4th of July fireworks are on!

— Created May 12, 2021 by Kathy Reed

By Kathy Reed

The Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce is happy to announce the return of its annual 4th of July fireworks show and the ever-popular parade.

“It is happening,” said Vicki Graham, executive director of the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce. “Whidbey Coffee and Annie Cash were our sponsors last year when COVID hit and they were generous enough to let us keep the funding and roll it over to do the show this year.”

In all, the chamber has $27,500 for the fireworks, which translates to a nearly 30-minute display, which is set to take place around 9:30 or 10 p.m. on July 4. 

“We will do it from Windjammer Park and we will be shooting them from the same location in the lagoon,” Graham said. “It was too late to get a barge, and too costly, so a good bit of the park will be part of the fall out zone and off limits. The side where the ball fields are, along Bayshore Drive and along Pioneer Way to Regatta will all be open to viewing. Basically, as long as you’re on the Flintstone Park side, you’ll be out of the fall out zone. But you’re going to be able to see the fireworks from everywhere, basically.”

Also back this year is the traditional 4th of July parade, which is set to begin at 11 a.m. on July 4. The parade will follow a route along Bayshore Drive, because there is more space.

“Summit Funding is our parade sponsor this year and Tradewinds Insurance is the viewing stand sponsor,” Graham shared. “Thanks to them we are so happy to give this back to the community. It’s a bright light of hope.”

While thankful for the opportunity to bring part of its traditional Old Fashioned Fourth of July celebration back, Graham said they are mindful of the COVID-19 pandemic and of how important public safety is still expected to be in July.

“We’re making it safe,” she said. “We will ask that people maintain wearing a mask and keep that six foot social distance so we can stay in Phase 3. We do not want to go back to Phase 2 or Phase 1 because then we wouldn’t be able to do this.

“The food truck event we had recently was absolutely amazing,” Graham continued. “The community came out and was so good about following all the safety measures – that’s what we’ll be asking for again for July 4th.”

Graham said they have some other ideas in the works to add to the celebration, depending on what the pandemic situation is. This will be the only fireworks display on Whidbey Island this year, as Celebrate America in Freeland has already been canceled.

So while it may be somewhat scaled back this year, the parade and the fireworks will go on – a much-needed respite after a difficult year.

“For me and the staff, we feel pretty much like we won the lottery,” Graham said. “We finally get to give something back. The community needs this. The businesses need this. It’s something to look forward to.”

To keep tabs on the chamber’s 4th of July plans, check in at oakharborchamber.com.