The Kingston 4th of July celebration will be back in full force this year with a complete day of events after having modified versions the past few years due to COVID-19.
“We’re kind of back to normal,” event chairman Tony Clark said.
He said he expects a large turnout given that all the events are back. It also should be bigger since Poulsbo will not be holding its 3rd of July fireworks celebration. The Kingston 4th of July Committee even spent a little more on fireworks. The show will last about 20 minutes starting at 10 p.m.
“Not only Poulsbo, but apparently Edmonds isn’t doing fireworks,” Clark said. “We’re probably the only fireworks (show) in North Kitsap this year. We got a great show; we’ve got room for everybody.”
He said the fireworks are shot off the water from a barge brought in off of Apple Tree Cove. The primary viewing spot is around Mike Wallace Park, but Arness Park is also popular, he said.
The downtown parade starts at noon and takes about an hour. It is commonly referred to as the longest-running 4th of July parade west of the Mississippi River.
“Nobody has been able to pinpoint the exact start,” Clark said, adding that the Kingston Historical Society has photos of the celebration from the late 1890s. He said the current format of events has been occurring for at least 50 years.
“I’m always excited for the parade,” Clark said. “People line their chairs up in the morning because they want the best spot. This year, we totally filled up the parade. Last year we didn’t have quite as many participants.”
The grand marshal is Craig Smith, founder of Kingston’s Firehouse Theater, who recently sold his business. “He’s been a big part of the community here,” Clark said. “Everybody loves the theater and everything he did there. He’s a local boy who did a lot of things in the community…and really made an impact.”
Other notables in the parade include 102-year-old Helen Arness, the oldest person born and raised in Kingston; 99-year-old Florence “Flossie” Mulhair, who started the senior center in Kingston; 97-year-old Ila Faye; Nancy Langwith, who is the recipient of the Kingston Cove Yacht Club Helen Meredith Community Service Award; Cheryl Steele, who is the longest participant in the parade at 38 years; Rotarian of the year Doug Hallock, who was instrumental in restoring the Kingston Scout Hall; Kiwanis Person of the Year Jan Erickson; Miss Poulsbo 2022 Gillian Morrison; Miss Kitsap 2022 Kelsee Bryant; and Miss Silverdale 2022 Miranda Rodrigues, among many more.
Clark thanked the community for its support in terms of donations and volunteers. He said it takes nearly 100 volunteers to staff all the events.
“We have great support from our business community,” Clark said. “We’ve all had a tough time over the past couple years, yet they came forward and made donations. We couldn’t do it without them, we wouldn’t have the money to do it. The other thing is volunteers… If we don’t have volunteers we can’t run the event.”
He concluded, “You won’t go wrong spending the 4th of July in Kingston.”
8-11 a.m. — Pancake Breakfast: Kingston Cove Yacht Club, 25815 Washington Blvd NE; pancakes, sausage, ham, orange juice and coffee.
10 a.m.-5 p.m. — Tiny Town: Village Green Park, 10810 NE West Kingston Rd; inflatable and bouncy house attractions along with other activities and food vendors. Tiny Town will close for one hour at noon for the parade. Sponsors Kingston-North Kitsap Rotary.
Noon-1 p.m. — Kingston 4th of July Parade: State Highway 104, Kingston; Runs from Lindvog Road to Washington Avenue; sponsors Kitsap Bank, Swift Plumbing.
1 p.m. — Free hotdogs for kids: Yacht Club; free for children 12 and younger; nominal charge for adults.
1 p.m. — Build model sailboat: Mike Wallace Park, Port of Kingston; materials and instructions are free; hosted by yacht club.
1:30 p.m. — Ball Race: Central Avenue between Ohio Avenue and Washington Boulevard; race starts when parade traffic is cleared.
1-9 p.m. — Beer/Wine/Spirits tent: Mike Wallace Park, Port of Kingston; beer, wine and spirits available for guests 21 and older; music from 2-4 p.m. with NW Chill.
5:30-10 p.m. — Music in the Park: Mike Wallace Park, Port of Kingston; from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on main stage will be Back Street Jelly Roll playing Van Morrison tunes; from 8-10 p.m. will be Soul Siren; sponsored by Kingston Ale House.