LINCOLN COUNTY — Independence Day is a time of celebration for the freedom our country gained 243 years ago, but the way people celebrate that freedom is up to them — keeping in theme with the holiday. So, from Lincoln City to Yachats, here are a few options for those looking to plan a special Fourth of July with fun for all ages.
Coasties can start celebrations during the day in Newport at the middle school, where the Newport Symphony Orchestra will be hosting its free annual Fourth of July concert at 4 p.m. The songs selected to celebrate the nation’s independence this year include music from “Wonder Woman” and “Mary Poppins,” as well as the piece “Huapango” by Mexican composer Jose Pablo Moncayo. Tributes to members of the armed forces and the fishermen of the Oregon coast will also be performed.
Before the lights dim, however, crowds can dig in to some truly American food: barbecue, provided by Pat E. Mac’s BBQ starting at 2:30 p.m. Adults eat for $10, kids eat for $5.
The fireworks in Newport will be shot off from a different location this year — rather than being launched from a barge in the middle of the Yaquina Bay near the mouth of Fogarty Creek, the show will take flight from the Port of Newport International Terminal, farther east.
Although the launch location is different, viewers should not have to adjust their favorite spots for watching. The fireworks will be aimed at an angle so they explode in the same area as in previous years, Newport Fire Chief Rob Murphy said. The show begins at 10 p.m.
The festivities in northern Lincoln County kick off on July 3 with the Devils Lake pre-Independence Day celebration. The parade will begin at 7 p.m. in front of Regatta Park, featuring vessels decked out in patriotic fare to celebrate the holiday.
Following the procession, at 9:30 p.m. a professional fireworks display will be launched off of a barge centrally located on the lake near Brown Bear Park. Spectators can view the show clearly from D River Wayside, Regatta Park and Sand Point Park, as well as while boating on Devils Lake. The will last an estimated 20 to 30 minutes.
On July 4, folks don’t have to wait until the sun sets to celebrate. Gleneden Beach is hosting its 25th annual 4th of July Parade. From 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., a pancake breakfast will be served at the Gleneden Beach Community Club and all are welcome: plates for adults are $6 each, children ages 4-10 are $3 each and children under 4 eat for free. The vendor street fair and kids zone opens at 10 a.m. in the Eden Hall parking lot and, at 11 a.m., crowds will be treated to live music at the Red Roof by the brother-sister musical duo Run & Tell That. Roads will be blocked off at 12:30 p.m. before the parade begins at 1 p.m. A shuttle service will be available from Gleneden Beach State Park, Gleneden Beach Airport and Salishan Pro Shop.
There will also be live music at the Taft Pavilion starting at 12 p.m. and running until the fireworks show begins over the Siletz Bay, at approximately 10 p.m. This event is free and family-friendly.
In keeping with tradition, Waldport will be kicking of the July Fourth festivities a day early with a Third of July Fireworks show. If the skies are clear and there’s no fog, spectators will be able to enjoy a professional show a night earlier than in other towns. Per the city website, the best viewing areas for the show will be along the bay, from Robinson Park by the Port of Alsea to Keady Wayside at the south end of town.
The next morning, south county residents are welcome to come and enjoy the 23rd Yachats la de da Parade, which promises wacky, whimsical fun. Spectators can watch the human-powered parade from anywhere between 7th Street and Beach Avenue along Ocean View Drive, or from the oceanfront park lawn on 2nd Street.
At 5 p.m., those looking for more excitement can head down to the mouth of the Yachats River to watch the duck race, and stay after to enjoy the fireworks show over the Yachats Bay — though it can be seen from almost anywhere downtown.