Downtown is ready for Fourth festivities

Everyone is invited to downtown today, Wednesday, for the city's annual Stars and Stripes celebration, which promises a day of food, entertainment and fun - followed by a festive fireworks show at the fairgrounds.

Activities kick off with opening ceremonies at 1 p.m. with a formal welcome by Mayor John Wise, patriotic music and a cake honoring the nation's 231st birthday.

Entertainment, crafts and activities for kids will be available most of the day. For the younger set, there will be inflatable toys, games, a candy scramble, arts and crafts and a chance to decorate bicycles and tricycles.

Kids who decorate their two-, three- or four-wheeled machines are invited to join the evening parade.

Music during the afternoon begins at 1:30 and will be provided first by Joel Brantley, ringleader of a country hoedown. The bluegrass band Runaway Trail will take the stage from 4 to 6.

The annual Stars and Stripes parade will get rolling at 6 p.m. and travel a southerly course along Cole Street.

The evening concludes with a free fireworks show at dusk (about 9:30) at the Enumclaw Expo Center. Visitors are invited to park their cars and set up their lawn chairs in the north parking lot and take in the spectacle.

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