Bainbridge Island Fourth of July Celebrations

At this time of year, it seems everyone asks if there have been plans made and trips to be taken.  My response is always that Bainbridge Island is the best place to be in the…

At this time of year, it seems everyone asks if there have been plans made and trips to be taken.  My response is always that Bainbridge Island is the best place to be in the summer.  Many people come from off the island for the festivities and their “go to spot” to find lodging is Destination Bainbridge.  Here are some ways that you can Celebrate Bainbridge! 

Starting off the summer, community members are hard at work collecting items for the annual Rotary Auction.  The big sale this year is on Saturday, June 30, at Woodward School and will feature everything from boats and cars to skis and bikes plus clothes, furniture, and loads of books and toys.  The fun begins at 8 a.m. with a Preview Night from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. on June 29.

On July 1 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Waterfront Park City Dock, right in downtown Winslow, the Boater’s Fair invites you to Learn to Row, Sail and Paddle.  There will be a Helicopter Rescue Demo and the chance to meet the women of team “Sail Like A Girl” who won this year’s Race to Alaska, a 750-nautical mile race from Port Townsend to Ketchikan, Alaska and many other activities for the whole family!

I was so surprised to learn the other day that there are actually islanders who go away for the 4th of July because it seems that everyone off the island is drawn to Bainbridge Island for the fun and festivities of our Nation’s holiday.  My family is always here on Bainbridge to begin celebrating on July 3 at the annual Street Dance in downtown Winslow.  Starting at 6 p.m., Winslow Way will only be open to pedestrians who fill the street to hear live music from different bands, eat dinner at food booths along the way, and dance and play for as long as they can.  The event is open until 11 p.m.

Some families prefer to get to bed early on July 3 so they can be up bright and early for the  Grand Old 4th of July starting with a Pancake Breakfast at 7 a.m.  Following breakfast, Bainbridge Youth Services has their annual Fun Run!  Register by July 3 for the Early Bird Discount and choose from a 1 mile run at 9 a.m., a 5K run at 9:15 a.m., or a Kids Dash at 10:30 a.m. in Winslow Green at the corner of Madison Avenue and Winslow Way.  The rest of the day features a Street Fair of more than 100 arts-and-crafts, food, non-profit and information booths. Open from 9 AM to 5 PM, it is located in the heart of downtown Bainbridge: The Town & Country parking lot, on Bjune and Brien streets and in the newly-renovated Waterfront Park.  There will also be a classic car show, beer and wine garden, and Young Artisan Marketplace.  But the big event happens at 1 p.m. when the Mile-Long Hometown Parade begins with more than 100 participants featuring businesses, nonprofit organizations, and many island programs all vying for the prize of Most Humorous parade entry.  Who will it be this year?

The 4th of July would not be complete without a fantastic Fireworks show.  This year’s Bainbridge Island Fireworks show starts at 10 p.m. and can be seen from all around the shore of Eagle Harbor.  Reservations can be made to view the fireworks at such restaurants as Doc’s and Bainbridge Thai Cuisine and another popular place for “adults only” to view the show without needing reservations is the Harbour Public House. An exciting new option this year offered by one of my favorite wineries is the 4th of July Rooftop Party, in a location right off the ferry at the corner of Winslow Way and Hwy 305. Buy a ticket for in and out privileges and enjoy the rooftop from noon until 11 p.m. when the fireworks are finished.  Prefer a beach blanket view of the show? Across the harbor, a popular beach off Eagle Harbor Drive called Pritchard Park is a favorite spot for islanders and visitors to spread out blankets and towels, have a picnic, and watch the fireworks.