Submitted by Lance Evans, Orcas Island Chamber Executive Director.
Just three weeks ago we celebrated July 4th on Orcas Island, but not in the usual fashion with a parade and Eastsound fireworks show.
Attempting to raise $20,000 for fireworks felt somehow “wrong” this year and a parade would have violated public health rules.
Thanks to the creativity of Donna Laslo, Co-Director for the Orcas Island Film Festival, an idea was hatched that would add some sparkle into our Independence Day evening. Laslo presented to the Chamber of Commerce the idea of co-sponsoring a music and laser drive-in show to take place at Mt. Baker Farm. We gladly took part!
Observing strict COVID-19 protocols, nearly 100 cars attended the drive-in in a safe manner that evening. With an estimated four people per vehicle on average, about 400 folks were able to celebrate that evening, sitting in or some atop their vehicles, watching and listening to the show on their FM radio.
The evening kicked off with live music from local jazz band “The Last Word,” then featured video messages from various Orcas Island arts organizations, including Chamber Music Festival, Jazz Festival, Orcas Island Film Festival, Sinfonia, Choral Society, Orcas LitFest, Community Band, Orcatrazz, and Ken and Karen Speck (our long-standing emcees for the parade and musical contributors to parades and fireworks).
Then at 10 p.m., the sky was fully dark and ready for the Laser light show. It was over an hour of pure beauty with light and music. So many “oohs” and “aahs” could be heard as a show few had ever seen before created a celebration for the island. Needless to say we made Orcas history and a wonderful memory those in attendance will never forget. The First-ever, Drive-In, July 4th Laser Light show!
The Orcas Island Chamber of Commerce thanks Donna Laslo, Orcas Island Film Festival and all who volunteered their time to make this happen. We were honored to be your partner in this event.
Donations are now needed to help us fund this show. We ask those in the community to help the chamber assist the Film Festival in covering the hard costs that do come with this kind of show.
We would like to raise $4,000, and all donations are appreciated, be it $25, $50, $100 or more. We will acknowledge all donations received on our chamber website.
For a tax-deductible charitable contribution administered by the Orcas Island Community Foundation, please donate to the established Community Fireworks Fund at https://oicf.fcsuite.com/erp/donate/create?funit_id=1061.
Or you can simply write a check to the Orcas Island Chamber of Commerce (note: Laser Show) and mail to PO Box 252, Eastsound WA, 98245.
On behalf of your Orcas Island Chamber of Commerce staff and board, we thank you!