Celebrate Kirkland

Celebrate Kirkland Main PNG

Celebrate Independence Day and join the City of Kirkland as we come together for Kirkland’s annual 4th of July parade. Please sit or stand along our downtown business district and enjoy a family-friendly event featuring processions from local shops, dance groups, music, government representatives, honoring of veterans, and much more. This is a parade-only event without fireworks. Everyone is welcome. Let’s keep the tradition going!

Thank you to our Sponsors

Kenworth Truck Company and the Lee Johnson Auto Family are proud sponsors of Celebrate Kirkland.  Thank you for sponsoring! 

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Thank you to our participating Business Sponsors: 

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Grand Marshals

We are pleased to announce the grand marshals for this year's Parade. Celebrate Kirkland's July 4th Parade's tagline is, "Where we come together!" and we have chosen three individuals who epitomize this sentiment.

Our grand marshals are community leaders who have united people in their own style and unique ways. They have substantially impacted the Kirkland Community, and we are honored to have them lead this year's Parade. Their dedication and passion for bringing people together have made our community stronger and more connected. Their community spirit and leadership will inspire all of us to continue working toward a better and more inclusive Kirkland.

Dr. Catherine Cushinberry – CEO of Hopelink

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Dr. Catherine Cushinberry serves Kirkland and the surrounding area through her work as the CEO of Hopelink.  Dr. Cushinberry has an impressive history of bringing communities together, and we are very fortunate that she is taking that experience and serving community members right here in Kirkland.

Born and raised in Memphis, TN, she received her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia in Human Development and Family Studies in 2004. Her Master of Arts, from the University of Memphis, and Bachelor of Science from Murray State University, are in Organizational Communication. She is a seasoned nonprofit executive with over twenty-five years of experience in the education and nonprofit sectors. Prior to her current role, she served for almost four years as the Founding Vice-President/Executive Director of City Year Memphis where she founded the site for the national office. She has served as the National Executive Director of Parents for Public Schools. Prior to that role, she served for five years as the Director of Research for the National Office of Girls Inc. where she created and led research and evaluation initiatives for the more than 80 affiliates in the U.S. and Canada. For four years she led as the Executive Director of a Boys and Girls Club in Tennessee. She has worked in other nonprofits such as Children’s Home Society of California in Los Angeles and for the Missouri State 4-H. Additionally, she owned a consulting business and worked with clients in the U.S. and the Philippines, where she lived for a year. Throughout her career, she has stayed connected to higher education teaching graduate and undergraduate level courses in research methods, sociology, and family science and serves on dissertation committees. During her career, Dr. Cushinberry has published regularly on a wide variety of topics, including community engagement, diversity and STEM. Dr. Cushinberry is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She is the only beloved daughter of Matilda "Ladybug" Cushinberry, a retired educator in Memphis. 

Austin Picinich – Mural Artist 

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Austin Picinich, a lifelong Kirkland resident, has made an impact on his community by combining his artistic endeavors with community involvement and activism. As the founder of Save our Salmon Mural Initiative, Austin used his creative talent to educate people about salmon conservation at Juanita Creek. He designed a 112-foot mural on the side of SPUD Fish & Chips in Kirkland. His passion for community-based art projects brought over 160 people together to paint the mural, fostering a sense of unity and shared purpose. 

Austin's murals have been featured in 425 Magazine, The Seattle Times, KING 5 Evening, KOMO 4, and the national Inspiring Young Heroes documentary. Austin won the national Barron Prize for Young Heroes in 2023 as one of the top 15 national projects giving back to communities.

In addition to leading many local and regional mural projects, Austin has had booths in over 40 art festivals, including Kirkland Summerfest and Kirkland's Wednesday Market. Austin's art extends beyond Kirkland, where his art is carried at over seventy shops across Washington. Austin is a recent graduate of Juanita High School's class of 2023 and will be a student at the University of Washington this fall.

Austin understands the importance of fostering a sense of belonging and togetherness. Later this summer, he will paint a "Welcome to Kirkland" Mural and Community Paint Day on Lake Street in downtown Kirkland.  

Lani Brockman – Artistic Director, Studio East 

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Lani Brockman is the Founding Executive Artistic Director of Studio East, Training for the Performing Arts, a thirty-one-year-old theater school in Kirkland, Washington. She has her degree in Children's Theater from the University of Washington and her professional acting certificate from Circle in the Square Theatre in NY.

With 40+ years of experience in the performing arts, Lani Brockman brings considerable expertise to the role of Studio East’s Executive Artistic Director. As a teaching artist and director, Lani enjoys challenging youth to make strong and courageous choices both on stage and off. She revels in seeing youth discover their power and independence through the performing arts whether they pursue a career in theater or not. Lani is also the co-creator of StoryBook Theater, the Studio’s Professional Children’s Theater Company. She and her writing partner, Susan Bardsley, create musicals for young audiences, each providing life lessons for all ages. Lani is a graduate of Leadership Eastside and has served on the board of directors at the Kirkland Performance Center as well as the Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission. She currently serves on the Chamber of Commerce Board.

