The Grand Old 4th of July has been an island tradition for more than 50 years and this year, the event is surrounded by even more fun. Here’s a look at the lineup for July 3rd through the 8th:
MONDAY JULY 3RD
Noon – Stars & Strikes Alumni 3rd of July Baseball Game at the BHS baseball fields. Featuring silent auction and concessions!
6pm to 11pm – Celebrate Bainbridge July 3rd Street Dance will take place on Winslow Way (from Madison to Ericksen). We have a great line up on our Street Dance stage with Paper Moon starting the evening off at 6pm, followed by the return of high energy (and local favorites) Ocean Men, with Disciples of Patches finishing up the night’s performances.
Music Masters DJ John returns to the street with his danceable beats across from Madrone Lane starting at 7pm to 11pm.
Kid’s Zone – KiDiMu will celebrate with hands-on activities and play! Build, create, and discover with Kids Discovery Museum from 6pm to 9pm near Dana’s.
Food Vendors – The menus are all incredible this year…from Taste da Boot’s Gumbo and Crawfish Etouffee, to Battle Point BBQ’s pulled pork sandwiches and Sauced‘s “Lost Islander Tacos”. Of course, what would the holiday be without some of Belfair Pop’s kettle corn and cotton candy! And who can pass on “Cake for Breakfast“?
Beer and Wine Garden – Sponsored by Bainbridge Brewing and Fletcher Bay Winery (21 and over, please be sure to bring ID).
The Street Dance is run by The Bainbridge Downtown Association, a volunteer Board of Directors and supported by the business community, City of Bainbridge, and residents. One of their goals is to keep all of their events free to the public. The Bainbridge Island Downtown Association and its partners are dedicated to, “Building Community through a Vibrant Downtown.”
TUESDAY JULY 4TH
9am – 11am – Bainbridge Youth Services Family Fun Run –
- 1 Mile – Begins at 9:00am in front of Bon Bon on Winslow Way
- 5K – Begins at 9:30am at the intersection of Madison Avenue and Bjune
- Kids Dash – 10:30am at the corner of Winslow Way and Madison Avenue
9am – 5pm – Street Fair – Town & Country West Parking Lot, Bjune and Brien Streets, and Waterfront Park – Arts and crafts, food, and information booths. For a full list of participants and a map of their locations, click here. Sponsored by Sage/Far Bank Enterprises
9am – 5pm – Kids Zone – Pony rides, putt-putt, build a model boat, bounce houses, face painting. Noon & 3pm Alleyoop! Children’s Musical Games performances. Sponsored by The Marshall Suites
9am – 2pm – Classic, Antique & Special Interest Car Show – Parking lots behind Umpqua and Chase Banks. Sponsors: Modern Collision, Green Light Garage, Island Center Auto, Rolling Bay Automotive
10am – 4pm – Bainbridge Island Photo Club, 4th of July Exhibit – Bainbridge Island Senior/Community Center
10am – Noon Ranger & The Re-Arrangers – Live Music Stage: Town & Country West
Parking Lot. Sponsored by Bainbridge Performing Arts
11am – 5pm Beer + Wine + Cider Garden – On Brien, across the street from the Senior
Center: Beer, Wine, Cider + music. Over 21 only – IDs required. Last call 4:30pm. Sponsored
by Bainbridge Brewing, Eleven Winery, Sisters’ Cider House
Noon – 1pm – The Hometown Band – Traditional John Philip Sousa-style music – Winslow Mall
3pm- 5pm – Soul Siren (Rhythm & Blues, Soul, & Rock). Live Music Stage: Town & Country Parking Lot Stage. Sponsored by Bainbridge Performing Arts
***PLEASE REMEMBER THAT FIREWORKS ARE PROHIBITED ON BAINBRIDGE ISLAND****
PARKING AND STREET CLOSURES
- T&C Parking Lot – no Winslow Way vehicle access after 12pm on July 3rd. The lot will be closed (with NO vehicle access– foot traffic only) on July 4th until 6pm.
- Parking is very limited. There will be shuttles available from the ACE parking lot at 305/High School Road to the Police Station on July 4th from 8am – 4pm with a $2 per person fee per ride.
- Street Closures: Winslow closes between Madison and Ericksen on July 3rd at noon until 11pm, and from 6am to 6pm on July 4th. Bjune & Brien will close to through traffic at 6am on July 4th. Madison, south of Wyatt to Winslow will close at 7am on July 4th. Due to the BYS Fun Run there will be rolling road closures starting at 9am until 11am while runners are running throughout downtown Winslow. Most other roads will be closed at 11am for the parade.
