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Schedule announced for annual Freeland fireworks show

Freeland’s annual free fireworks show is on for certain, and details are nearly complete, organizers said.

The 22-minute show is scheduled to begin about 10:15 p.m. on Friday, July 3, off Freeland Park at Holmes Harbor.

Several events beginning in the afternoon at the park will lead up to the pyrotechnics.

“Though it was questionable whether the funds could be raised in the economic conditions that our community is facing, enough money has been given to make the event possible,” said Pastor Matt Chambers of the South Whidbey Assembly of God Church near Langley, sponsor of the event.

Last month, the $40,000 show, Celebrate America, was still $30,000 short, with expenses rising, and cancellation was being considered for the first time in 15 years, Chambers said.

But then the cost of the fireworks was reduced by half, thanks to the generosity of the people who will set them off.

Several large donors, at first reluctant, also stepped up, and hundreds of individuals and small businesses made donations of

$20 to $500, Chambers said.

The annual free event features games, food, entertainment and patriotism along with the fireworks.

In past years, as many as 7,000 people from Whidbey and off-island have jammed the park for the show, while hundreds more have watched at private parties in the surrounding area, Chambers said.

This year, a patriotic celebration immediately before the fireworks will honor military veterans, and a food drive to benefit Good Cheer Food Bank will be conducted throughout the event, he said.

The schedule so far:

2 p.m. – Bouncy House, inflatable games and face painting for children until 6:30 p.m.

4 p.m. – Concessions open.

6 p.m. – Square-dancing for all ages with caller Kappie Kappenman.

7:30 p.m. – Chance of Rain, a blues-rock band from the Greenbank area.

8:30 p.m. – Slap Happy, a South End men’s a cappella quartet, with a twist.

9:45 p.m. – Patriotic celebration with soloist Robert L. Evans.

10:15 p.m. – Fireworks show.

Shuttle buses will run non-stop to the park from the Freeland park-and-ride lot at Trinity Lutheran Church, and from Chase Bank (formerly Washington Mutual), starting at 4:30 p.m.

Food-donation bins for Good Cheer will be at the shuttle pick-up sites and at the information booth at the park entrance, Chambers said. Cash donations are welcome.

The following roads in Freeland will be closed from 2 p.m. to

11 p.m. on Friday, July 3: Shoreview Drive between Freeland Avenue and Stewart Road, and Myrtle Avenue between Shoreview Drive and Main Street.

Residents living within this area can obtain a roadblock pass by calling the church at 221-1656.

The boat ramp at Freeland Park also will be closed at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 2, until midnight on Friday, July 3.

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