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Third of July lights fuse on Independence Day events

POULSBO — Poulsbo may never have been accused of being on the cutting edge but it is ahead of the curve when it comes to Independence Day.

That’s because the Fourth of July is celebrated July 3 in Little Norway — a tradition that often affords folks two days of firecracker fun.

Beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, Poulsbo will once again kick off the annual Courtesy Auto Group 3rd of July Fireworks on the Fjord at Anderson Parkway. The event annually draws between 25,000 and 30,000 people to Little Norway for music, activities, contests and a fireworks display over Liberty Bay.

The family-style event focuses on fun for all ages. Waterfront Park’s Kvelstad Pavilion features a rotating lineup of live music and entertainment from marimba to the popular Navy rock and roll band “Passage,” which always draws a crowd on its own.

The Marine Silent Drill Team, is also projected to be back this year, event coordinator Mary Graves of Community Event Productions (CEP) added. Last year, the popular squad was absent from the festivities due to national security issues.

“But as far as we know, they’re coming back this year,” Graves said.

Folks young and old can also sign up for competitions in areas like ice cream, watermelon and pizza eating and watermelon seed spitting. The contests are sponsored by local businesses like Dairy Queen, Domino’s Pizza and Albertsons.

“These guys just give and give and give each year,” Graves said of the sponsors.

July 3 schedule:

•11 a.m. — Displays and booths open on Anderson Parkway and Waterfront Park

•11:15 a.m. — Marimba Solo Band performs at Kvelstad Pavilion

•Noon — Lego construction building project for all ages in Anderson Parkway

•1 p.m. — Rhythm ‘n Shoes Cloggers perform at Kvelstad Pavilion

•2 p.m. — Liberty Bay Dance Works performs at Kvelstad Pavilion

•2:30 p.m. — Deadline to pre-register for eating contests at information booth in Anderson Parkway

•3 p.m. — Eating Contests: seed spitting contest and crowning of the “King & Queen” seeders, watermelon eating contest, Dairy Queen’s ice cream eating contest, Domino’s pizza eating contest

•6 p.m. — All vehicles must be removed from the Anderson Parkway

•7 p.m. — Poulsbo Yacht Club and Poulsbo Marina parade of boats on Liberty Bay

•7 p.m. — Marines Silent Drill Team performs

•8-10 p.m. — Navy rock and roll band “Passage” performs at Kvelstad Pavilion

•10:30 p.m. — Fireworks display over Liberty Bay

•11:30 p.m. — Event closes

Limited three-hour parking is available in the Anderson Parkway until 6 p.m. Saturday, after which, fireworks viewers can set up lawn chairs to watch the fireworks over Liberty Bay.

Graves said those intending to stay for the 10:30 p.m. light show are advised to park at one of the handful of designated free parking areas around Poulsbo. After 6 p.m., all vehicles except those with handicapped access passes will be towed.

Kitsap Transit will be running all day. The 3rd of July organizers do not offer special shuttle service but busses do come through downtown Poulsbo.

For more information about the event, call (360) 779-8018 or e-mail communityevents@yahoo.com.

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