Anacortes, WA knows how to celebrate the 4th. With a day filled with events, locals and visitors celebrate the 4th of July in true Anacortes style. Kicking of the day-long festivities is the traditional town photo. Crowding close together, the towns people of Anacortes capture another moment in Anacortes history.
By 10:30 a.m. the crowds lined the streets for the main event... The Anacortes Parade. From 4th to 11th street, each inch of the sidewalks this year was lined with people, by far, the largest crowd to-date.
An hour and a half long, here are the 10 highlights of the parade.
1. The Size and Enthusiasm of the Crowd
This year was the largest crowd for the Anacortes 4th of July parade. With the newly paved and painted downtown streets, children lined up in the bicycle lane anxiously waiting for the candy.
2. The Flyover
Two jets and the rescue helicopter from Whidbey NAS (Naval Air Station) kicked off the parade. The crowd cheered in ah as they flew overhead.
The crowd hollered and whooped as Popeye stopped in the intersection to give Olive Oyl a big smooch on the cheek.
A crowd favorite, the Twisted Pixies each year devise new costumes and dance their way along the parade route.
Children and parents welcomed the first Anacortes Intergalactic guest as he raised the American Flag in greetings.
5. Special Guests - Anacortes welcomes Sister City... Sidney, B.C.
Sister City, Sidney, B.C. continued their celebration of 150 years by attending its Sister City, Anacortes' 4th of July Parade.
6. Town Criers
Each year, the Anacortes Town Crier, Richard Riddell, begins the parade in true Town Crier Form. This year, special guest, Kenny (Sidney, B.C. Town Crier) joined Richard combining two great communities together as they both celebrated their Independence.
7. The Princess Wave
No parade is complete without the wave of a Princess. This year, little girls (and boys) were waved to by a float filled with Princesses.
8. The Men and Women Who Serve
A BIG Thank you to all the men an women who serve our Nation and our Communities.
9. The Big Guys
Each year the parade ends with these guys from Shell, a big hit with the kids as they scuttle their way down the parade route.
10. The Locals
What really makes a great 4th of July parade (and Community) are the people. Thank you to all.
Yep, Anacortes, WA knows how to celebrate the 4th of July.
by Karla Locke
Nestled in the foothills, just off the scenic Pintler Veterans' Memorial Scenic Highway, is Philipsburg, Montana. Founded in 1867, this small town is rich in history, gems, and candy. At first glance it sort of looks like any other small western town; old buildings, dirt roads, like something time may have forgotten. But you should never judge a book by its cover; the same can be said about small towns.
The scenic countryside alone is worth the trip. Surrounded by hills and valleys and expansive views of mountains, Philipsburg is a great place to hang out for a while. The National Trust picked Philipsburg as one of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations for Historic Preservation and for a good reason. This small community of around 950 has a big heart and a warm welcome for the thousands of visitors coming through each year.
In the late 1800s Phillipsburg was prosperous and a part of the mining boom. It was around 1892 when mining for sapphires were first mined, today mining is still a big draw for visitors who travel from all over to sift and dig in gravel in search for a gem they can call own. The Sapphire Gallery, Montana Gems of Philipsburg, and Gem Mountain brings the miner out of its visitors, or is just a great place to purchase gems already mined and made available in a variety of ways.
Another sweet draw for visitors is The Sweet Place, the world's greatest candy store. The Victorian era decor, dressed in pink and white, takes visitors back in time. Hard candies, Jelly Belly, and over 72 varieties of salt-water taffy in jars attract visitors who fill their bags with yummy sweetness. In the middle of the store is sweet heaven with exquisite and enticing handmade chocolates and caramels too tempting to ignore and so many choices for visitors to enjoy. But it is the checkout line where visitor’s taste buds go into full swing… mouthwatering fudge that melts in your mouth and takes you to a sweet paradise you may never return from. The Sweet Place is a sensory overload of absolute deliciousness, a must for all visitors.
Old, charming, historical, and sweet, Philipsburg is a great place to unwind, enjoy life the way it should be, and bustling with excitement.
