Annual fireworks show at Willamette Park returns July 4; in addition to a rock wall by Ascending Adventures, the event has plenty of other attractions

PHOTOS BY MARCUS LAURETA - Willamette Park is the setting for West Linn's annual fireworks display on July 4th. On the hunt for some spending money this summer?

Head down to Willamette Park July 4 for West Linn's Star Spangled Fourth of July event — all you have to do is climb a tall rock wall to retrieve the $100 bill waiting for you.

The portable rock wall is one new addition to an event that's been pleasing local families for 12 years. Event organizer and founder Alice Richmond — a proud American who emigrated from France to the U.S. many decades ago — likes to keep things fresh at the event she started because "the art of the event invites us to celebrate our freedom."

"I am enriched by this wholesomeness; it is my reward to see the crowd experiencing their exuberance on this moment of our independence history day," says Richmond.

In addition to the rock wall by Ascending Adventures, which will be available to all comers over 45 pounds with $8 in their pockets, the event has plenty of other attractions.

Line dance lessons will be offered during the concert by the Return Flight Band — which offers an 11-member musical team of performers complete with a large horn section and three lead vocalists — and local military members will present a color guard ceremony.

Travelin' Taphouse returns with food and beverage offerings but folks are also invited to bring their own picnics and encourage to show up early to claim their patch of grass for the fireworks finale.

West Linn Rotary Club will have popcorn to sell and local dignitaries will be in attendance to share their thoughts on Independence Day.

Fireworks, organized and set off by a team of experienced Oregon National Guard and U.S. Army members, begin at dusk and organizers ask that event-goers refrain from setting off personal fireworks at the park.

Richmond works all year to solicit sponsors for the event and is quick to credit them, including: Gramor Development, West Linn Central Village, J.T. Smith Companies, Icon Construction, Albertsons, Safeway, Pendleton Woolen Mill, Smile West Linn, Kahut Waste Services, Active Edge Wellness, West Linn Tidings, Timberline Lodge, Tanner Springs Management, Les Schwab Tires, MSA, Oregon Mt. Hood Territory, Royal Treatment Fishing, Peak Marketing and numerous small businesses that contribute to the silent auction.

"We share the day; we share the park and we share the joy of this free event with great music, superb fireworks and great entertainment," says Richmond. PHOTOS BY MARCUS LAURETA - Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue will be on hand at event, ensuring both safety and patriotism.

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