‘Star Spangled Summer’: Centralia’s Summerfest Independence Day celebration coming July 4


The City of Centralia and the Centralia Downtown Association (CDA) will host the annual Summerfest Independence Day celebration on Thursday, July 4.

This year’s Summerfest will start off with a free 5K Fun Run hosted by the Run Amok Irish Running Club. The run will start at 8 a.m. at the Centralia College’s clock tower. 

There will be a pay-what-you-will pancake breakfast at the TransAlta Commons available from 8 to 10 a.m. as well. The pancake breakfast is a Centralia Rotary fundraiser sponsored by Sierra Pacific. 

Centralia College’s Bob Peters Field will host free field activities from 10 a.m. to noon. featuring an obstacle course, tees, bubbles, soccer goals and more. 

“I'm very excited to see the community really coming together to put on such a great event,” said

Robert Cox, vice president of student services at Centralia College and president of Centralia Rotary. “This is a big tradition in Centralia, Summerfest and working together in the spirit of community, so I'm excited to see how the day unfolds.”

New in 2024 is a free event shuttle service provided by Lewis County Transit with event parking at the Fairway Shopping Center and overflow parking at the Lewis County Mall. According to a news release, this new addition was made in response to the shortage of parking reported during last year’s Summerfest. The shuttle will be free to ride and will run from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. with departures every 20 minutes. The shuttles will stop at the two parking locations as well as the Centralia Train Depot, George Washington Park and an additional stop on Pear Street by the Centrala College TransAlta Commons from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

From 12 to 3:30 p.m. Cooks Hill Community Church will host free family-friendly activities in George Washington Park, including a scavenger hunt, games, crafts and more. Music will be provided by KELA/KMNT from noon to 2 p.m.

Food vendors will be at Pine Street Plaza from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. to complement downtown shopping and dining options. 

There will also be live music by local band BonzoBalm from noon to 3 p.m. and games hosted by the Centralia Downtown Association.

“We are so excited to celebrate Summerfest with our community,” said MacKenzie McGee, executive director of the CDA. “We have so many awesome partners and sponsors who've come together this year to continue to improve on last year's event, and we look forward to continuing that work in the future. I think everyone just wants to put on a great event for our community, and that's a pretty special thing.”

The event’s grand marshal will be Jerry Owens, Southwest Washington Fair Association president and a longtime community volunteer.

The annual Summerfest parade, put on by the CDA and sponsored this year by Althauser Rayan Abbarno and Twin Star Credit Union, begins at 4 p.m. Live commentary will take place at the Pine Street Plaza by The Chronicle’s editors and News Dump podcast hosts Aaron VanTuyl and Eric Schwartz.

To end the day, Summerfest attendees are invited to the Southwest Washington Fairgrounds for a demolition derby. Pre-sale grandstands tickets — which cost $12 for adults, $10 for kids ages 6 to 12 and are free for those 6 and younger — can be purchased at the fair office beginning at 10 a.m. Monday, July 1. Trackside seats are available at a cost of $25 for all ages. Box seats for eight people cost $200. Box seats for 12 people are $300. Box seats are already available for purchase at the fair office. 

There will be a beer garden for those 21 and older. The cost is $30. 

Derby tickets will also be available at the gate beginning at 5:30 p.m. July 4. 

Following the derby, there will be a free fireworks show sponsored by the Lewis County Demolition Derby Association and the City of Centralia. The fireworks show will begin no earlier than 10:30 p.m. 

For details regarding parade float registration, the parade route and additional information about the event, visit https://downtowncentralia.org/