Photo courtesy of city of Federal Way

Red, White & Blues Festival returns in Federal Way

The free festival includes live music, a fireworks show and more on July 4.

The Red, White & Blues Festival, a summertime favorite in Federal Way, is returning this July.

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the free event — held at Celebration Park — begins at 4 p.m. Monday, July 4. The fireworks show to wrap up the night starts at 10:15 p.m.

“It was founded with a nod toward blues music,” said Parks Director John Hutton.

The event includes live music, games, arts and crafts, inflatable toys, food and more. Live bands include reggae band Lion of Judah; Wings and Things, a Paul McCartney and Beatles tribute band; Groove Nation, a Top 40 cover band; Heart by Heart, playing classic rock; and Alex Zerbe as the night’s emcee.

Food options range from Billy McHale’s burgers to Murph BBQ, Pacific Island Grill, Ice Cream Lady desserts and more.

The night’s fireworks show includes a soundtrack hand-picked by Mayor Jim Ferrell, Hutton said.

Kent city officials announced last month that its Fourth of July Splash event will be back but without a fireworks display due to a lack of staffing in the police and parks departments.

The first Red, White & Blues Festival was held in 1993. After the two-year pause, this year marks the 27th annual festival.

“And, we ordered good weather,” Hutton said.

With the ever-changing health restrictions, parks staff and police have been working to prepare for the event since January. Approximately 20,000 people are expected to attend, Hutton said.

“That’s our purpose in life, in parks and recreation, is to get people back together,” Hutton said. “We’re very excited. We think it’s going to be a tremendous event.”

The first-ever festival was held at Federal Way Memorial Field, then moved to Saghalie Park once it was built. Now, the event has been held at Celebration Park since 1998.

One of the reasons for creating the Red, White & Blues Festival was due to the City of Federal Way fireworks in June 1992, according to Hutton.

“That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy fireworks,” he said. “It just means we’ll do it for you.”

Celebration Park is at 1095 S. 324th Street in Federal Way.


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