Bigger,better Fourth of July planned for Blaine

Published on Thu, Jun 29, 2006 by ack Kintner

Read More News

Bigger, better Fourth of July planned for Blaine

By Jack Kintner

Blaine’s annual Fourth of July celebration will be bigger than ever this year, with more vintage cars, a longer parade that will feature four bands, two extra days to ride the Plover, more space for vendors in the center of town and new for this year, a group of performing thespians who will premier “Salmon Chanted Evening,” a light-hearted melodrama based on Blaine characters. The parade is at noon, and this year’s grand marshal is city councilman John Liebert.

“We’ve got 60 vendors now and more on the way,” said Carroll Solomon, director of Blaine’s Visitor Information Center (VIC) and coordinator of downtown events “and filling the new H Street Plaza lets me put another dozen or more vendors right in the middle of town.”

Cheryl Fischer said that she expects as many as 250 vintage cars to join her orange ’34 Dodge coupe for the annual show and shine that will be centered on Harrison between H and Martin streets in front of the post office.

Parade bands include Blaine’s own high school and middle school bands plus the Bellingham Pipe Band and the Edmonton Crusaders, a touring high school band that will also perform on the main music stage in the afternoon.

Music coordinator Doug Dahl said the music begins right after the parade and will fill eight hours beginning with Dahl’s own post-modern folk rock band Ten O’Clock Scholar. Other rock bands include a duo of Ron Pai of Forty Foot Fakeout and Chris Cochran of Distant Second collaborating on an acoustic set or two and the funk band Savage Henry.

Also featured are a choir from Hawaii, the North Bay Christ the King worship band and encore performances by the Crusader band and the pipe band.

Christopher Key has written and will be directing his original melodrama “Salmon Chanted Evening,” or, “If I Only Had A Blaine.” The Blaine Community Theater performances take a light-hearted poke at some classic Blaine characters, and will take place immediately following the noon parade at 1 p.m. at the H Street boardwalk plaza. It will also be performed on July 8 and 9 at 5:30 and 7 p.m. at the theater in the Cost Cutter Mall. “Admission is by donation,” said Key with a grin, “and if anyone’s offended by this, our job here will be done.”

The Plover, Blaine’s free passenger ferry, will be making runs to Semiahmoo and back, leaving Blaine on the hour and Semiahmoo on the half hour, from 12 to 8 on the weekend as well as on both Monday, July 3 and on the Fourth.

Semiahmoo’s annual gourmet salmon barbecue runs from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. and tickets are $15 apiece. The Blaine Library book sale runs daily from Friday, June 30 through the Fourth (excluding Sunday) from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. It all ends with a half hour of fireworks.
“They’ll begin at dusk,” said Pam Christianson, former Blaine Chamber of Commerce president, “which can vary depending on conditions.” Marine Drive itself is currently under re-construction, so even though it will not be closed off , there other good vantage points including the downtown boardwalk plazas.