Parade Organizers & History

Celebrate Kirkland, now in its 24th year, is proud to be produced by the City of Kirkland. Celebrate Kirkland was created in 1999 by dedicated community members and business owners and was formally organized by the Kirkland Downtown Association (KDA). Recently, the KDA handed over the coordination for Celebrate Kirkland to the City with their positive and continued support. The City looks forward to the parade, making it a "Where We Come Together" event to celebrate our community, friends, and family. Everyone is welcome. Let's keep the tradition going! 

Parade Schedule

Head to the downtown business district of Kirkland and find your favorite spectator spot along the parade route. The main parade will feature approximately 100 entries including floats, musical and dance performers, civic organizations, car and animal groups, and more! Visit this web page often for updates as we plan the 24th annual Celebrate Kirkland Parade! 

Kids Pavilion
10:30 AM

Kids Parade
11:30 AM

Main Parade
12:00 PM 

Parade Route Map

Official Parade Map

Participate in the Parade

The parade is a great way to engage with your community. Thousands of spectators line the streets to view floats, marching bands, community-based organizations, performance groups, civil servants, and more. Join our 24th year by clicking on the registration link below.

 2023-July-4th-Parade-Order.pdf(PDF, 171KB)   

CELEBRATE-KIRKLAND-Parade-Entry-Guidelines-2023.pdf(PDF, 132KB)  


Parade Entry Application Link 


  • Parade entry applications are now closed. 
  • The entry application form must be completed and signed with the understanding of the general rules and guidelines.
  • Ability to apply begins April 1, 2023. Application deadline is June 16, 2023.- Extended to June 26!
  • Applicants will receive notification of their selection within approximately two weeks of receipt. First review of applicants will start on April 10.
  • Parade Entry fees (if applicable) will be collected upon an entry application's selection.
  • More detailed staging instructions will be emailed to selected entries approximately two weeks prior to the parade.


  • Entry selections will be made by the City of Kirkland, in its sole discretion.
  • Entry selection will be limited to approximately 100 entries to ensure parade length.
  • Entries will be selected by City Staff based on their entertainment value, uniqueness, size, appearance, community appeal, and reinforcement of the basic mission of the parade.
  • Entries highlighting our area’s cultural diversity are highly encouraged to apply.
  • Restrictions on the number of entries within types or categories:
    • No more than three car clubs will be selected to participate in the parade, and the selected car clubs are limited to 8 cars per club.
    • Other types or categories may be limited based on City Staff’s review of the variety of applicants. 
  • Click on the Celebrate Kirkland 2023 Parade Entry Guidelines link above for complete parade guidelines
  • Click on the parade entry application link above to apply for the parade


Volunteers are crucial to the success of Celebrate Kirkland! We are seeking 200 volunteers to support the event on July 4.

Volunteers are needed on the parade route, helping spectators with questions, and assisting with crowd safety. Other volunteers will assist with specific elements such as the Kid’s Pavilion, Veteran’s area, parade staging, and awards. Event day volunteers must be age 16 or older.

Read about the Celebrate Kirkland parade volunteer opportunities: Volunteer-Position-Descriptions-2023(PDF, 222KB)

1. Sign up to be an event volunteer by clicking the button below:

Complete the online volunteer application and service agreement

2. You'll receive an email confirming your volunteer assignment. 

3. One week prior to the event, you'll receive detailed information about the event, such as arrival, parking, and check-in logistics.

Group Volunteer Opportunities Available
We'd love to have your company, organization, club, team, or other group volunteer at the Celebrate Kirkland Parade. Please contact Sara Shellenbarger at sshellenbarger@kirklandwa.gov for information about group volunteering and to register. Great for families, groups of friends, church groups, work groups, and more! 


Community Planning Committee for Celebrate Kirkland
Join our Community Planning Committee! We’re seeking community members (age 18+) to help with advanced planning for Celebrate Kirkland. Meetings are held on the first and third Monday of each month at City Hall in the Peter Kirk Room from 5:30-7:00 PM. The Community Planning Committee assists both before and during Celebrate Kirkland with each central parade element, including float area staging, coordinating veterans, the Kid’s Parade, Kid’s Pavilion, Parade Route coordination, and grandstand. Please contact Jazmine Quintero at jquintero@Kirklandwa.gov or call 425-587-3312 to learn more about joining the planning committee.

Kids Parade & Bike Decorating Pavilion

This year what is traditionally known as the 'kids pavilion' will be in the Lakeshore Plaza parking lot. This new area is just a few yards away from the traditional pavilion location at Marina Park, and allows kids more room to spread out so they can decorate their bikes, trikes, strollers, and wagons! Grab some patriotic giveaways while supplies last.

After decorating, gather up for the kid’s parade. Walk the parade, and wave to the crowd! This shorter parade route will give you plenty of time to then find a good place to be ready to watch the main parade. 

