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Happy 237th! Where to go in Kitsap to celebrate America’s birthday | Kitsap Week

There won
There won't be a shortage of fireworks anywhere in Kitsap, you only need to choose where to go.
— image credit: File photo

Carnivals. Car shows. Food. Live music. Parades.

Oh, yes — and fireworks.

Kitsap communities celebrate Independence Day with a slate of family activities, and some braggadocio. On Bainbridge Island, you can watch the “Best Small Town Parade in America.” In Kingston, you can enjoy the “Oldest & Longest Running Parade West of the Mississippi.”

Poulsbo gets a jump on the other communities with its 3rd of July Celebration and fireworks show.

Here’s a community by community look at activities in Kitsap. For more information, go to your local newspaper (,,,,

Bainbridge’s 46th annual Grand Old Fourth of July Celebration includes an all-day street fair, a classic car show, foot races (benefiting Bainbridge Youth Services), live music and entertainment, food, and family fun.

A pancake breakfast benefiting the Bainbridge High School Boosters Club begins at 7 a.m. The street fair is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. — from the Town & Country parking lot to Bjune and Brien streets and Waterfront Park. It features more than 100 arts and crafts, food and non-profit booths.

The mile-long parade begins at 1 p.m. sharp. The parade route begins at the library, continues down Madison Avenue to Winslow Way, and ends at Ericksen Avenue.

The Arnold Jackson Memorial Fireworks Show (over Eagle Harbor near Pritchard Park Beach) begins at 10-10:30 p.m. The fireworks show is dedicated to the memory of Arnold Jackson, a long-time Bainbridge volunteer firefighter and Chamber of Commerce member who coordinated Bainbridge’s Fourth festivities for more than 20 years. The fireworks display will be launched from a barge moored at the end of Ward Avenue. Organizers say Pritchard Park, Waterfront Park and Harbor Square offer prime viewing.

The Grand Old Fourth is produced and presented by the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce (, with the help of dozens of volunteers and a handful of sponsoring businesses. The fireworks are presented by Bainbridge Fireworks (, a new nonprofit formed to fund and present the show in conjunction with the chamber.

The annual Fathoms o’Fun Grand Fireworks Show starts at 10:30 p.m. on Sinclair Inlet.

The fireworks display, sponsored by Wave Broadband, is visible from Bremerton, the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Port Orchard.

There will be afternoon and evening entertainment at the Port Orchard Waterfront Marina Park gazebo. Listen to Christian rock by various groups from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., followed by classic rock by Denim Skillet from 5:30-7 p.m., and more classic rock by Common Ground from 8:30-10:30 p.m.

The Kitsap BlueJackets home baseball game at Lobe Field at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds will feature a fireworks show on July 5. Game time is 7:35 p.m.; the BlueJackets host Wenatchee. For tickets, go to

The town of Keyport presents some classic small-town events for its Fourth of July celebration.

The Community Pancake Breakfast is from 8 a.m. to noon, in the Keyport Bible Church Multipurpose Building, 15270 Washington Ave. The 4th of July Parade assembles at 1 p.m. at the fire station on Pacific Avenue. Children and adults are welcome to join in. The breakfast and parade are sponsored by the Keyport Improvement Club.

The community’s barbecue and old-fashioned family games are free and open to the public, and begin immediately after the parade at the Keyport Bible Church Multipurpose Building. The barbecue and games are sponsored by Keyport Bible Church.

Kingston’s Fourth of July celebration actually begins on July 3. Tiny Town, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., opens with a carnival, food and live music. Kingston’s Got Talent finals begin at 2 p.m. on the Tiny Town stage. Pirate Pete’s Open Mic is from 3:30-9 p.m. at Mike Wallace Park.

July 4 activities include the Fun Run, 8 a.m., at Kingston Fitness; Pancake Breakfast, 8 a.m., at Kingston Cove Yacht Club; Farmers Market, 9 a.m., Mike Wallace Park; Tiny Town, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; 4th of July Parade, noon, on State Route 104; 4th of July Ball Race, 1:30 p.m., on Central Avenue; and the Music Festival, featuring four bands, from 4-10:30 p.m. The music festival concludes with the fireworks show.

Poulsbo’s 3rd of July Celebration features day of live entertainment at Muriel Iverson Williams Waterfront Park. The day is sponsored by Safeway, Town and Country Markets, the City of Poulsbo, and community members.

Food and vendor booths will be open on Anderson Parkway from noon to 10 p.m. Live music at Kvelstad Pavilion begins at noon and continues to 10 p.m. The 1- and 5-mile Liberty Paddle Race, a stand-up paddle board race, begins at 5 p.m. The fireworks display begins at 10:15 p.m.

Places to park in downtown Poulsbo are limited. Those vehicles with Disability placards can park at the Edward Jones Investment Offices, 19032 Jensen Way NE, or across the street in front of the old city hall on Jensen Way. Parking is also available at North Kitsap High School, Poulsbo Middle School, Poulsbo Elementary School, and College Marketplace, with shuttle service provided to downtown ($2 roundtrip for those older than 5).


Make the Fourth safe for pets
Though fireworks can be fun for people, they can be frightening and disorienting for pets. Fireworks, even neighborhood firecrackers and the screams and shouts accompanying them, can trigger a flight reaction in animals.

The Kitsap Humane Society ( offers these tips for protecting family pets:
— Make sure pets have current ID on their collars, and preferably a microchip (Kitsap Humane Society offers low-cost microchip clinics for low-income residents).  
— Make sure they wear properly sized collars (no more than two fingers should fit under the collar). Cats should wear safety collars that will pop or stretch if they get caught on something.
— Keep pets inside the house. If there will be a lot of people going in and out, it’s a good idea to put your animals in a bedroom with the door shut. Close the windows, curtains and shades so they will feel more safe and secure.
— When they must go outside, walk them on a leash or make sure any fencing in the yard is secure.
— Muffle the sound of fireworks by turning on a fan, radio or TV.
— If pets are anxious, stay with them and distract them by playing a favorite game or practicing obedience skills (rewarding them with treats, of course). Your presence will be reassuring.
— If your pet is lost, do not delay looking for it; take action as soon as possible. Visit the Kitsap Humane Society shelter to look for your pet. Sometimes, it may take several days before a lost pet is brought into the shelter, so keep coming back. Go to; call the KHS Lost Pets Line, (360) 692-6977, ext. 2: and check KHS’ partner website,

The law on fireworks
The discharge of fireworks in unincorporated Kitsap County is limited to 11 a.m. through 11 p.m. on July 4, according to the Kitsap County Fire Marshal's office.

It is illegal to set off bottle rockets, missiles, skyrockets, M-80s, and larger cherry bombs, tennis ball bombs, and any legal fireworks that have been altered. Penalties can range up to $1,000 per incident and can carry jail time.

Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe and Suquamish Tribe have their own laws related to fireworks purchased on discharged on their lands. County regulations do not apply to fireworks purchased and set off there. However,  fireworks purchased on S’Klallam and Suquamish lands cannot be discharged off-reservation.

Fireworks safety information is available online at




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