The 4th of July is all about family, cook-outs and fireworks for many people living in Clark County. It is also tied to local traditions, whether it is making the trek to Fort Vancouver or enjoying the small town feel of the festivities in places like Camas or Ridgefield.
In many places in the area, the use of fireworks is extremely limited if not altogether banned. This is where local communities step in to sponsor larger displays to celebrate with bright fireworks that light up the sky.
Recent years have seen a change in the display at Fort Vancouver, but it is back this year bigger than ever before. The focus is on the thrill of the big display and a return to basics.
Whether you are looking for information about the biggest display around or an all-day activity for the family, there is plenty to do over the extended holiday weekend. Check out these events all over Clark County to honor a family tradition or even start a new one.
Sunday, July 1st
Steam Train Robbery Independence Day
The Chelatchie Prairie Railroad is hosting several runs of their Steam Train Robbery trek with a special nod to the holiday. Everything is all decked out in red, white and blue as passengers enjoy a Wild West family adventure.
Their restored steam engine will transport families through amazing local scenery and almost back in time as the train robbers approach the train. The route starts in Yacolt and tickets are available online.
Wednesday, July 4th
Vancouver’s Firework Spectacular
Fireworks return to the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. Many local families make the trip to see the display every year, and this includes spending the day at the park.
This year is center around the magnificent firework display that is set to start promptly at 10:05 PM. Because so many families enjoy spending the whole day at the event, gates open at 8 AM. Organizers are suggesting that families plan to arrive by at least 6 PM to get prime seating.
Unlike years passed, there will be no food or beer vendors at this event. There will also not be any live music. The fireworks will be synced to a local radio station as is the tradition
There is no cost for this event and details about parking and access can be found here.
The Clark County Saddle Club welcomes the Vancouver Rodeo July 4th to the 7th. Events for this three-day rodeo include many of the traditional rodeo sports like barrel racing, bull riding, mutton busting, steer wrestling and even some roping. After a day of competitions, crowds are treated to a night of music and dancing. The schedule of events is rounded out by the traditional cowboy breakfast and the celebration of the Rodeo Queen and her court.
Public Days at Alderbrook Park
Alderbrook Park is celebrating the 4th by opening up the private property for families from July 4th to July 6th. Located in Brush Prairie, this sprawling family-centered location offers a huge heated pool, a pond with paddle boats, bouncy houses and a host of other outdoor activities.
The park is open from 11 AM to 7 PM. Admission is $10 per adult before 4 PM. Children ages 4 to 16 are $6 while those under 4 are free.
City of Ridgefield 4th of July Celebration
Residents and visitors alike enjoy a full day of activities in Ridgefield. The day begins with a hearty Pancake Breakfast from 7-10 AM via the Firefighters Association. The day continues with a 10K/5K fun run, parade, Lion’s Club BBQ and the showstopping fireworks display.
The fireworks will be launched at the Port near the Marina at 10:15 PM. Throughout the day there will also be kid-friendly activities like bouncy houses, magicians and face painting at Ridgefield Refuge Overlook Park.
July Celebration and Concert
The City of Washougal is hosting its annual concert and firework display at the Washougal Waterfront Park The concert starts at 6 PM featuring local live music. The fireworks follow at 10 PM.
While many families enjoy bringing a picnic for the afternoon, there will also be food vendors on site.
The Hero’s Challenge
This fun family event starts at 7 AM to raise money for local Veterans. The race starts and ends at Captain William Clark Park in Washougal. 100% of the money raised will go to help local service members through the Point Man Ministries of Clark County.
Events include a 30-mile bike ride, 10 K run, a 5 K walk/run and a Kid’s 300m race.
4th of July Spectacular Painting Event
Brewed Awakenings in Vancouver is hosting a holiday-themed painting event. For $30 each participant will get a canvas, paints and instructions to create an amazing firework display in a painting.
The event starts at 12:30 PM with a step by step lesson on painting. The class runs for about 2 hours to leave guests plenty of time to enjoy firework in the evening. Tickets need to be purchased in advance.
Red, White and You Karaoke
Starting at 9 PM Donnell’s Bar and Grill in downtown Vancouver will be hosting a patriotic singing event. This small town bar with big talent will be offering 4th of July themed drink and food specials all night. They are close enough to the Fort to make this another stop in the night’s celebration. There will be themed karaoke including crowd favorites like Katy Perry’s “Firework” till closing.
Thursday, July 5th
The Vancouver Rodeo fun continues at the Clark County Saddle Club. Today’s events include bull riding, steer events and a DJ hosted dance in the evening. This event is all ages.
Public Days at Alderbrook Park
This private entertainment center in Brush Prairie opens the huge estate to the public for the long holiday celebration. They are open for business from 11 AM to 7 PM. This includes access to their expansive outdoor pool, games and events for all ages.
Friday, July 6th
Food Truck Pod Opening Celebration
Downtown Vancouver will be hosting a special event to showcase the opening of the new Turtle Place Food Truck Pod. This is happening from 11 AM to 2 PM on Friday as many are still enjoying the holiday, the pod is located between Main and Washington St. on 7th Street.
Vancouver Rodeo and Public Days at Alderbrook Park continue today.