Jul 28, 2014

Newport Hills Neighbors Celebrate Fourth of July

Neighborhood group celebrated 10th annual Fourth of July celebration.

Kids on bikes, a classic car and the Bellevue Fire Department paraded up the track at the 10th annual 4th of July Celebration in Newport Hills at the Ringdall school field.

The celebration was organized by the Newport Hills Community Club, a neighborhood organization that has been in Newport Hills for more than 50 years.

Monday's parade and picnic included events like the parade around the Ringdall track, crafts such as thumb statues made by the office of Newport Hills dentist Jeff Johnson and stars made by the Newport Hills Community Church, live music and a cookout, made possible by donations of the community club and local businesses.

The first event in 2001 had between 100 and 200 people -- a small event which still ran out of food because organizers had no idea how popular it would become.

"We had the grocery store there and we ran up and we wiped him out of burgers," said Ken Wiles, who organizes the food and is the general manager of the . Wiles, who has been involved since the first event, said now organizers prepare for between 800 and 1,000 people at the event.

Volunteers from the neighborhood help out with serving the food and organizing the parade, and local organizations, including Newport Hills Community Church, bring their backyard grills and help with the cookout.

Yesterday's event brought 1,500 items of food, including hot dogs, hamburgers and quesadillas, Wiles said.

"It's an elaborate block party that has become a 'sanctified' event," said Shawn Garner, who was community club president in 2001 when the first Fourth of July picnic was held. The event is listed as a Fourth of July event with the city of Bellevue, he said, and has had as guests city council members, mayors and the state Attorney General Rob McKenna, who lives in the neighborhood, Garner said.

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