 spectators for evening festivities and fireworks at Civic Field.
Jan Nicholas, Director of Development & Community Engagement with the Chamber, says, “An Edmonds Kind of 4th is a true Edmonds tradition, dating back to 1907! It is our honor to bring this event that is treasured by generations to our community. Whether it is the 5K/1K, children’s parade, main parade or the fireworks, there is something for everyone!”
Three events make for a full afternoon of patriotic celebrations: two parades and a waterball competition with Edmonds firefighters.
The theme for this year’s parades is “Edmonds – small town, big heart”. There are two parades, the children’s parade at 11:30am and the main parade at 12pm.
Local children are invited to show off their patriotic spirit in the children’s parade that precedes the main parade. Bikes, scooters, strollers and wagons are all welcome and participation is free!
Awards will be given in four categories: Best Bike/Scooter, Best Wagon/Stroller, Most Patriotic, and Most Original.
The main parade is a vibrant mix of music, floats, classic cars, local businesses, dance/performance groups, and local civic organizations. Awards will be given to participants in six categories for the main parade:
- Most Patriotic – best application of patriotic theme and decorations
- Most Original – unusual design and presentation
- Funniest – whimsical in design and presentation
- Mayor’s Trophy – overall excellence
- Best Decorated – creativity and imagination in design/decoration
- Chamber Trophy – best business or commercial entry
Spectators line the streets, three or four deep in some spots, to get a glimpse of the patriotic finery as it rolls by. The main parade winds its way over 12 city blocks beginning at 6th Avenue and Bell, turns right at Walnut Street, then turns to head down 5th Avenue. Finally, it hangs a left on Main Street for one block to 4th Avenue and then concludes near the Edmonds Center for the Arts on Daley Street.
Speaking of spectators lining the streets…make sure to follow the rules about when chairs can be set out ahead of time (mainly not before 6pm on July 3rd).
Nicholas says, “Setting out chairs could almost be its own event! Want a good smile? Hang out on 5th Ave along the parade route starting around 5:30pm on July 3rd and see all the people just hanging around, nonchalant, waiting till 5:59 and then, BOOM! The streets are lined with chairs.”
After the two parades finish up, make your way to City Park for the annual firefighters waterball competition happening at 2:30pm.
Waterball is similar to tug-of-war except it involves using water to push a ball strung on a cable. The first team who successfully pushes the ball to their opponent’s side wins the match. Teams are comprised of firefighters, volunteer firefighters, and students in the Edmonds School District Fire Service Technology Class.
Evening Celebrations + Fireworks
After the afternoon events wrap up, stay and stroll downtown Edmonds. Visit the variety of retail shops and grab a bite or a refreshing beverage at any of our fine restaurants and bars. Then head over to Civic Field for an evening of music, food, dancing, and community spirit beginning at 6pm!
The hilarious beard mustache contest is back in honor of Edmonds founder, George Brackett. Prizes will be awarded for Best Natural Mustache, Best Natural Beard, and Best Festive (where anything goes! Open to all ages, men, women, fake hair is okay!) categories.
Then at 10pm, gaze at the skies in amazement as the day culminates in a fantastic fireworks display.
A portion of the funding for An Edmonds Kind of 4th comes from money raised at Taste Edmonds. Additionally, many local sponsors along with grants from The Hazel Miller Foundation and Hubbard Family generously support the day of festivities.
Also, a reminder, the City of Edmonds has a total ban on fireworks (which is more restrictive than the Washington State law). Don’t risk getting a fine, come down and enjoy the giant display at Civic Field instead and build those family memories!
A rundown of all the events
Edmonds 4th of July Celebration
Wednesday, July 4, 2018
10:00am Beat Brackett 5K/Baby Brackett 1K, sign up here
11:30am Children’s Parade, sign up here
12:00pm Main Parade, sign up here
2:30pm Edmonds Firefighters Waterball Competition (City Park, 3rd Avenue South and Pine)
6:00pm Food Vendors and Evening Entertainment (Civic Field, 6th & Bell)
9:15pm Brackett’s Beard and Mustache Contest (Civic Field, 6th & Bell)
10:00pm Fireworks (Civic Field, 6th and Bell)