Portland is serving up this Fourth of July with a whole lot of sparkle and bang and a little bit of music and flair. Whether you and your tribe likes celebrating the 4th with rides, skates, big crowds and fiery effects or prefers to be patriotic in a more subdued fashion, there’s a fun event waiting just for you. Read on to find out more about our fair city’s best summer holiday line up.

photo: Reverse Ring via flickr

Safeway Waterfront Blues Fest
Safeway Waterfront Blues Fest is celebrating its 30th Anniversary and attendees can expect a star-studded line up like never before. This festival brings the best crowds and music the whole family will love from July 1-4. It features 150 performances which includes both local and national bands, including Chris Isaak, Joss Stone, Galactic, and Booker T Stax Revue.

On the Fourth of July, your clan can count on tons of delicious food and an unforgettable entertainment. MarchFourth will be kicking of the evening’s fun with an explosion of brassy funk, rock, and jazz. The act includes 20 musicians, dancers and artisans. Their show includes incredible music along with stilt walkers, hoopers and Vaudeville-style dancers. The kids are sure to be as mesmerized as you will be. Fireworks begin at 10:05 p.m., but you’ll want to show up early to stake out a good spot on the grass inside the festival. You can also get a nice view of the show from across the river on the Eastbank Esplanade. Daily admission is a $10 minimum.

Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park
S.W. Naito Parkway (SW Harrison to NW Glisan streets)
$10/Daily Pass (multi-day passes available)
Sat.-Tue., July 1-4
Online: waterfrontbluesfest.com

The Oregon Garden
If your little ones can’t handle the big crowds, or if your crew just prefers to spend the Fourth at home, head to The Oregon Garden on July 3 for a smaller, more intimate fireworks show The evening’s show includes live music and fireworks and takes place in Founder’s Square in the  Silverton Market Garden and Axis Garden. But you can start the celebration much earlier than that. The Garden’s doors open at 9 a.m. and Yoga in the Garden Classes are held at 10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m. Once you are feeling zen, say around 6 p.m., head on over to the stage area. Admission is free for all guests after 6 p.m. and live music kicks off at 7 p.m. Family activities include face painting and bouncy houses and vendors will be present with great eats. Bring your blankets and folding chairs, fireworks start at 10 p.m. This is a pet-free event, but don’t forget your low beach chairs or picnic blankets to sit on.

Oregon Garden
879 W Main St.
Mon., July 3
Online: oregongarden.org

photo: Vanessa Lynn via flickr

Oaks Park
Just imagine, fireworks where the fun is endless for kids big and small. Fireworks at Oaks Park is a kid’s dream come true. Fireworks begin at dusk for this alcohol-free event, but the the rides and the roller rink extend their hours so the party really lasts. Gates open at 10 a.m. with super-fun summer carnival festivities. Park wristbands  are valid all day and their are rides available for children of all ages. If you have a kiddo that doesn’t enjoy dropping a load of adrenaline, take them for a game of mini golf or for a race around the roller rink. Entry is $2 for kids 15 and under, $5 for ages 16-61 and $3 for ages 62 and up. Parking is free and the park will be open from 10 a.m.- midnight.

Oaks Amusement Park
7805 SE Oaks Park Way
Tues., July 4
Online: oakspark.com

Independence Day at Fort Vancouver
Celebrating over 50 years of putting on one of the most fantastical fireworks displays, Independence Day at Fort Vancouver is sure to please everyone in your tribe. Located in Vancouver, fireworks are launched from Pearson Field and synchronized to music. Your little ones are sure to dance and squeal with delight, and you just might too. But this event is much more than fireworks, live entertainment starts at 6 p.m. and includes Blues, Folk, Salsa, and Roots bands. Vendors will be onsite as well with food, arts and crafts for attendees to peruse and nosh on. You are welcome to bring your own food and drink (no alcohol please) along with chairs and blankets to sit on. While general admission is just a $5 donation, prime viewing seats are available. These seats are location just a few hundred yard from the fireworks and provide and unforgettable show for you and your clan. The area is located just south of Pearson Air Museum and tickets are $25 for youth ages 6-17 and $50 for adults 18 and over.   .

Ft. Vancouver National Historic Site
1501 E Evergreen Blvd.
Vancouver, Wa
Tues., July 4
Online: 4th.fortvan.org

photo: Richard Insley via flickr

Corbett Fun Festival
Enjoy a small-town classic Fourth of July celebration that lasts all day long. Start your day off with a pancake breakfast then take your littles to cruise in a parade. Once that is done head to the Action Zone for all ages where you will find a pie eating contest, bounce house, water slide, mini golf, archery and more. Live entertainment starts at 2 p.m. and includes The Sarah Clarke Quintet, local supergroup Kate & the Crocodiles, Jackfoolery, Island in the Sun and more! Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. and run to 10 p.m. Festival wristbands cost $10; event parking an additional $5. Note that roads into Corbett close at 9:30 a.m. on the 4th for the parade, so be sure to get there early.

Corbett Grade School
35800 East Historic Columbia River Hwy.
Tues., July 4
Online: corbettfunfest.com

photo: Janet Lackey via flickr

St. Paul Rodeo
Get a taste of the wild, wild west at the St. Paul Rodeo this Fourth of July. Escape the rush and madness of the city and head an hour southwest to St. Paul where you can enjoy your holiday country style. Now in their 82nd year, this annual rodeo is packed with events including a carnival for little ones, barrel racing, professional bull riding, roping, music and fireworks every single night after the shows. On the Fourth of July, there is an additional patriotic surprise with a parade at 10 a.m., a carnival beginning at 11 a.m. and lasting all day, rodeo performances at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and fireworks at 10:15 p.m. Rodeo tickets are $16-$26 depending on the day, and carnival wristbands are $25.

St. Paul Rodeo
20025 4th St.
St. Paul
Fri.-Tues., June 30-July 4
Online: stpaulrodeo.com

Estacada Timber Festival
Hosted at  Timber Park, the Estacada Timber Park festival has everything your family could want from a 4th of July bash. The Day starts of at 10 a.m with a star spangled parade. Grab a spot downtown along Main Street and Broadway to get a front row seat  to the fanfare. Then at noon, Timber events begin. Get ready for chain saw show offs, 50/50 axe throws, a log pond competition, a horse pull and more. Live music will begin at 4:45 p.m. with Calico the Band, followed by the Big Bang Fireworks Show at 10 p.m. Bring blankets and chairs to fully enjoy. $10 onsite parking and $5 per person 9-years old and up.

Timber Park
30878 NW Evergreen Way
Tues., July 4
Online: estacadatimberfestival.com


Where did you take your clan for the 4th of July?  Let us know in the comments below!

—  Annette Benedetti