Letter to the Editor:
On behalf of the San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce I would like to thank all who helped to make this a memorable 4th of July!
The 2019 Parade theme “Parade of Stars, past and present” was used in so many of our parade entries this year! We had outstanding entries, many decorated to match the theme, the parade route was packed, the red, white and blue bunting was hung and there was an unbelievable effort made by the community of our island and the businesses to pull off another patriotic 4th of July. After we heard the beautiful singing of the Star Spangled Banner by Chelsea Parrott, we had music, floats, marching bands, the Legion, the Community Marching Band, the UW Husky Band, horses, dogs, service clubs and kids. We were proud to honor our Grand Marshals, Jim and Minnie Knych, and the Honored Citizen Leslie Byron. We were so fortunate to have Alan Budwill announcing again from the Palace Theater and Patricia Love announcing from the Presbyterian Church. And to top it off, the weather, not hot or not cold, was just right!
The prize winners of the parade were Best use of Theme – Soroptimists of Friday Harbor; Best use of Theme non float was the National Parks; Best use of Theme Children – Salish Sea Ballet; Best Costumed Group – Francie Hansen and Friends; Best Animal Group – Bits and Spurs; Best off Island was the Husky Marching Band; and the Best Vehicle went to the San Juan Island Farmers Market.
The Firecracker Run, the parade, the Kiwanis Pig War BBQ, and Rock the Dock at the Port made for a fun filled day for all. And the grand finale of them all was a fabulous firework show put on by Nick Gislason, his loyal volunteers from all the islands and the Lopez Island Community Fireworks Association over the Port of Friday Harbor.
We have so many to thank! We could not have accomplished any of this without the support of the Town, Duncan Wilson, Justin and Will , Sheriff Ron Krebs, Sergeant Eric Peter and the deputies, Zack Aiken and his ferry crew, Judy and Jerry Alhadeff for letting us announce and judge from their deck, our judges Deborah Hopkins Buchanan, Bonnie Diemoz and Hobbes Buchanan, the Presbyterian Church for setting up the seating area in their driveway and Benj Ross who set up the sound system. Then there is more - our lead volunteer Parin Columna and his crew who pulled it off - Barbara Jensen, Carol Anderson, Annette McCullough, Sammantha Hopkins, Scott and Valerie Sluis, Ken Norris, Julie Strang, Jana Meredith, Kent Meeker, Julie Corey. A big thank you to Wendy at M&W for loaning us a smart car for me to zip around in and a car for the Grand Marshalls.
Finally, the San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce would like to thank Kings Market and the San Juan Island Brewing Company for the matching grant for the fireworks, the Town of Friday Harbor Lodging Tax and the generous donations from not only San Juan Island residents but so many visitors! Thank you to all those that helped make the 4th of July a very big success.
Executive Director San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce