Stars and Stripes celebration starts with a bang

Bicycles, tricycles, wagons and strollers will be among the highlights of Saturday’s holiday parade, a key ingredient in Enumclaw’s annual Stars and Stripes celebration.

Organizers have geared up to provide a fun Fourth of July, with downtown activities all afternoon and a fireworks show to cap the day’s entertainment.

In keeping with tradition, kids are invited to decorate their two-, three- and four-wheeled rides with streamers, balloons and more, then join the parade. Decorations will be available in the public parking lot between Stevenson and Initial avenues, provided free, beginning at 11 a.m. Kids participating in the parade must wear helmets and have a parent with them during the parade.

The parade will begin at noon, a major departure from the 6 p.m. start of years past. The parade, again sponsored by Auburn Sheet Metal, will roll south over Cole Street, beginning at Washington Avenue and finishing at Monroe Avenue.

The parade will have about 50 entries and is expected to last about 45 minutes. Included will be members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars who will present the colors, followed by various scouts, equestrian units, the Enumclaw High School marching band, kids from the Wolverine football and cheer program and entries from a handful of local businesses.

That leads directly into the day’s 1 p.m. opening ceremonies, which include cake for everyone, a welcome by Mayor John Wise and patriotic songs performed by Anya Holte and Tori Whitten.

Carnival activities, most of them free, will keep children entertained from 1 to 4 p.m. On the list of games are a baseball toss, duck pond and dunk tank. There will be face painting, a candy scramble and “inflatables” for kids to bounce around in.

While kids are playing, all can enjoy live music. The Veazie Valley Boys will provide bluegrass sounds from 2 to 3, while Heart for a Tin Man will play rock from 3:15 to 4:15.

Food will be available and other vendors have been invited.

The downtown entertainment wraps up at 4 p.m., allowing everyone plenty of free time before heading to the Enumclaw Expo Center for a fireworks display that begins at dusk.

Earlier in the day, the public is invited to participate in a re-dedication ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park. The 10 a.m. event will honor the Army soldiers who died Dec. 21, 2006, when their helicopter crashed on Mount Peak during an evening training exercise.

The Enumclaw Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will also host its annual flag-raising ceremony at the church at 8 a.m. Saturday.

A program that includes speakers, music and the outdoor flag-raising ceremony will also include a breakfast of cinnamon rolls and juice. The public is invited. The church is located on Semanski Street near Warner Avenue.

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