Don’t just drive by Philipsburg, dismissing it as some small town—stop and taste the candy, mine for gems, and enjoy the small town’s charming history. It’s worth the trip.
by Karla Locke
The day started early, the sun was just starting to peek over the Cascades. We left Anacortes at 5:30 a.m. Fog shrouded the foothills and early morning light brightened the Skagit Valley farmlands. We had an 8:00 a.m. seaplane to catch in Renton and two-hours of morning traffic to get through, there was no time to dawdle and take photographs.
We were providing taxi service for a 93-year-old woman who was flying on a seaplane to Princess Louisa Inlet in British Columbia with friends. We arrived at 7:30 and waited for the captain and the other passengers to arrive. It took four of them to help board the 93-year-old, but once onboard and everything was secured they taxied out on Lake Washington and ascended to the sky at 8:30 a.m
This was the start of our 9 hours to kill.
Tired from not much sleep and getting up so early we decided the daycation needed to be mellow, easy, and not much driving involved.
How to kill 9 hours in Renton? Here is what we did...
1. Eat Breakfast. First order of business…food. Thanks to Yelp we located a breakfast place that was close by, The Countryside Cafe in Renton. With the help of SIRI we got directions and we were there in no time. Located in a Strip Mall, outside the place didn’t look like much. But we were hungry, the reviews on Yelp were good, their website was helpful, and we didn’t want to drive around.
Inside was homey and bustling. All the booths were full so we seated ourselves at a table. The friendly owner whizzed around, greeting people, talking with regulars, and making sure everything was in order. Tony ordered the California Benedict and I ordered 2 eggs, 2 links, 2 bacons, hash browns, and 2 pancakes. The food came in large portions, you would think we were starving.
OMG was it delicious. Believe it or not we ate almost every bite. The hash browns looked like regular hash browns but they were soooo good. And the pancakes were so light and fluffy it was hard to control myself. The scrambled eggs were good, but not something to write home about and the links and sausage were good.
An hour killed… only 8 more to go!
2. Too full to do much, our next event needed to help digest all that food. We went to Cedar River Park, just off I-405 on Hwy 169. The park has a water park and swimming pool, community center, theater, and the Cedar River Trail. The trail follows a historic railroad route goes from Renton to Maple Valley. Since we were on foot, and full from breakfast, we only did 2 miles of the 17.3-mile trail.
Another hour killed… Only 7 more to go.
3. It was morning, the sun was shining, and it was already heating up to be a hot day in Renton. For our next event we went to the 11:00 a.m. showing of Transformers: The Last Night. Inside a dark and air-conditioned theater we could stay cool and get our adrenaline high from a action-packed, blow-em-up, Michael Bay movie. The movie itself was okay but the newer Regal Cinema at The Landing in Renton had comfy seats to spend some time in.
2 ½ hours killed… Only 4 ½ hours left
4. Since we were being lazy, we just hang around The Landing for the next few hours. Around 3:00 p.m. breakfast started to wear off and we looked for a someplace to get a small snack. We found Happy Hour in the bar at the Wildfin American Grill. We ordered:
This was a most delicious way to spend an hour and half. The fondue dish was addictive and enticing. You could not get enough of it. The Wagyu Beef in the Wildfin Street Taco melted in your mouth and had just the right amount of flavoring to tantalize your tastebuds. The atmosphere was relaxing and invited us to just hang out for a while, which we gladly accepted the invitation.
3 ½ hours killed… 1 hour left
5. We killed the last hour at the Renton Municipal Airport watching the small planes take off and land, eagles, great blue herons, turtles, and other wildlife. A cool breeze wafted off the water keeping us comfortable in the hot sun.
Finally our little old lady returned… happy and very tired. She had an exciting trip to Princess Louisa Inlet by seaplane, an adventure she will cherish. We had a comfortable and relaxing daycation in Renton. Time flew by and we managed to stay entertained, enjoy great food, and stayed awake.
by Karla Locke
Short Stories of passion, of life, of people.