Local businesses have stepped up so the Maxwelton Independence Day parade on Whidbey Island can take place for the 104th time on July 4. (South Whidbey Record file)

Local businesses have stepped up so the Maxwelton Independence Day parade on Whidbey Island can take place for the 104th time on July 4. (South Whidbey Record file)

Sponsors step up for Whidbey’s old-fashioned July 4 parade

The 104th annual event at Maxwelton Beach was uncertain due to rising costs.

WHIDBEY ISLAND — Maxwelton’s old-fashioned Fourth of July Parade will march on this year thanks primarily to its business sponsors, said organizer Harriet Arnold.

“We have had lots of questions about whether we would put it on this year,” said Arnold, part of the Maxwelton Community Club that hosts the event. “Because of our sponsors, Pickles Deli, Savage Printing, Clinton Food Mart and Jet Java, we are able to continue our parade tradition.”

Last year, the parade was almost canceled because of the rising costs of pulling off the event.

Instead, organizers decided to cancel free van shuttles it had always provided to encourage people not to park along the parade route.

An online fundraising site then raised $6,140 so shuttle service was restored.

It’s being offered again at the intersection of Maxwelton and French roads, where free parking is provided at the Little Brown Church.

In its 104th year, Maxwelton Community Club’s most popular event will carry on the tradition of a charming parade that takes months of planning.

“Those of us on the committee spend all year planning and making sure everything goes off without a hitch,” Arnold said.

For those wanting to be in the parade, registration starts at 10:30 a.m. July 4.

The parade begins at noon. About 200 entries and 2,000 people are expected.

Every year, the event also sponsors an art contest for children ages 14 and younger to design a button that sells for a dollar. Many people proudly wear their button collection to show their Maxwelton Independence Day loyalty.

This story originally appeared in the South Whidbey Record, a sibling paper of The Daily Herald.

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