Kids Decorating Pavilion/Lakeshore Plaza

 10:30 AM

Line up for the Kids Parade
11:15 AM

Kids Parade Start
11:30 Am

 Event Details 

  • The Kids Parade is open to kids and their family members
  • The Kids Parade is strictly for walking, biking or pulling wagons
  • Parade is a shorter version of the Main Parade route
  • Look for the Kids Parade start line signage at Marina Park 
  • Take selfies with character princesses and superheros at the Lakeshore Plaza lot from 10:30-11:30 am & briefly at the end of the Kids Parade at Park Lane. 

Award Categories

Celebrate Kirkland has added new award categories this year! 

Kirkland Best in Show (Gold Cup)
Best overall entry that rates high in originality, spirit/engagement, and appearance.

Spirit of Kirkland Award
How well does this entry incorporate the Spirit of Kirkland? It could include Kirkland’s beloved parks, waterfront activities, community engagement, local sports, or growth in its theme.

Most Patriotic Award
This will be awarded to an entry that best captures the purpose of why we celebrate the 4th of July.  

We Care About Kirkland Award
This award is specifically for a non-profit and/or community organization that aims to make Kirkland a better place to live, work, and play.

Support Local Kirkland Award 
This award is specifically for small, local businesses that are the foundation of Kirkland’s business community.

Sustainable Kirkland Award
How well does this entry reflect Kirkland’s commitment to caring about our environment? It could highlight recycling, upcycling, reducing waste, or protecting the environment.

Judging Criteria

How unique and interesting is the entry? How does the entry stand out among other entries?

How much energy and fun does the entry radiate to spectators? Does the entry grab and hold the spectator’s attention?

Overall Appearance: 
Does the design, style, use of color, and materials make an impact? How cohesive and coordinated is the unit?

Winning Entries 

Winning entries are provided a banner to hold while walking the parade route, indicating the category won. Banners are to be returned at the end of the parade. In addition, a trophy is given to each winning entry as a keepsake.

If you have any questions, please visit www.Kirklandwa.gov/CelebrateKirkland 

or email Jazmine Quintero at Jquintero@kirklandwa.gov 

Event Safety Reminders

Celebrate Kirkland Event Safety Reminders:

  • The forecast looks like a warm one – don’t forget to bring a water bottle!
  • Bring sun protection like a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses
  • Have a plan of where to meet if you get separated from your group
  • Take a group picture beforehand in case you get separated and need to describe the group
  • Bring a spare key for your car and home in case you misplace one
  • Keep a hard copy of important phone numbers in case your phone gets lost, runs out of power, or has no connection
  • Don’t forget to bring your ID and keep it with you

Parking During the Parade

This map indicates public street parking locations around the parade route.  Please also refer to our downtown public parking map linked below for additional free and paid parking locations within Kirkland. 

Public Parking Outside of the Parade Zone



 Who organizes Celebrate Kirkland?
Celebrate Kirkland is organized by the City of Kirkland.  Prior to 2023, the parade was created and organized by the Kirkland Downtown Association.

 Will the parade happen if it rains?
Yes. Celebrate Kirkland is a rain or shine event.

 Will there be fireworks show this year for Celebrate Kirkland?
The City of Kirkland’s July 4th event is a parade-only experience. There will be no fireworks show. We understand this is a change for many community members, and we hope the event will continue to be special for Kirkland and continue to bring the community together. Public firework displays can pose environmental health hazards and be disruptive and stressful for people, wildlife, and domestic animals. As such, the cost and permitting complexity associated with a public display have significantly increased in recent years. For Kirkland community members who wish to include fireworks as part of their celebration, plenty of cities in King County will have displays, including Bellevue, Kenmore, Sammamish, and Seattle.

Am I allowed to bring my dog to the parade?
Leashed dogs are welcome at the parade, but please be aware it will be crowded. if your dog doesn't do well in busy areas, we encourage you to consider leaving your dog at home. If your dog does accompany you, please bring water and poop bags for them.

 Are drones allowed?
No. For safety reasons, drones will not be allowed during the parade for spectators, parade entrants or anywhere nearby while the parade is happening.

 What areas of Kirkland will be closed during Celebrate Kirkland?
The downtown business core will be closured during the event. This includes Marina Park, Lakeshore Plaza, areas of Market Street, Central Way, portions of Lake Street, Kirkland Ave, Main Street, areas of 1st Ave, 2nd Ave, and 3rd Ave. Some streets in the Market neighborhood will also be temporarily closed for float staging on event day. See our website with parade map accordion.

 Where can I park during the event?
Some public parking areas indicated on our City Parking Map may not be accessible on parade day. Spectators are encouraged to park just outside the parade map area to find public parking opportunities.  Public parking is also available at City Hall located at 123 5th Ave in Kirkland. Click here for details:  City Parking Map or check out our map section on this page for parking just outside of the parade route specifically.