The parade and carnival ride experience in the tiny scenic Whidbey Island town of Oak Harbor started off in its typical festive way, with hundreds of local residents donning their patriotic-themed outfits and filling up the historic Downtown Pioneer Way streets to watch the Independence Day parade floats go by and take the kids to enjoy carnival rides.

I used to love going to parades in my younger years. Watching the floats go by, catching candy in the air, and dancing to the music of the marching bands were my favorite parts of parades. As my child got older, I loved taking her to the carnival rides for a little cute "wheeee, wheeee!" action from her.

The Oak Harbor Independence Day Carnival was already in its sixth day of business, having started on Friday, June 28th. There had been no other reports of malfunctioning carnival rides until disaster struck this week. The story has already made national headlines.

Independence Day Festival Oak Harbor Chamber
Oak Harbor Chamber via FB
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The Oak Harbor Independence Day Parade and Carnival is a fun event and means a lot to its local residents on Whidbey Island.

-Oak Harbor Chamber Classic Car
Oak Harbor Chamber via Facebook


In an official city statement released on Thursday, July 4th, the city reported that "a ride tipped over, resulting in six minor injuries. The affected individuals were treated on-site."

One local Oak Harbor resident, Aysha Qazi, expressed her gratitude in the Facebook comments for the City's executive decision to close the carnival down for the rest of the day.

"Thank you, city of Oak Harbor...for your watchful eyes and your careful concern for all of our safety. Grateful that it was not worse than it was and glad to know that the fine police of this town are watching out for us all." - Aysha Qazi

Shellie Heisner, another commenter on the City's Facebook page, expressed concern about the use of two small plywood boards that were being used to secure the carnival ride to the ground, noting that "Yea, they had things held up by boards and bungee cords and duct tape."

Some local residents made comments that they want the City's inspector to be held accountable for the 6 injured persons.

City of Oak Harbor WA
City of Oak Harbor via Google Maps

The City of Oak Harbor says that carnival regulatory inspectors are working hard to investigate what led up to this carnival incident.

The last time a carnival ride malfunction in Washington state made national news was last year at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup.

If you are on a carnival ride and begin to see or hear something that makes you feel unsafe, please report it immediately to the carnival ride attendant and management.

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