Joe Schmitt writes a weekly blog called The Good Life, featuring information about the region’s history, culture, climate and economy. The blog also showcases new residents, clubs and organizations, outdoor recreational opportunities and local events.
Our Nation’s birthday is a big celebration in the Valley. Flags will be raised, floats are being readied, fruit is being picked, and musicians are tuning up their instruments. Whether you're planning a backyard BBQ, neighborhood potluck, or picnic in the park, we’ve got the lowdown on the best places to enjoy Independence Day. Given the heat and fire danger we also recommend that you enjoy fireworks at the following community celebrations. Happy Birthday, America!
Toppenish: Home to the Wild West Parade, it’s a great place to kick off your patriotism. Join the throngs of parade goers lining the streets of downtown Toppenish and watch as over 100 different entries march, float, stomp, and gallop by. Starts at 11 AM.
Sunnyside: Kicking off the evening’s festivities is the annual parade starting at 4 PM. Then head over to the local football field to get your fill of hotdog and watermelon eating contests before catching the color guard and gun salute. The mayor will take the podium before the fireworks take to the sky at dusk.
Yakima: This 4th of July the fun will once again be found at State Fair Park in Yakima. You won’t want to miss a fabulous family-oriented Fourth of July, complete with old-fashioned fun for kids, a pie eating contest, live entertainment and a carnival with exciting rides for the young and young at heart. The day of fun culminates in a fantastic, 20-minute long fireworks display at 10 PM. Stake out a spot on the beautiful grounds and enjoy the festivities and delicious food available from a variety of vendors. Gates open at noon.
Zillah's Old Fashioned 4th of July: A fun family event featuring both professional and local fireworks. Show starts at sundown at Stewart Park (107 First Avenue).
Concerts in the Park: 7 PM July 4 at Randall Park at Castleview Drive and South 48th Avenue. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. Music for all ages. Sponsored by the Yakima Valley Community Band 509-969-2817 or click here for more information.
Yakima Pippins Baseball: 11:05 AM July 4, 5:05 PM at Yakima County Stadium, 1220 Pacific Ave. Tickets: $5-7 (presale and $1 more at the gate). Click here.
Bill's Berry Farm Festival: 9 AM to 5 PM, July 3-4, Blueberry Daze Festival and 9 AM to 5 PM on July 31, Aug. 1, 7-8. Blueberry Festival includes gospel and bluegrass music with the Beckman Family, with craft and antique vendor booths, horse and pony rides. U-pick blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. Peach Festival with live music, playgrounds, barnyard train, animal farm and farm store with fresh baked pies and more. Admission free, $5 parking fees on Saturdays. Click here for more information.
Don’t forget to visit the local fruit stands up and down the Valley for fresh cherries, apricots, peas, beans and other goodies! Click here for a list of fresh fruit stands and a harvest schedules.
Another note about fireworks: They are banned in the City of Yakima and on all unincorporated Yakima County land as well as state and federal lands. Have a safe and enjoyable 4th!