Fourth of July celebrations abound in communities throughout the byway. Parades take place in the tiny towns of Imbler (noon), Wallowa (11 a.m.), Huntington, (noon), and Haines (10 a.m.). There are flea markets in Lostine and Sumpter. Or, catch the cowboy action at the Haines Stampede Rodeo, beginning at 1:30.
If you love fireworks, byway country has several free options. The fireworks show in La Grande takes place at the Eastern Oregon University football stadium, Sixth Street and G Avenue. The band I4NI performs from 7 to 10 p.m., followed by fireworks. Shake the Lake fireworks show takes place at 10 p.m. at the north end of Wallowa Lake, with the oohs and awes reflected on the surface of the huge lake. In Haines, the fireworks are lit from the Haines Stampede Rodeo grounds on old Oregon Trail Highway 30. Near Huntington, see fireworks over the Snake River from the Farewell Bend State Park. Take a jacket – wherever you watch fireworks in northeast Oregon, the evening is likely to be chilly.
When traveling in the area over the holiday, pick up a local newspaper or stop by the community’s visitor center to learn what is afoot, or, go to the county chamber of commerce websites and select their events calendar: www.visitbaker.com; www.wallowacountychamber.com, or www.unioncountychamber.org, or go to the regional site, www.eova.com, for a look at what is happening throughout eastern Oregon.
Have a fun Independence Day! Keep the holiday safe for everyone – Drive sober, please!