by: NEWS-TIMES PHOTO - Onlookers keep their eyes focused above last year in Banks as fireworks light up the sky.Fireworks, watermelon, parades, pie and car races — summer’s favorite pastimes will ring in Independence Day in western Washington County.

Those staying in town for the Fourth of July won’t be at a loss for things to do, even when trying to keep traveling minimal.

Head to the fields adjacent to Tom McCall Upper Elementary School, 1341 Pacific Ave., for a fireworks show presented by the Western Display Fireworks of Canby and organized by the Forest Grove Firefighters Association, and live music by local singer/songwriter Josh Smith. Music starts at 7 p.m. and fireworks will start at approximately 9:30 p.m. Personal fireworks, alcohol and tobacco will not be allowed at the family-friendly event. The event is free but a $5 per person donation is suggested to help offset costs, which will be between $5,000 and $7,000. Bring blankets, lawn chairs and picnic fare and settle in for a cozy summer night. For more information, visit

Other options abound for music and fireworks displays.

Larry Wilder & the Stumptown Stars will perform their favorite pieces inspired by bluegrass, cowboy and folk, and yes, there will be yodeling. The show starts at 6 p.m. at McMenamins Grand Lodge.

Gates open at 3:30 p.m. at the Banks Sunset Speedway. Concessions staff will serve hot dogs, hamburgers, elephant ears, ice cream and drinks, and a firework show will start at 10 p.m.

Plum Hill Vineyards, 6505 S.W. Old Highway 47, will host a wine tasting with free watermelon starting at 1 p.m. Call 503-359-4706 for more information.

Those in search of a parade can head east.

Downtown Hillsboro’s annual Fourth of July parade sponsored by the Hillsboro Rotary Club starts at 10 a.m.

The city of North Plains will also host a parade at 3 p.m. on Main Street, and a “Cruisin’ Show” on Commercial Street featuring more than 100 cars, motorcycles and even a few tractors starting at 10 a.m. Local food, arts and crafts vendors will set up for the festivities from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Early risers can catch breakfast at the North Plains Senior Center starting at 7:30 a.m., but eat fast so there’s enough time to prepare your lungs for the bagpipe competition, beginning at noon.

DJ entertainment will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and live music from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. will be provided by the Fabulous Farelanes.

Conclude the night by watching a fireworks show launching from Recology’s Nature’s Needs Facility at 10 p.m. For a complete schedule of events, visit

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