The Fourth of July is one of Seaside’s most renowned annual events-filled days, featuring a parade, an old-fashioned social, a drum and bugle corps concert and one of Oregon’s biggest fireworks displays.
The celebration begins at 11 a.m. with a parade, which for the first time in decades is not being organized by the Seaside Museum and Historical Society. Instead, a small volunteer group of community representatives, led by Gini Dideum, is overseeing the event.
The parade will line up on Necanicum Drive by about 10:45 a.m. From Necanicum, the parade will travel east on 12th Avenue, then south on Holladay Drive to Broadway, west to Columbia, east to First Avenue back to Necanicum.
Registration for the parade is open through the end of June. Participants must be able to negotiate turns onto and off Broadway. Floats cannot be more than 40 feet in length‚ towing vehicle and float combined — and no more than 8-feet wide. If a float or vehicle distributes “goodies,” it must be done by someone walking alongside the entry. Nothing can be thrown from the float or vehicle.
Parade organizers still are seeking volunteers for behind-the-scenes help July 1-4 to help manage the event.
Immediately following the parade, the Seaside Museum and Historical Society will host its traditional Old Fashioned Social and Silent Auction at the museum, 570 Necanicum Dr. The social includes food, music, children’s games and the popular continuous Cake Walk. The auction features numerous items donated from businesses and museum supporters. The raffle item this year will be a $100 gift certificate to Fred Meyer. Raffle tickets are available for purchase at $1 each or $5 for eight tickets.
For the second year, the Oregon Crusaders — who have participated in Seaside’s Fourth of July celebrations for about a decade — will be featured in a full-fledged Drum and Bugle Corps Concert at Broadway Park starting at 2 p.m. The concert will launch the Crusaders on a five-week, 12,000-mile tour across the country that concludes in the Drum Corps International World Championships World Class Finals in Indianapolis on Satirdau. Aug. 8.
This is the third year the Oregon Crusaders, which includes 150 kids and 50 staff members and volunteers, are going to the World Class Finals, after having won the Open Class World Class Finals in 2013. With the addition of new instructors, expectations are high for the group to rank well, said part-time Seaside resident Larry Kriegshauser. The corps includes mostly Oregon participants, ages 15-21, but as the group has improved, they have started attracting kids from other states, and even other countries, Kriegshauser said.
At the Fourth of July concert, the Oregon Crusaders will perform a number of pieces from their repertoire, put on several demonstrations and perform their competitive field show. Eruption, of Gig Harbor, Wash. — the latest drum and bugle corps addition in the northwest — and Impulse, of Buena Park, Calif., also will perform their field shows. The cost of admission is $5 per person.
Organizers are hopeful, Dideum said, they can arrange for transportation between the two events, at the museum and Broadway Park, so the community can enjoy both.
Lastly, the public is invited to the Seaside beach at 10 p.m. to watch the city’s renowned fireworks show, sponsored by the Seaside Chamber of Commerce. Kriegshauser and his professional pyrotechnics company, K-Pyro, have produced the show the past 13 years. They will be presenting this year’s show, “Fire in the Sky.”
Kriegshauser picks a slightly different theme each year. Last year’s show, featuring the music of composer John Williams, was very popular, Kriegshauser said. This year’s show will incorporate more contemporary music, as well as a segment of patriotic songs, such as the “Star-Spangled Banner” and “When Johnny Comes Marching Home.”
A lot of the musical pieces are based on the theme of fire and targeted toward a varied audience of older and younger generations.
“The more I listen to it, the more excited I get,” Kriegshauser said. “It’s just a different thing than what we’ve done before.”
As in the past, K-Pyro acquired its fireworks from supplier Western Display Fireworks. The quality of the fireworks and the timing of the music are what make a good show, said Kriegshauser, adding it takes between one to two hours to program for each minute of the show.
Kriegshauser and his nearly 20-member crew will start setting up early the morning of Fourth of July and have everything ready to go by about 8 p.m. Meaningful to Kriegshauser is that the crew for this performance includes three generations of Kriegshausers, himself included. His son, Christopher, is working sound and his grandson, 18-year-old Connor, is in the first year of his pyrotechnician apprenticeship.
The Chamber of Commerce is continually fundraising for its fireworks fund; sponsorships and donations cover the costs of the display, sound system, sanitation, security and set-up each year, The chamber has different levels of sponsorship, from the Sparkler, which is a donation less than $100, to the Titanium Salute, which is a donation of $5,000. Each level is accompanied by different incentives, such as radio ads, a Chamber of Commerce door decoration, a display poster, radio mention during the event, VIP passes to various chamber events or a table at the annual chamber banquet. Donations should be made payable to the Fireworks Fund and addressed to The Fireworks Fund, PO Box 7, Seaside. Donations also can be made online at www.seasidechamber.com or by calling the chamber at 503-728-6391.