- First Friday Art Walk – Downtown – Winslow Way from 6pm – 8pm
- First Friday Art Walk at the Library – Madison Ave. and High School Rd. from 5pm – 7pm
- Rotary Auction Preview Night – Woodward Middle School from 5pm – 8pm
- Moonlight Market – Town Square from 5pm – 9pm
63rd annual Bainbridge Island Rotary Auction & Rummage Sale from 8am – 2pm at Woodward Middle School – “The most anticipated event on Bainbridge Island! Don’t miss your chance to experience the region’s most unique community event.”
Do good. Feel great. 100% of the net proceeds from the Rotary Auction are reinvested in the community, including local, regional, and international efforts. If you want to learn more about where the net proceeds go, click here.
Rotary Auction Donation Drop-Off – June 30th through July 5th:
All events take place at Woodward Middle School:
- June 30, 8:00am to 7:00pm
- July 1, 8:00am to 7:00pm
- July 2, 8:00am to 7:00pm
- July 3, 8:00am to 3:00pm
- July 4, Campus Closed
- July 5, 8:00am to 7:00pm
Accepting Vehicle Donations Now – Cars • Trucks • Motorcycles • RVs • & more. Call Craig at 206-604-7411 or click here for details.
Find Out More About the Donations Process – click here for details.
A LITTLE HISTORY about the GO4th of July: Prior to World War II, the Island’s biggest event was the Strawberry Festival, held each June. However, the unfortunate internment events that sent our Japanese-American neighbors away, many of which were prominent in our local farming community, ended that festival, and although many tried to revive it after the war, it was never the same.
Almost two decades passed before a new summer festival/event would take hold. In 1967, the late Arnie Jackson, an eccentric longtime local, 45-year Volunteer Firefighter and local businessman, got together with the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce (he was also a member of the BICC) to organize the first Grand Old 4th celebration. With the help of Kiwanis volunteers, they built 10×10 booth frames that various vendors could rent from the Chamber to use on the parade route, which ran down the center of Winslow Way.
The parade and celebration started off small as our population at the time was less than 2,000 residents—the running joke back in those days: “it’s a good thing that people come from other communities to watch, because everyone who lives here is in the parade…” Vicki Rauh, longtime Chamber staff and licensing agent remembers that back in the 1970s, “the parade was so short it went around twice”.
In 1991, when the entire island was incorporated into the City of Bainbridge Island, the new city government had concerns about safety issues in regards to having both the vendor booths and parade route on the same street. It was then decided to move the street fair portion of the event to Bjune and Brien Drives, which also allowed more use of Waterfront Park as part of the celebration.
This annual celebration draws crowds from near and afar, an estimated 25,000 to 30,000 attendees enjoy the event each year.
A few fun FAQs:
What made Arnie Jackson so eccentric? Arnie was a unique man with an incredible ability to get people motivated. He was fondly remembered as “Growly” and could be seen zipping around the parade route on his Honda 80 motorcycle, decked out in an American Flag vest, barking orders to everyone and anyone (although, the majority of the work and organization in those days was handled by the Kiwanis Parade Marshals).
Where did that amazing poster come from? In 2017, the Chamber of Commerce began their Grand Old 4th Poster Contest, the contestants must be students from any of our public and private elementary, middle or high schools. This year congratulations and $500 go to (BHS Senior) Eleanor Ford as the 2023 winner of the Grand Old 4th Poster contest.
Why are the politicians always at the back of the parade? No, it’s not because we don’t like them…many of our politicians participate in several 4th of July events all over the county and need time to get from one event to the next. Giving them the “finale” float allows them time to get to us and participate in the parade.
Can you really “save your seat” the day before the parade on the route? We’re a small community and we respect each other, so yes, bring a chair (and we mean just about any chair: lawn, dining, beanbag, you name it, or just a nice blanket) and stake out your spot-on July 3rd, and don’t worry, it will still be there when you arrive on the 4th! Please be mindful that chairs placed on Winslow Way on July 3rd will be removed as that area is reserved for the July 3rd Street Dance (you can arrive early morning on July 4th to save your spot).
*Logos, images and information provided by and used with permission from the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce, the Bainbridge Island Downtown Association and the Bainbridge Island Rotary
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