By CHERYL SCHWEIZER
For The Sun Tribune
OTHELLO — The nation’s birthday will be celebrated in the Columbia Basin with fireworks, parades, farmers markets and cherry pie. George and Othello will sponsor town celebrations on July 4.
The Fourth of July starts early in Othello, with the annual “Let Freedom Run” fun run from 7 to 7:15 a.m. Registration opens at 6:15 a.m. The course includes 10 kilometer, five-kilometer, one-mile and walking options.
The Othello Rotary will be serving breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. at Lions Park. Registration for the annual soccer tournament opens at 8 a.m.; the tournament itself starts at 11 a.m. For those who need a little exercise first thing in the morning, Zumba is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. on the Main Stage in Lions Park. The Othello Farmers Market will be open for the first time this season.
Lineup for the parade starts at 8:30 a.m. at the intersection of 13th Street and East Main Street. The parade steps off at 10 a.m, down Main Street to Third Street, one block over to Cedar Street and back to Lions Park. The flag will be raised at about 11:15 a.m.
Activities are planned in the park throughout the day, including three-point basketball and skateboard competitions, music and plenty of food. Fireworks are scheduled for 10 p.m.
The day starts just as early in George, with volunteers going to work making the cherry pie. It’s only one pie, but it’s a big pie. Volunteers start assembling it at 7 a.m. in the pie pavilion in the city park. That’s the same time as some of the food booths open for breakfast.
Registration for the annual Cherry Bomb Run opens at 7 a.m.; registration is at the traffic island on Montmorency Boulevard, about two blocks west of the city park. The race itself starts at 8:30 a.m.
Parade participants start lining up at 9 a.m. in the parking lot at the Martha Inn. The parade starts at 10 a.m., with a route down George’s main street. There will be games for children in the park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The flag will be raised at 11 a.m., followed by activities in the park during the afternoon, including pie-eating and cherry-pit-spitting contests. Having been made, the cherry pie then gets eaten, starting at noon. A $1 donation is suggested for a plate of pie and ice cream.
Music and entertainment will be featured on the main stage during the afternoon and evening, with the band Los Vega as the finale. The fireworks begin at dusk.