Photos by Cheryl Landes
On July 4 at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver, Washington, the fireworks burst in spectacular displays at this 56th annual event. Some look like giant bouquets of flowers, while others spin and twist in the dark sky.
Others shoot up like giant sparklers and pop at the ends.
And others look like green dragonflies.
Bring a blanket or low chair, stake out a spot in the meadow, and hang out with family and friends. Bring your own treats, or buy food and drinks from the cart vendors.
Coolers with food and non-alcoholic beverages are allowed, except drinks in glass containers. Food cart selections this year include Mediterranean, gourmet sandwiches, fruit pops, kettlecorn, and fair food (hotdogs, etc.).
While you’re there, visit the reconstructed Fort Vancouver stockade, the Pearson Air Museum, the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center, and the Bookstore at the Visitor Center. Admission to all facilities are free on July 4, except for Fort Vancouver, which costs $10 for adults. America the Beautiful passes are honored, and youth ages 15 and younger are admitted for free.
Fort Vancouver and the Pearson Air Museum are open from noon to 8 p.m., and the Visitor Center and Bookstore are open from noon to 5 p.m. An extended shop located adjacent to the Visitor Center will be open until 8 p.m. The Bookstore sells books, artwork, jewelry, tea, and snacks.
Starting at 5:30 p.m., three bands will perform at the Main Stage on East Fifth Street between Fort Vancouver and the Pearson Air Museum:
The food carts will be located on the east side of the Main Stage. A free water station, hosted by Clark Public Utilities, will be across the street from the Pearson Air Museum.
Admission is free. Donations will be accepted for these events and organizations:
- Vancouver’s Fireworks Spectacular
- Vancouver Barracks Military Association
- Special Forces Association
- Buffalo Soldiers
- Community Military Appreciation Committee
- Combat Veterans International
Parking is available but fills quickly. C-Tran will run free shuttle buses from the Fisher’s Landing Transit Station at 3510 SE 164th Avenue and the 99th Street Transit Station at 9700 NE Seventh Avenue starting at 5:30 p.m. Buses drop off passengers at Clark Public Utilities, near Gate 2, and provide return service after the fireworks show. The buses continue to run after the show until everyone has been picked up.
Security will search bags and other containers at the four entry gates. These items are not allowed:
- Pets, except service animals
- Glass bottles and containers
- Personal fireworks
- Barbecue grills
Smoking and vaping are not allowed past the gates. Canopies are allowed but must not be staked and must be taken down at sunset.
The gates open at 8 a.m. and close at midnight. The fireworks show starts at 10:05 p.m. and lasts for 20 minutes.
For more information about Vancouver’s Fireworks Spectacular, visit this webpage.