Those who are lucky enough to get to be in Bandon for the 4th of July are in for quite a treat! Planning for the holiday events starts months ahead of time, and it shows in the results. Visitors come from miles around, and locals don’t typically miss the opportunity to see their friends and neighbors while celebrating the nation’s birthday.
The festivities begin with a parade through Old Town. Bring a blanket or folding chair to make yourself comfortable on the sidewalk, get yourself a cup of coffee at Bandon Coffee Cafe, and watch the variety of parade participants file by. You’ll see spectacles such as fire trucks, brightly decorated horses, classic cars and tractors, the stars of the upcoming Bandon Playhouse production, floats with live music, Miss Bandon and the Cranberry Court, and even the official pace car from the 62nd Indy 500 race. Kids might have a difficult time deciding which is their favorite part of the parade, but high on their lists will inevitably be the handfuls upon handfuls of candy
tossed out from the parade participants to the parade goers. It’s Halloween in July!
Parade awards presented are plaques for the Grand Marshal’s prize for the best of the best and for the Mayor’s Award. There are also ribbons awarded for marching (example: people walking with a banner), vehicles, floats, and dogs and horses. Other entries are welcome (bicycles, etc.) Entries are judged on creativity, beauty, imagination and patriotism.
The parade is only the beginning. The day continues with the Lions Family Day in the Park, hosted by the Lions Club. Family Day in the Park includes fun-for-the-family festivities and a BBQ lunch at City Park. Polish dogs, hamburgers, soda and more are available for purchase, and face painters work their magic on face canvases for reasonable prices. A free bouncy house, games and live music are available to enjoy all day. Come eat some BBQ, peruse the vendors, listen to some music, and play for a while!
In addition to the parade and the action at the park, there are activities in Old Town and other things around town such as a the Quality Crafters Guild crafts fair at The Barn. Local artisans bring their hand-crafted products to sell, including myrtlewood bowls, trays and specialty items. Other items for sale include quilted and knitted articles, seasonal decorations and gifts, purses, walking sticks, and other unique items.
As the day turns to evening, the fun doesn’t stop. Alive at Five, hosted by the Greater Bandon Association begins at 5:00 in Old Town. Alive at Five features art, live music in venues around town, and refreshments and wine at participating businesses, with many shops staying open late.
As with any good 4th of July celebration, the evening ends with a spectacular fireworks display. The fireworks are set off near the Coquille Lighthouse, so Bullards Beach State Park, the jetty, Old Town, and surrounding areas are great places to watch. It may be a little town, but be prepared for a big show!
There’s a festive feeling in the air on July 4th in Bandon. Come join in the fun!