Everett’s July 4 celebration at Legion Memorial Park

EVERETT — Don’t be surprised on Friday if you see red, gold and green flying beside red, white and blue at Everett’s Fourth of July fireworks show.

Everett’s annual Independence Day celebration is moving from Naval Station Everett, where it’s been for years, to the grassy park on the city’s northern tip because of construction at the base.

And this year, the city is spicing up the daylong events, bringing Jamaican roots reggae legend Clinton “Bassie” Fearon along with four other bands at Colors of Freedom, a free city-sponsored food and music festival at Legion Memorial Park.

The holiday is chock-full of events, including a parade, ice skating, a footrace and an AquaSox baseball game.

Two fireworks shows are planned Friday night — one from the water that can be watched from Legion Memorial Park, as well as other city parks along the water, and the other at Everett Memorial Stadium after the AquaSox game.

Dennie Randall, who is visiting from North Carolina, said he is most looking forward to the Thunder On the Bay fireworks show.

“We’re going out on the boat,” he said. “There’s a bunch of people floating in for it.”

After two years on the sidelines, Orion Pyrotechnics of Olympia is heading the fireworks show. The company disappointed thousands in 2005 when a slow tugboat caused Everett’s fireworks display to roll in nearly an hour late and way past bedtime for many spectators.

Events begin early in Everett with a pancake breakfast at 7 a.m. at The Flying Pig on Colby Avenue, registration at 7:30 a.m. for the Yankee Doodle Dash — a race put on by the Everett Family YMCA — and ice skating at Comcast Community Ice Rink at 8:15 a.m.

Parents can go to Everett High School at 10 a.m. to enter their kids to join a kazoo marching band.

At 11 a.m., a parade will wind through downtown Everett. A Navy fighter jet is to kick off the parade with a roaring flyover above Colby Avenue’s office buildings.

The city has recruited new floats to join the parade, which critics say had grown lackluster in recent years.

“We are taking this parade from basically being black-and-white photograph to full-color process,” Everett spokeswoman Kate Reardon said. “You will not be disappointed.”

So much for a few fire trucks, city buses and politicians waving flags and campaign signs.

Parade entrants include dueling pianos, bagpipe players, motorcycle daredevils, African drummers, Chinese lion dancers, Aztec warriors, Eastern European folk musicians, a 10-piece New Orleans-style Dixieland brass band and a traditional Filipino dance company.

Dave McCoy, an underwriter with Coastal Community Bank, said Everett is more appealing than crowded fireworks shows on Lake Union and Lake Washington.

The father of “six little munchkins” said he’s considering heading to Everett from his home in Mount Vernon.

“The Seattle thing is just atrocious,” he said. “The (Space) Needle is infamous for being a fiasco.”

Patrick Howe, who has lived in Snohomish for a decade, said he usually gets together to barbecue with a few families.

He’s never heard about fireworks in Everett.

“There’s so many things going on on the Fourth,” he said. “No one has ever said to me, ‘Go to Everett.’ “

June Shirey of Marysville said with kids grown and out of the house, Everett’s festivities aren’t enough to bring her into town.

“I’m afraid I’m a few years past the parade age,” she said.

As far as fireworks go, she said she is already seeing and hearing plenty from the Tulalip Reservation, whose residents are known to light spectacular fireworks for weeks.

Port Gardner Fireworks Co. is putting on a separate fireworks display after the AquaSox play the Yakima Bears at Everett Memorial Stadium, 3900 Broadway. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.

At Legion Memorial Park, Alverson Boulevard will be closed for the music, food, and beer and wine gardens from 1 to 11 p.m. The park is at 145 Alverson Blvd.

Street parking on nearby residential streets will be scarce.

Everett Transit buses will offer free shuttle service to events throughout the city.

From noon to 5 p.m., shuttles will leave three locations every 15 minutes. The pick-up points are: Everett Station, 3201 Smith Ave.; Everett Community College, 2000 Tower St.; and Everpark Garage, 2815 Hoyt Ave. Hundreds of parking spaces are available at those locations.

The day’s events stretch from 7 a.m. until about 11 p.m., ending with the fireworks on the city’s waterfront.

Everett radio station KSER (90.7 FM) is scheduled to broadcast music synchronized with the fireworks show, starting about 10:20 p.m. This year, the Everett Symphony won’t be performing with the fireworks show on the bay.

Public viewing areas include Legion Memorial Park; Harborview Park, 1621 Mukilteo Blvd; and the 10th Street Boat Launch at 10th Street and W. Marine View Drive.

Reporter David Chircop: 425-339-3429 or dchircop@heraldnet.com.

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