See fireworks from Oaks Amusement Park, Waterfront Blues Festival
Good news abounds: There'll be fireworks and Fourth of July celebrations all over the Portland area, as people gather and celebrate our country's independence — and a Monday holiday.
The bad news is that the Fort Vancouver fireworks show in Vancouver, Washington, which has been the area's largest, has been canceled for another year, and the city of Portland has banned the use of small fireworks of any kind.
So, let's be safe and have fun. Here are some events, news and information as the Fourth of July weekend approaches:
FIREWORKS AND FUN
• Oaks Amusement Park's Fireworks Spectacular is being held for the first time since 2019 because of the ol' COVID-19 pandemic, and it includes a Monday, July 4 day of revelry at the park starting at noon with colorful sky explosions starting at 10 p.m. and carnival rides open till midnight.
Admission is $36 per person, which includes unlimited rides.
Kids ages 3-9 receive a souvenir American flag while supplies last.
• Waterfront Blues Festival returns to Waterfront Park, July 1-4, and it'll put on a fireworks display at dusk July 4.
Great vantage points for city fireworks are Mount Tabor, Eastbank Esplanade and International Rose Test Garden.
For Waterfront Blues Festival tickets and more information, see http://www.waterfrontbluesfest.com.
• The Fort Vancouver Fourth of July party and fireworks were always a huge draw, and KGW TV (8) featured the fireworks each year.
Instead, the Fort Vancouver Historic Trust's Summer Fest will include a day of music, games, rides, a movie at dusk and more, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday, July 3 at Fort Vancouver.
For more: http://www.thehistorictrust.org/calendar/summer-fest.
Wildfire risk contributed to the show's cancellation, as well as low staffing at public safety agencies.
• On television on Oregon Public Broadcasting, the PBS show "A Capitol Fourth" includes music (including by Mickey Guyton) and fireworks from Washington, D.C., and it'll stream live at 5 p.m. PT at http://www.pbs.org/a-capitol-fourth. (Check listing to make sure it airs at 8 p.m. PT on OPB).
• Friends of Columbia Gorge know something about how fireworks can damage forests (remember Eagle Creek Fire, 2017). They and Columbia Gorge Tourism Alliance are partnering to get the message out: Fireworks and forests don't mix, in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and everywhere.
According to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center, the 2021 fire season in the Pacific Northwest saw 3,075 human caused fires, more than three times the number of fires caused by lightning.
"The Eagle Creek Trail fully reopened this summer after five years of recovery from a single firecracker set off in the woods," said Emily Reed, network director of the Columbia Gorge Tourism Alliance. "All it takes is one firecracker and the wind blowing in the wrong direction for our entire region to be devastated."
They advised leaving fireworks at home, attending to campfires at all times and observe local/site fire restrictions such as trail closures.
Check http://www.ReadySet.Gorge.com for more.
• Meanwhile, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue has some advice for urban dwellers.
Only adults should light or handle fireworks. Sparklers can reach 1,200 degrees — wood burns at 575 degrees and glass melts at 900 degrees, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Use fireworks outdoors or on a paved surface, away from buildings, vehicles and vegetation. Don't pick up or try to re-light "dud" fireworks and don't alter fireworks or make your own. And, have a hose ready for use and put "spent" fireworks in a metal bucket with water (and not in a recycling cart, for example).
Fireworks produce sounds similar to gunshots, which can cause physical and mental distress to a person who has endured military combat, TVF&R said. Also, fireworks tend to frighten pets, including farm animals.
They are advising residents to attend local fireworks displays, such at Tigard's Cook Park, Oak Hills Recreation Center in Washington County and West Linn's Willamette Park.
• Other fireworks displays will be at Hillsboro (after the Hops-Eugene baseball game at Ron Tonkin Field), Lake Oswego at Foothills Park, Sandy High School and Canby's Trost Elementary School.
RODEOS AND MORE
• As far as rodeos:
The St. Paul Rodeo draws big crowds and features fireworks each night through Fourth of July.
For more: http://www.stpaulrodeo.com/events.
The Molalla Buckeroo takes place all weekend at Molalla Buckeroo Grounds.
For more: http://www.molallabuckeroo.com.
• And, a great reference for parades, city celebrations and more: http://www.pdxpipeline.com/portland-july-4th-fireworks.
Another resource: http://www.travelportland.com/events/fourth-of-july.
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