Celebrate the Fourth of July locally

by Scott Frank
Managing Editor

With the high price of gas, many families might be thinking twice about driving down to one of the large Fourth of July celebrations and fireworks displays in the Seattle area. But not to worry, they dont have to as they have a great Fourth of July Celebration in their own back yards.
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of event organizers, volunteers and sponsors, Arlingtons annual Fourth of July fete kicks off at 7 a.m. with Pancakes in the Park, at Haller Park, served up by the members of Arlington Heights Fire District 21. The adventurous can register there, from 8-9 a.m., for the Pedal, Paddle, Puff Triathlon which begins at 10:30 a.m.
Those not wanting to challenge their athletic stamina can challenge their bidding skills, beginning at noon, at Haller Park at the annual Kiwanis Action which raises money for local scholarships. Local businesses, community organizations and people have donated a variety of wonderful auction items that you dont want to miss.
A huge hit with the entire family is the annual ice cream eating contest, beginning at 4 p.m., at the Local Scoop at 434 N. Olympic Avenue. It may not be pretty, but it is a lot of fun.
What would a Fourth of July celebration be without a parade? Arlingtons Fourth of July Grand Parade marks its 116th anniversary this year and is sponsored by the Cascade Valley Hospital and the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce. Its a great time for all and kicks off at 5 p.m., although people will be lining Olympic Avenue much earlier to ensure they have a front row seat for the parade. Linda Byrnes, retiring superintendent of the Arlington School District, has been named as the Grand Marshal for this years parade.
The festivities move back to Haller Park where the Rotarys Great Stilly Duck Dash hits the water at 7:30 p.m. Starting at Lincoln Bridge, the rubber ducks will make their way to Haller Park. This is the 20th year the Rotary has been putting on the Great Stilly Duck Dash.
And to end the days festivities with a band, the annual fireworks display will kick off at 9 p.m., at Bill Quake Memorial Park, 18501 59th Ave., sponsored by the city of Arlington and the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce. This is a pyrotechnic aerial display you dont want to miss.
So, if youre looking for some safe family fun, head to Arlington on the fourth of July. Its a wonderful celebration happening in our own back yards.
Speaking about fireworks, I dont know if it is the result of the new law recently passed by the Marysville City Council, or increased police enforcement, or the fact that the recent economic situation has forced people to choose to spend their money on other things, but it seems to me that in the weeks leading up to the Fourth, Marysville has been a much quieter place than in years past. Yes, people have been illegally discharging fireworks within city limits over the past few weeks, but the problem doesnt seem to be of the same magnitude it used to be. It was just a few years ago that the problem had gotten so bad that the City Council had debated, and voted on a proposal to completely ban fireworks within city limits. While that effort failed, so too did the efforts to reduce the problem. Thankfully, this year, for whatever reason, some people have finally gotten the message and for that I am grateful.

To contact a member of The Marysville Globe/Arlington Times editorial board Stuart Chernis or Scott Frank e-mail forum@marysvilleglobe.com.

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