Event Schedule Location


In 1991, Desert Storm was raging and a feeling of patriotism filled communities throughout our nation. Acting on that spirit, Pat Berndt, then mayor of the City of Yakima, and Jim Barnhill, the publisher, at that time, of the Yakima Herald-Republic, paid a visit to a community leader they knew would act on a special request they had. “We need a real 4th of  July celebration,” they told Mel Wagner. “The people of Yakima  need a way to acknowledge their support for those fighting in Desert Storm, and they need a way to connect with others to strengthen our spirit of community.” Pat and Jim had come to the right man.

Mel called on his friend Bob Hall, and between them they asked a dozen other community leaders to step up, and the first 4th of July committee  was formed. Over the past 20 years, the vision for the event hasn’t  changed much: it needs to be free to the public and it must be a time for families and friends to come together. When asked what made that very first celebration such a huge success, Mel says the credit goes entirely  to the hundreds of volunteers, many who spent the entire day making sure  things went smoothly.  The event still runs on the energy of a dedicated group of volunteers.


Each year's committee has had the benefit of the experience and knowledge of the past year's hard work volunteers. We'd like to acknowledge the past chairpersons for the celebration and through them the many hundreds of volunteers that they gathered together to help organize the celebration over the last 21 years.

1991 Mel Wagner
1992 Mel Wagner
1993 Bob Hall
1994 Jake Jundt
1995 Dr. Gary Martinkus
1996 Dr. Mike Wilson
1997 Doug Cochran
1998 Doug Cochran
1999 Karen Allen
2000 John Rothenbueler
2001 Shane Pierone
2002 Shane Pierone
2003 Chris Rivard
2004 Bob Berry
2005 Mary Rhine
2006 Tammi Ribail
2007 Mike Shepard
2008 Mike Shepard
2009 Mike Shepard
2010 Shannon Glessner
2011 Sharon Prill
2012 Micah Cawley
2013 Micah Cawley
2014 Micah Cawley
2015 Micah Cawley
2018 Greg Stewart
2019 Greg Stewart

2019 Board

Greg Stewart, Chair
Paul Crawford
Joe Mann
Brian Campfield
Kelly Gasseling
Stuart Howell
Aimee Yoerger

Yakima 4th of July Committee, P.O. Box 856, Yakima, WA 98907