Fireworks show and downhome fun for Independence Day celebration
2:41 pm July 2nd, 2014
A professional fireworks show will be part of Eatonville’s two-day celebration of Independence Day. (Dispatch file photo)
By Pat Jenkins
As usual, Eatonville’s annual Fourth of July celebration is so big it again will take two days.
The festivities in honor of America’s Independence Day will start Thursday. In the ballfields behind Eatonville Middle School, beginning at 5:30 p.m., inflatables for the kids and food vendors for all will be accompanied by live music. Providing the tunes will be The Composites, a country-rock band, and Cool Daddy and the Hot Flashes.
The coup de grace will be the professional fireworks show. The aerial display is scheduled for dusk.
Event organizers remind the public that because it’s on school grounds, school regulations will be in force, including no dogs.
On Friday, the Fourth of July parade will roll through town, starting at 12 noon. Participants have been signing up to be part of the procession past appreciative onlookers.
The two-day festival will apparently be the last one organized by Karen Woodcock and Audrey Thompson. Woodcock said last week that the two businesswomen have decided this is their final year.
“It’s time for us to let someone else do it,” Woodcock said.
The event struggles annually to raise the approximately $9,000 to pay for the fireworks show, insurance and other expenses. This year was no different, but as of last week, the budget was close to being met via donations, Woodcock said.
She noted that whoever replaces her and Thompson as organizers will need to start soon on next year’s festival. “We pretty much finish one and then get going on the next one,” she said.
Entertainment Fireworks, the company that supplies the fireworks and stages the pyrotechnic show, has assured Woodcock and Thompson that there will be no impact on the Eatonville show from fatal explosions of fireworks at the company’s headquarters in Tenino June 18. The accident killed one of the company’s workers and injured two others.
The incident occurred when fireworks were being moved to a truck for shipping. The truck was heavily damaged, but the usual supply of fireworks for Eatonville’s show will be available, Woodcock said.
Entertainment Fireworks, which trains pyrotechnicians to stage shows, has a good safety record, according to authorities.
State-regulated firework sales to the public began at noon June 28 and continue until 9 p.m. July 5.
State fire marshal Chuck Duffy said consumers should “know the laws before purchasing and discharging fireworks” and also should “only purchase legal fireworks.”
Unincorporated areas of Pierce County follow the state law for when fireworks can be used – June 28 through 11 p.m. July 5. But the town of Eatonville limits discharging of fireworks to July 3-4 between the hours of 12 noon and 11 p.m.
Duffy said the number of retail fireworks stand licenses issued is up 5 percent, or 46 additional licenses, from last year. A state license is required before a city or county can issue a permit locally to sell fireworks.
Of the counties with the largest increase in retail fireworks stand licenses this year, Pierce County ranks third with 10. Snohomish County leads with 15, King County’s 13.