Opinion

Help make next ‘Celebrate America’ one great festival

It is hard to believe that the Fourth of July is right around the corner. Celebrate America, which takes place on the third of July each year, has become a fixture in our community and gives thousands of people a chance to celebrate freedom and pride in our country in a safe, family, fun atmosphere.

John Adams, the nation’s second president wrote these words:

“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

Celebrate America is fulfilling the vision of our second president and other founding fathers “with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations” (fireworks).

This year’s event will include many fun activities for the whole family. There will again be face painting and balloon art and puppet performances for the little ones to enjoy. There will also be old-fashioned community fair games like marshmallow stuffing, watermelon seed spitting, etc.

We’ll have music performances for your entertainment by the Shifty Sailors (featuring our own Dr. Robert Wagner, pediatrician extraordinaire), and the rock band, Southbound, (made up of local teen talents Taylor Herring, Devon Sidhu, Miles Milfs and Matt Lachausse). Predators of the Heart will thrill us with an exotic animal show, and do not forget about all the delicious concessions filled with a variety of food choices. The evening will conclude with a spectacular, professional fireworks display over Holmes Harbor.

For 13 consecutive years, Celebrate America has been entirely funded by donations from local individuals, businesses and churches. The generous financial support and belief in this event allows us to organize and host this gift to the community. This year the cost of the event has increased to nearly $40,000 due mainly to a necessary change in the supplier of the fireworks, the overall cost of fireworks, barge rental and fuel costs.

If Celebrate America has become a tradition in your family and you, like John Adams, would like to see it “celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival,” please consider partnering financially with us.

Tax-deductible donations can be made:

• In person at any Whidbey Island Bank Branch;

• By mailing a check to Celebrate America, PO Box 1449, Langley, WA 98260;

• Or going online to www.swag-online.org.

We hope to have all donations in by May 31 to assist us in our planning. As a supporter of Celebrate America, you will receive a receipt for tax purposes at the end of the year.

Thank you for your support! We hope to see you at Freeland Park on July 3!

Matt Chambers is pastor of South Whidbey Assembly of God in Langley.

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