For the 38th consecutive year, Sunnyside Park will host Pullman’s Fourth of July festivities. Roughly 10,000 people are expected to attend, according to Amberly Boone, event coordinator for the Pullman Chamber of Commerce.
While the Chamber of Commerce organizes the event, Boone said it is successful due to the support from the community. WSU’s Student Entertainment Board (SEB) will pay for the performers and local businesses will donate food to sell at the event. Parks and Recreation will provide free bus service to the park beginning at 4:15 p.m. The event itself starts at 5:00 p.m.
Boone said the event creates a sense of togetherness.
"It has a really nice hometown family-feel to it," she said. "It’s a great opportunity for everyone to get together and act as a community."
For the past 15 years, the event has included a performance by The Fabulous Kingpins, a native Moscow band. Lead singer Cliff Miller described the group as a "classic rock-n-roll show band."
"We try to make our performances more than just music," Miller said. "We want to create an experience."
Miller said he enjoys the entire event, not just the chance to perform.
The firework display begins after The Kingpins leave the stage. Judith Julian, president at Entertainment Fireworks, which is supplying the event, said the show will last about 18 minutes.
Julian describes firework displays as being an important and long-standing national pastime.
"It’s an American tradition, just like apple pie," she said.
Julian said she believes firework shows create a sense of unity.
"It builds friendship," she said. "It allows for camaraderie, even with people you may not know."
Senior Pyrotechnic Operator David Wingo described setting up the firework display as an intricate process. He said it has taken three days to complete the set for the Pullman show.
He said he has to take natural obstacles and hazards into account when planning a show. He used the wheat field behind the park as an example due to its high flammability.
Because of this danger, Wingo said it is important that the set be approved by a fire marshal. Some of the shells used in the display can launch 500 feet in the air and could be dangerous in an accident.
Pullman Fire Chief Mike Heston said he expects the event to be a safe and enjoyable evening.
Several firefighters will be attending the event and will have the trucks on display in the park. The firefighters will help monitor the event and watch for potential fire hazards.
Heston said he doesn’t expect any trouble at the event, but admitted there have been small incidents in past years.
"Sometimes people bring sparklers, which absolutely are not allowed in the park," he said. "They may seem innocent enough, but in a large, crowded area they can be dangerous."
Heston said he simply wants the event to be enjoyable for everyone.
"We’re looking forward to a fairly safe Fourth of July," Heston said. "Let’s limit it to safe and fun."
For a full map of the park and its events, check out the Pullman chamber website.