2024 marks the 57th anniversary of the Chamber of Commerce producing the Grand Old 4th of July, and as of Saturday, April 1, the application process is now officially open to all potential entries for this year’s Hometown Parade here on Bainbridge Island.
The mile-long parade through the streets of Winslow is the high point of the day, featuring dozens of flags, bands, organizations, businesses and more – usually somewhere around 100 units. It’s a good thing that people also come from off island to watch, since most of the actual on-island population often seem to actually be in the parade!
HOMETOWN PARADE ENTRY FEES
- Entry fees (through June 16, 2023):
- Nonprofit Entry: $75 (Chamber Member Nonprofit Entry: $40)
- Commercial/Political Entry: $100 (Chamber Member Commercial/Political Entry: $50)
- Military Entries are free
- Additional Fees: Parade entries that hand out any materials (including candy!) will incur a $50 fee to help offset waste collection expenses
- There is no additional entry after June 16 – so please register early!
- Payment has to be made in full with application.
- We accept credit/debit card payments. If you need to pay another way, please contact Jessica at the Chamber.
- Walk-up entries on July 4 will not be accepted for security and safety reasons.
PARADE ENTRY INSTRUCTIONS
- For reasons of safety & liability, THROWING OF CANDY OR MERCHANDISE BY ANY PARADE PARTICIPANT, OR USE OF SQUIRT GUNS, WATER CANNONS, WATER BALLOONS, OR SOAKERS, ETC. IS NOT ALLOWED FROM ANY UNITS DURING THE PARADE. Any unit doing so will be immediately removed from the parade and not be allowed to participate in future events.
- Walking participants escorting units may distribute items, hand-to-hand only, NO THROWING, and the $50 fee must be paid in advance – when registering).
- In keeping with COBI’s Waste Reduction Awareness, we aim to limit the amount of waste generated by the Parade and reduce the extreme effort involved in post-event cleanup. We require units that plan to distribute ANY objects to the public to pay an advance fee of $50 in addition to their regular application fee. These monies will be collected and awarded to local service organizations whose volunteers help manage our waste collection and recycling throughout and after the event.
- Your main contact person will be notified by email of your assigned position in the parade by June 27.
- Decorate all the people, animals, bikes, cars, trucks, flatbeds etc. in your entry – this is your time to shine!
PARADE STANDARDS: 4th of July Parade Management team reserves the right to bar from the parade any entrant not conforming to these rules, judged to be not in good taste, not meeting safety standards, community standards, or refusing to follow the instructions of the Parade Officials, BIPD, or BIFD. Bans may be assessed either at entry assembly, or at any time during the parade itself, and all applications are subject to review and possible rejection.
INDEMNITY AGREEMENT: All entrants must sign/agree to the indemnity agreement on the Parade Entry Form.
TIME AND STAGING AREA: Precise parade placement and staging information for each organization will be emailed to the main contact person after June 26.
On the morning of July 4, one member of your group must be at the Registrar’s Desk (at the Bainbridge Island Library) between 11:00am and 12:15pm to sign in and pick up your unit’s Parade Permit/Entry Number. A Parade Official will be on hand to help direct you to your place in the parade staging areas (there are four of them, labeled “A”, “B”, “C” and “D”). The parade begins at 1pm sharp, so you will need to be in position in the correct staging area with all your participants by 12:30pm.
***ALL UNITS MUST to be in place by 12:30pm – no late entries – Madison & High School Parade Entrance Closes exactly at 12:30pm.***
MAXIMUM NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: Maximum number of participants for any one unit is limited to 50 members walking, escorting or riding (unless otherwise approved in writing by Bainbridge Chamber Staff & Parade Management).
PERFORMING UNITS: The timing of each performance is critical for parade safety – units must not cause gaps to occur in the parade. You must keep pace with the parade unit ahead of you. Your entry is allowed one 30-second performance in front of each of the three (3) parade announcer stages along the parade route on Madison Avenue and Winslow Way.
POLITICAL UNITS: New Rules – All political parade units must feature a candidate for or current holder of an elected position representing Bainbridge Island at the City, County, State, or National Level. Candidate must be present and representing the unit/group. Since many political candidates wish to also be able to participate in the (earlier) Kingston Parade as well as ours, we always place all political units at the end of our parade in order to give them an opportunity to do so. No slight intended, we promise!
ANIMAL UNITS: Each animal unit must furnish a clean-up crew, equipped with appropriate tools. They must follow directly behind the horse and/or animal unit and clean up as quickly as possible. Please bring water for your animals.
VEHICLES AND FLOATS: All vehicles must be in good mechanical condition with mufflers in good repair. Additionally, all floats must conform to three simple rules:
- Units over 30 feet must have one (1) person on each side to walk with the entry to keep pedestrians from entering the traffic pattern.
- Units over 50 feet must have two (2) people on each side to walk with the entry to keep pedestrians from entering the traffic pattern.
- All vehicles must provide a description of the vehicle (including license plate number), plus their current, valid insurance policy number and company name.
PARADE PERMIT DISPLAY: DISPLAY YOUR PARADE PERMIT ON THE LEFT FRONT OF YOUR UNIT. The Parade Permit allows Parade Officials and the Review Stand to easily identify your entry.
DISBANDING AREA: For safety reasons, all units and riders on all floats must remain in position or on floats until the end of the parade. DO NOT STOP AND BLOCK WINSLOW WAY AND/OR ERICKSEN AVE. TO LET YOUR PEOPLE OFF OF PARADE VEHICLES. The parade may be over for you… but there is still a whole lot of parade still rolling on, right behind you!
No units may stop until they reach the following designated areas:
- POLICE, LARGE VEHICLES and FIRE TRUCKS – please continue straight on Winslow Way until you reach Highway 305
- CARS, FLOATS, CLASSIC CARS and ALL OTHER ENTRIES – turn left on Ericksen and continue north until you reach Wyatt
- CHILDREN’S UNITS – turn left on Ericksen and continue north until you reach Wyatt, but please make sure someone is available to help children quickly and safely climb off the floats and out of the roadway
DEADLINES: All Entries must be received by EOD on June 16.
Please contact the Chamber directly with any additional parade questions or suggestions