Sunday, July 21, 2024

Wenatchee celebrates Independence Day with music, food, and fireworks at Walla Walla Park

The pyrotechnics crew ends their show to the excitement of the crowd with a massive explosion of patriotic color.
WILL NILLES/WARD MEDIA
Walla Walla Park bustles with energy as Prefunc performs their faithful cover of Toto’s Africa.
WILL NILLES/WARD MEDIA
Posted

WENATCHEE- Music from local rock and country artists intermingled in the air with the savory aroma of barbecued meats as hundreds of families gathered to celebrate US Independence at Wenatchee’s Walla Walla Park.

Various regional food vendors lined the park’s lush lawn, providing eventgoers with a selection of delectable choices. Amongst the vendors, traveling churro stand Churros Factory sold their simple yet delicious fried desserts, offering free samples. 

Alex Montiel managed the Churros Factory stand, happy to be out at the event and adding to the festivities with their fresh churros. 

“It’s a good event. [It’s nice] just like seeing everything, seeing the people and giving them what they want,” Montiel explained after helping a few satisfied customers. 

Across the lawn from the food vendors, local Washingtonian musicians performed a combination of classic American country and rock music hits. Kitty Mae, hailing from Hoodsport, Washington, delivered an energetic country performance at the event. Mae commented on her favorite part about playing at community events like this

”Family and children. I play a lot of honky-tonks and bars where there’s no kids, you know. But they love live music, they need a chance to see live music. I remember when I was under age, it was harder to find live music, so it’s fun just to have everybody be involved.”

Far away from the crowd's buzz, the local pyrotechnics crew prepared their fireworks show, the central focus of many eventgoers’ minds. 

Kylee Boggs, head pyrotechnician, leads a volunteer crew of ten to fifteen circulating members. The technicians in her crew consist of a unique collection of retired tech students, current tech students, and technicians from different fields in the local area. Boggs shared her thoughts on the different opportunities she takes pleasure in when operating pyrotechnics at community events.

“My favorite part is teaching the next generation of pyrotechnicians,” she explained with enthusiasm. “I really enjoy getting people excited about what we do, and learning the safest way to do what we can do so that most people can enjoy it.”

Boggs and her crew did not disappoint. As a local classic rock band, Prefunc, finished up their impressive set of 80s hits, the sunset on the Wenatchee Foothills, and Boggs’ crew used the night sky as a canvas to paint their red-hot work over the heads of hundreds of joyful onlookers. 

With so many visitors and community members attending, the event grew into a vibrant mixture of foods, languages, and cultures, all in celebration of the nation’s conception. In a way, Wenatchee’s massive crowd of celebrators represents an important sample of the American population, a multinational group of people whose origins and mother tongues are widely varied. This leads to a community with a unique local culture and the capability to confront any issue head-on. 

Will Nilles: (509) 731-3211 or will@ward.media

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