The 4th of July just wasn't the same last year after the celebration at the fort was canceled due to loss of major sponsors. Everyone was so glad that there would be a celebration again this year. It is one of the events that truly defines Vancouver. Changes were made to make it a more cost effective event. There was an admission charge this year instead of a request for donation. Instead of having one huge stage with big video displays like in the past, there were four smaller entertainment venues. Instead of launching the fireworks off a barge in the river, they launched them from the airport. I only spent the afternoon there and didn't get to see the evening events but I had a great time listening to the music and seeing the events that were taking place then.
The Family Entertainment stage had potato sack races, hula hoop contests, water balloon contests, puppet shows, the Fort Vancouver Pipe Band and hula dancing. There were also lots of kids activities near the heritage stage including parlor games, croquet, orienteering and learning Chinook jargon.
There was a short Kids Parade that the kids were able dress up and decorate wagons and strollers and get their faces painted. There were a few cars, old military vehicles, tributes to Clark County's fallen heroes, and the Buffalo Soldiers.
The heritage stage had Civil War demonstrations and music, vintage fashions, bluegrass music, Celtic music and Scottish dancing.
The main stage had various types of music. There was an acoustic stage with music as well.
There was a lot going on for great entertainment. Happy Birthday America!