Clumsy Lovers headline Blaine’s 4th of July bash

Published on Thu, Jun 26, 2008 by Jack Kintner

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Clumsy Lovers headline Blaine’s 4th of July bash

By Jack Kintner

Blaine’s Old Fashioned Fourth of July celebration hit the big time several years ago when due to a combination of factors it drew several thousand spectators to town for the parade, street fair and fireworks.

This year planners have taken another step and expanded the celebration to two days, Friday the fourth and Saturday the fifth, with a two-day street fair and some name entertainment including the well-known gypsy swing band Pearl Django from Seattle and the Celtic band Clumsy Lovers from Vancouver.

Locals will also see all the regular elements they’ve known in the past, including the pancake breakfast at the Senior Center, the Show & Shine on Friday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the middle of town, Plover rides both days from noon until 8 p.m., the book sale at the library both days from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., the salmon barbecue at Semiahmoo and the annual fireworks show at Blaine’s Marine Park at 10:15, preceded by Pearl Django at 8 p.m.

Pearl Django features guitarists Neil Andersson and Ryan Hoffman, violinist Michael Gray, David Lange on accordion and bassist Rick Leppanen. Andersson started out in 1964 as a member of the well-known northwest rock band, the Fabulous Wailers. Lange is one of the most sought-after recording engineers in the northwest and has been in on producing and engineering all of the band’s nine CDs.

Gypsy swing began with Django Rinehardt in the 1930s and combines the folk-like traditions of gypsy music, often taught without written notation, with the swing rhythms popular in the 1930s. Pearl Django is one of the country’s best and most prolific bands playing this exciting and catchy style.

The Clumsy Lovers is a Celtic “jam band” from Vancouver and plays at 1:30 on the G Street plaza. The well-known band has more than 1,500 live performances to its credit since 1998. The line-up consists of Jason Homey on banjo and mandolin, Chris Jonat on bass guitar and vocals, Rebecca Smith and Trent Freeman on fiddles, Tyler Thompson on drums, and Trevor Rogers on vocals, guitar, harmonica and percussion. Their seventh and most recent album is called Smart Kid.

Also playing will be a lot of local bands headlined by Crystal Tricycle at the stage at Third and Martin at 10 a.m. on the Fourth and the Latin Alternative band Sabrina y Los Reyes performing at the G Street plaza at 3:30 p.m. on the Fourth.

The parade begins at noon and along with the evening fireworks is always the biggest draw. This year there will be the usual collection of the interesting, the weird, the creative and the funny, including the crowd-pleasing vintage fire truck from the Odell Street station.

Parade entrants are reminded that this year candy may be thrown by people walking next to parade entrants, but not from vehicles or trucks used in parade. “This new policy is to ensure the safety of children viewing the parade,” said coordinator Kathleen Hernandez.

Parking can be a problem for spectators, but will be available within easy walking distance at Blaine school lots, the train depot, on the northeast corner of Harrison and Martin and the southeast corner of Second and D streets.

This year parade announcer Jim Jorgensen, along with a new sound system, will be based at the G Street plaza. Prospective parade entrants can visit, the Blaine chamber website.

Finally, volunteers are needed to work the parade check-in station, direct traffic and assist in spectator safety. To participate or for more information, call the Blaine Chamber of Commerce at 332-6484.