Another Fourth, another patriotic bash
By Brenna Holland
For a quarter of a century, the Liberty Lake community has proudly shown patriotism and unity on the Fourth of July in the form of a parade, but the holiday is a tradition that spans much further back around these parts.
The week of events kicks off Wednesday, July 3, with T-shirt sales and a movie and wraps up by Friday with another movie.
The Liberty Lake Fourth of July T-shirts will be available for purchase from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the intersection of Liberty Drive and Liberty Circle in the Alpine Shores neighborhood.
Quantities are limited and are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Any remaining shirts will be sold at the parade.
T-shirt prices are $12 each, or $14 for XXL and XXXL sizes.
Parade and after-party
While this year is the 25th annual Fourth of July Parade, the event has retained its original purpose: It is first and foremost a kid's parade.
"The kids get to be the stars for the day. When does a 5-year old get to be the star?" said Dave Graham, an Alpine Shores resident who has been involved with the Fourth of July Parade since the beginning.
For the 25th edition of the Liberty Lake Fourth of July Parade and celebration, all parade participants will receive a blue commemorative ribbon.
There are also three large ribbons that will be given out as prizes by categories. The red ribbon is awarded to those who are walkers, dancers, skippers and runners. The white ribbon is given to pedal power riders, bikes, trikes and unicycles. The blue ribbon is for decorated golf carts. In addition to these categorized ribbons, there are three more large ribbons that go as special awards. These ribbons are awarded to those that can't be categorized, but are so amazing that they must be recognized.
"I know a lot of kids who have hung on to these ribbons for over 20 years," Graham said. "Memories are so valuable."
When asked what it was like being the grand marshall of last year's parade, Graham responded, "It was an eye opener. When I was working as a volunteer, I saw only one portion."
Last year, when Graham was leading the parade with his wife, Susan, he noticed that the Cub Scouts were singing the national anthem just the next street over. He had never heard them sing or was even aware that the Cub Scouts performed every year.
"That's what Fourth of July is all about," he said. "That's what we got to celebrate. We want to make sure that their voices are heard."
Inspired by what he saw last year, this year the parade will begin with the Cub Scouts singing the national anthem. The Cub Scouts and the Daughters of the American Revolution will march on straight after the performance and lead the parade.
To be a part of the parade, Graham encouraged participants to line up as early as 10:30 a.m.
"The sooner they get here, the closer they are to the front," he said.
The parade begins at noon, and games begin immediately after in Alpine Shores Park.
During the parade, there will be a couple of private vendors selling sno cones and hot dogs. With all the bustle, food and excitement, the volunteers who organize the parade ask the citizens of Liberty Lake to leave the pets at home.
The Fourth of July Parade is not associated with the fireworks that light up the sky later in the night, Graham clarified. The two events are completely separate, and donations that are collected at the parade are only donated to next year's Alpine Shores festivities, not the fireworks show that takes place later that evening.
Concert in the park
At 6 p.m., Friends of Pavillion Park will present the Fourth of July Concert featuring Six Foot Swing and Tuxedo Junction. Part of the 16th annual Summer Festival hosted by the Friends of Pavillion Park.
Arrive at Pavillion Park with blankets, chairs and picnics in toe to enjoy live music followed by the fireworks show. A potpourri of tunes will provide the soundtrack to the evening with a mix of classics, show tunes and even patriotic marches.
Six Foot Swing, a popular local Spokane band, heralds back to the 1930s, a decade which according to their website was, "a time of intense glamour, intrigue and romance." The band mixes this vintage sound with a modern jazz that culminates into an unforgettable musical experience. The band has everything from a horn section to an instrumental washboard. Six Foot Swing has released four CDs and one demo since 2007.
The Tuxedo Junction Big Band has been labeled "the best big band" in the Inland Northwest. The band recruits talent from the Coeur d'Alene and Spokane areas. Classics and new hits are included in their repertoire; however, the band concentrates heavily on swing music from the 1930s and ‘40s. The musical group is under the leadership of conductor Craig Catlett, a saxophone musician involved in a wide scope of bands.
What would the Fourth of July be like without a little crackle, boom and sparks?
Following the concert, fireworks will ignite the sky at about 10:10 p.m.
The best public areas to view the display are Pavilion Park or Liberty Lake County Park. The firework show is paid purely through donations from residents and local businesses, no corporate sponsors. The total cost to provide the Liberty Lake community with awe-inspiring fireworks is about $12,000.
Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 430 in Liberty Lake. Another new way to donate is through the website www.libertylakefireworks.com. Donations will also be collected at the Farmers Market leading up to Independence Day. Members of the community can also watch for the donation bucket outside Albertsons near the holiday.
Movies in the park
The Fourth of July is bookended this year by a Wednesday night showing of "Up" and a Friday night viewing of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." Both shows will play at Pavillion Park.
They will begin at dusk. The Liberty Lake Kiwanis Club will sell concessions at the movies and concert. As with all of the Fourth of July entertainment, the movies are free.
Of course, the cost of labor and the fund-raising that goes into these events do fall on the backs of the citizens of Liberty Lake. Countless volunteers are needed for either this year's festivities or next year's celebrations.
"We've got jobs for volunteers," Graham said. "Even if you just moved here, I'll give you a job to do."
The volunteers who have been involved in the Fourth of July celebrations, whether it is since its beginning or for a couple of years, tend to serve for the love of community and country.
"In Liberty Lake, there are a lot of fine people," Graham said. "We love to serve them and have them be a part of what we enjoy."
For more information about volunteering, contact Graham at 255-6131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.