Frontier Days returned to Arlington as community members celebrated Independence Day with a variety of local festivities.
Haller Park was filled with families in the morning as part of the Pedal, Paddle, Puff Triathlon, the Foam 5K, and the traditional Pancake Breakfast.
“It was great this year,” said Jessica Ronhaar, director of Stilly Valley Youth Dynamics who have volunteered to put the event on the past four years.
“We ran out of sausage and almost ran out of strawberries, and it’s been a constant line since we started,” she said.
Youth Dynamics volunteers have done the breakfast to keep it part of the Frontier Days in Arlington.
“We wanted to keep the community event going. A few years ago the firemen decided they couldn’t do it anymore and so we took it over,” said Ronhaar.
Many families come down to grab something to eat as part of the day.
“I think they like coming down to this and people tell me that it is a tradition,” she said.
Also in the morning at Haller Park was the Kiwanis Auction.
“So far it seems to be going fine. We have a lot of people going through here and the Youth Dynamics breakfast helps bring a lot of people over,” said Al Forar, Arlington Kiwanis member and one of the organizers of this year’s event.
The auction is one of the Kiwanis’ largest fundraisers each year and it goes to support the scholarships the group provides each year.
“This is for the scholarships, and everything we raise here today will be going to the scholarships we give out each year,” said Forar.
“We do it just to help the youth and get them through college,” he said.
In the afternoon festivities began at Legion Park as the Old Fashioned Fourth returned to the downtown.
The small-town carnival provides kids with an opportunity for face painting, pony rides, bouncy houses and small games.
“It’s perfect for kids and families,” said local parent Joshua Hacker.
“We just moved to Arlington so this is really awesome to get to know the community and everyone down here,” said local parent Lavelle Hacker. “It’s been a blast and the kids love it."
Local parent Dezarae McKinney said she enjoys it each year as well.
“This is great. Our church puts this on and I think they always do a good job,” she said.
After the Old Fashioned Fourth, the Kiddies Parade and the Grand Parade traveled down Olympic Avenue with a variety of organizations riding floats in the annual event.
“We’re part of the parade each year and he’s part of the Cub Scout pack,” said local parent Holly Winters.
“It’s a lot of fun. I think they just like being in the parade and it helps them feel important. They like carrying the flag,” she said.
The Grand Parade is traditionally the biggest parade in Arlington each year.
“It’s fun. The kids have a blast. It’s really long which is nice and the kids especially love the candy that gets thrown out,” said McKinney.
At Haller Park the Arlington Rotary also holds their largest fundraiser of the year, the Duck Dash.
Hundreds of numbered rubber ducks are set loose in the Stillaguamish River. People who buy a ticket can win thousands of dollars if their number matches the duck that crosses the finish line first.
“We broke a record for tickets sold so that was great,” said A.J. Chippendale, public relations director with the Arlington Rotary Club.
Ticket sales totaled about $86,000 this year. With sponsorship donations that means the Rotary Club raised $213,500.
“Probably one of the best years that we’ve had for the Duck Dash,” said Chippendale.
This year most of the funds raised are going toward scholarships that the Rotary gives to local students.
“We raised $75,000 for scholarships, which was our goal,” said Chippendale. “And we will be able to continue supporting our other projects in the organization as well."
“Everyone had fun and it was wonderful to be in Haller Park with music and with the new splash pad. It was great to see all the families there enjoying the park,” she said.
Finally, community members gathered near the Arlington Boys & Girls Club for the city’s public fireworks display to finish off this year’s Independence Day.