Those who missed Tuesday's explosive kickoff have a number of opportunities to celebrate throughout Wednesday.
The 25th annual Tumwater Independence Day Parade begins at 11 a.m. Tying into this year’s “Four Legged Fourth” theme, the parade will be led by the Tumwater Police Department’s K9 unit, Otis.
The parade starts at Capitol Boulevard and Lee Street and ends near City Hall on Israel Road.
The 12th annual Tumwater Artesian Festival at the Tumwater Valley Golf Course starts at 6 p.m.; it features food, music and family-friendly activities.
The event attracted more than 10,000 people last year, according to city communications coordinator Marisa Capella.
“It seems to get bigger and better every year as we hone in on what people like,” Capella said.
Those who attend can bring their own food for a picnic, but alcohol is not allowed. Concessions are available.
Parking is $10, but admission to the event is free. Proceeds go toward next year’s fireworks display and local youth organizations.
Capella said one event highlight is the Kapowsin Fourth of July Skydivers landing about 8:45 p.m.
Before the landing, children write their names on cards and place them in the roped-off landing area. Those with their names closest to where the skydivers land win a prize. Past prizes have included movie tickets and legal fireworks.
“The last one always comes down with a big American flag unfurling behind them,” Capella said. “It’s pretty impressive.”
The fireworks display will begin at 10:15 p.m. followed by the singing of the national anthem.
One major change this year: Pioneer Park will be closed all day for public safety.
“In the past, a lot of people have been there and our fire and police are so busy with everything else, they really can’t monitor people’s personal use of fireworks and other issues,” Capella said.
The park will reopen at sunrise Thursday.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord also is hosting a free Fourth of July celebration from noon-11:30 p.m. featuring carnival rides, fair food, a car show, puppet performances and live music.
A surprise artist is scheduled to perform 1980s rock hits starting at 6 p.m. at the Memorial Stadium, followed by The Rhythm Nation at 8 p.m. and the Massing of the Colors at 8:30 p.m.
A fireworks display will start at 10 p.m.
Those wanting to set off their own fireworks can do so in most of Thurston County.
Fireworks can be purchased in Olympia and Tumwater through 11 p.m. Wednesday, and can be bought in unincorporated areas of the county through noon Thursday.
Fireworks be discharged until 11 o’clock Wednesday night in Olympia, Tumwater and the unincorporated county.
Fireworks are banned in Lacey, and will be banned in Olympia starting next year.
Officers with the Olympia, Tumwater, Lacey, Chehalis Tribal, Tenino and Yelm police departments, as well as the Washington State Patrol and Sheriff’s Office, will participate in DUI patrols as part of the Target Zero Task Force. The patrols will continue through Friday countywide.
The Washington State Patrol has investigated 17 fatal crashes in Pierce and Thurston counties this year. Alcohol or drugs were involved in 10 of them.
“If you look at the numbers alone, that says it all right there,” said Trooper Guy Gill. “Making the choice to get behind the wheel impaired can literally cost you your life, and we have the numbers to back that up.”