Music, magic, mayor | Get out this July Fourth weekend

It may not be a July 4th like we’re used to, but it’s getting closer.

This coming weekend, enjoy a variety of local events to celebrate Independence Day and the joy of community.

“It took an island to get us through this,” said Lance Evans, director of the Orcas Island Chamber of Commerce, which is holding a parade with a theme of “Honoring our COVID-19 Caregivers” and co-sponsoring a laser light show.

See below for a full line-up of offerings this holiday weekend.

The Magic of Matthew Laslo

After over a year of being closed for live performances and movies, the Sea View Theatre will welcome back audiences for The Magic of Matthew Laslo.

He will perform two shows daily over four days. From July 1-3 he will perform at 5 and 8 p.m. and on July 4 he takes the stage at 2 and 5 p.m.

“We will be opening up the theatre for live audiences with an abundance of caution,” says producer Donna Laslo. “We want people to feel safe and comfortable. We have been preparing for months now, cleaning, upgrading the HVAC systems with the highest filtration possible and setting up a ticketing system that will automatically create social distancing once you have purchased your seats.”

Last April, Laslo was about to embark on a 35-city tour with the Portland-based production, “Shazam! The Magic Show,” when the pandemic hit and closed everything down. Now with the pandemic under control and restrictions lifting, theatres are allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity with safety protocols in place and Laslo can’t wait to get back out there.

The early shows will be physically distanced and vaccinations are not required. When selecting your seats the system will automatically create 6 feet of distance between you and other parties. Masks are to be worn at all times and the concessions will be closed. The later shows are for vaccinated guests only. Proof of vaccination is required. Once you choose your seats on the ticketing chart, it will automatically create a three-foot distance between parties. Masks are optional. Full concessions will be available and the bar will be open.

Audiences of all ages have been blown away by Laslo’s shows, which are always high-energy. Joining him are his assistants Maria Bullock and Kellen Comrie. Tickets are a family-friendly $18 and available online only at

Eastsound parade

The Eastsound Parader is set for Saturday, July 3 at noon. This year’s theme is “Honoring our COVID-19 Caregivers.” It will be a celebration of all those who worked to make sure we were safe during the pandemic such as the medical clinics and their doctors, nurses and staff, Orcas Fire and Rescue, market staff, National Guard, local businesses following COVID directives, Orcas Food Bank; Kiwanis, Lions Club, Ray’s Pharmacy, Orcas Center, volunteers helping with testing and vaccines, Orcas Island Community Foundation, Community Resource Center, San Juan County Health and Community Services and island residents who looked out for one another.

Race for Eastsound mayor

The Mayor’s Race is a yearly tradition on Orcas Island to elect the best animal to preside over our island through the coming year, and to raise money for the Orcas Island Children’s House, an early learning 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Each vote is $1. Fundraisers like the Mayor’s Race help keep tuition affordable.

This year seven diverse candidates are running in the race. A lizard wizard, a dog being campaigned with her puppy pics, a Hollywood celebrity, a shy bunny, a dog named after another species, an enormous cuddler and a tiny cuddler are all vying to be top dog (or bunny or lizard) of Orcas. Who should be our mayor? You decide! The winner will be announced on July 3. Learn more about the candidates, including watching the candidates answer hard-hitting questions at the Mayoral Debate, by visiting

Laser light show drive-in style

Get ready for the Fourth of July Laser Light Drive-In Show to take place at Mt. Baker Farm on Sunday, July 4.

Seattle’s Industry leader “Slick Lasers” will light up the night sky with the glorious colors and music designed specifically for an Independence Day celebration like no other. The event is co-sponsored by the Orcas Island Chamber of Commence, Orcas Island Film Festival and the Orcas Center.

“Think epic, high-energy and amazing. Last year’s show blew us all away,” said OIFF Co-director Donna Laslo.

The gates will open at 7 p.m. for attendees to claim their spot and enjoy great food and treats by local eateries and live music. The entertainment line-up includes the following artists: Joel Gamble, Clint McCune, Grace McCune, Stormy Hildreth, Jeffrey Horton, Gene Nery, Rafe Pearlman and Jake Perrine. The laser light show will start at dark. Reservations are required to reserve your spot at and organizers hope that people will support the event by making a donation.