Celebrate July Fourth, Olympic Peninsula Style

July Fourth on the Olympic Peninsula offers a bounty of traditional small-town fun with a Pacific Northwest twist. Communities across the region host apple pie contests, salmon bakes, fun runs, frog jumps, local food and music, and, of course, parades and fireworks shows.

Here’s your patriotic planner for Independence Day events on the Olympic Peninsula.

Forks: Old-Fashioned Fourth of July

The town of Forks, near the Pacific coast, is famous worldwide for its annual Twilight festival and renowned locally for throwing the biggest Independence Day party on the peninsula. Forks Old-Fashioned Fourth of July spans multiple days and is chock-full of fun for everyone in your group. Fuel up at the community breakfast. Mark your way to a winning bingo card. Test your endurance at the fun run. Feast at a Pacific Northwest salmon bake. Watch fearless drivers crash and bash in the demolition derby. Enjoy music in the park, arts and crafts, horseshoe and cribbage tourneys, the legendary frog jump, fireworks, and more.

Fourth of July in Forks. Photo: Land’s End Images

Neah Bay: Fourth of July

The community of Neah Bay, in the northwest corner of the Olympic Peninsula, marks Independence Day with a parade beginning at the Makah Cultural and Research Center Museum. Afterward, cheer on the competitors in traditional field events. Cast a line in the fishing derby. Browse the quilt and fiber arts show. Fuel up on tasty goodies from local food vendors. Folks come from far and wide for the big fireworks show over Makah Bay

Port Angeles: Downtown Fourth of July

Fin the Salmon in the Port Angeles Fourth of July parade.

Near the main entrance to Olympic National Park, Port Angeles celebrates all day downtown and on the waterfront. Start at the Kids Zone at the Gateway Center for hands-on activities and face painting. Head over to City Pier for the apple pie contest. The newly renamed Pebble Beach Park (Sŋaʔŋáʔant Cáwŋən ʔəssaqɬúŋt in the Lower Klallam Tribe language) hosts a home run derby, beer garden, food court, and lounge. Also on deck: a hot dog eating contest, lawnmower derby, pickleball and cornhole tournaments, live music and dancing, and, of course, the big parade and a fireworks show over the harbor.

Sequim: Patriotic Fourth of July Celebration with the Sequim City Band

If you’re in the area visiting lavender farms, pack a picnic and chairs for the Patriotic Fourth of July Celebration, presented by the Sequim City Band, in Carrie Blake Park. With the majestic Olympic Mountains as your backdrop, tap your toes to classic American tunes by composers like John Philip Sousa and Duke Ellington. Military veterans are recognized in the Armed Forces Salute for their service to our country.

Port Townsend: Old School 4th of July at Fort Worden

The parade grounds at historic Fort Worden in Port Townsend are your HQ for Old School Fourth of July festivities. S’Klallam Tribe singers and drummers open the day with traditional music, followed by an eclectic lineup of local bands to get you moving and grooving. Also on tap: free root beer floats and feats of strength, including a tug-of-war challenge, walnut sack races, and a watermelon eating contest. Instead of fireworks, a laser light show caps off the holiday.