Go Fourth and celebrate


The Mirror

Seven months of planning for one day of celebrating? No problem, says Donna Welch.

As chairwoman of the Federal Way Arts Commission, a prime sponsor and organizer of the Red, White and Blues Festival, Welch knows a lot of the details that have gone into tomorrow's Fourth of July shindig at Celebration Park.

Since first "talking about what to do" in January, Welch said, the commission –– teaming with city officials and community volunteers –– has steadily pieced together the six-plus hours of activities and entertainment.

"We're ready," she reported.

The 12th annual festival will start at 4 p.m. and end at 10:15 with a skylighting fireworks show. In between will be hands-on crafts, games and entertainment of both the participatory and performing variety.

For people who like to dance or don't mind looking foolish trying, an interactive dance stage will be the site of skilled cloggers and Irish step dancers. Beginners can join in. A teenagers' dance, with a DJ playing the tunes, is also on tap.

Welch is a member of the clogging group that will perform and "get everyone up on the floor who wants to try," she said.

The teen dance could be a hit. In past years, "the floor has been just loaded. That's what we want," Welch said.

Among the arts and crafts that festivalgoers can try for a small fee are hats (made from foil, newspaper and paper plates), pinwheels and baskets.

On the main music stage, bands will range from funk to American jazz and blues. The latter will be played by the Yes Yes Boys, a Seattle-based group whose four members play the upright bass, the washboard, an eight-string ukelele and a clarinet, among other instruments.

The music and a juggling act will be free, along with admission to the park. Most activities will cost a fee, as will parking.

In addition to the Arts Commission, the festival sponsors are 4Culture, the Mirror, Weyerhaeuser, Banana Pages, DeVry University, The Commons at Federal Way (SeaTac Mall), Marriott Courtyard and 1st Hand Mortgage.

Editor Pat Jenkins: 925-5565,

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