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Sparkling 4th awaits Oak Harbor

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Oak Harbor’s annual Old Fashioned Fourth of July celebration will begin a day early for those needing a good priming.

Adrenaline will pump, stomachs will fill and stuffed animals will find new homes during the Family Carnival beginning Thursday at Windjammer Park. The carnival will run through July 6.

“We want to make sure we have something for everyone,” said event planner Heather Johnson with the Greater Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce. “The carnival is a great event in itself and literally satisfies appetites between events.”

Patriotism will ooze from First United Methodist Church Thursday at 7 p.m. as residents enjoy the patriotic musical “Sweet Land of Liberty.”

“Part of Oak Harbor’s appeal is the talent living here,” Johnson said. “The musical showcases that talent.”

Oak Harbor Rotary members will provide fuel for event celebrants from 7:30 to 10 a.m. at the YMCA. Starting the euphorically long day with a hearty breakfast is the key to ensuring maximum enjoyment and longevity, Johnson said.

Food and fun will follow at 10:30 a.m. and continue until 1 p.m. And the best part is that breakfast feasters can release the top button of their pants and stay where they are. The food and fun is downtown at the YMCA.

In between carnival rides and food, the Grand Parade will draw people from far and wide. Sponsored by the Koetje Agency and Travelers Insurance, the popular chain of excitement will travel down Pioneer Way starting at 11 a.m.

“You almost can’t see the shops during the parade. People turn out in droves,” Johnson added. “We appreciate the Oak Harbor Rotary organizing the parade.”

Arts and crafts vendors, as well as food vendors will turn Windjammer Park into the perfect spot for food connoisseurs and art aficionados alike.

Unconventional friendly competitions will be all the rage from 2 to 6 p.m. at the gazebo at Windjammer Park. Games will be held hourly and include an egg toss, pie-eating contest, sack races, Hula Hoop contest, and the cardiac arrest-inducing jalapeno eating contest. The fun family games are sponsored by Kenmore Air Express and the Coachman Inn.

The day will culminate 10 p.m. at Windjammer Park with the Harbor Station Community Fireworks Celebration. The event speaks for itself.

“It’s a great way to end the day,” Johnson said. “Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.”

On Saturday, July 5, Comcast invites people to Windjammer Park to watch the film “A Night at the Museum” on their outdoor cinema screen. The free event begins at dusk and everyone is invited.

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