Colorful pageant celebrates resurgence of 82nd Avenue

This was the second year for the “82nd Avenue of Roses Parade” – take a look at our photo album of this great community event …

Members of the famous “Get a Life Marching Band” warm up (and it was cold!) for their march in the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The Second Annual 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade has the distinction of being the earliest civic pride procession this year, as it took to the streets on April 19.

“This year, there were more parade entries,” said parade organizer Ken Turner, president of 82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association. “This, being our second parade, generated a lot more interest in both the neighborhood and business communities.”

Ken Turner, chief organizer of the parade and president of 82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association, is on the run, checking to make sure entries are ready to roll as they stage in the Eastport Plaza parking lot.

Mike Haldecker and Lauren Kuhn, both volunteers from Portland Community College, close a side street before the parade begins.

“The most rewarding aspect,” continued Turner “is the acceptance of the parade by the business and neighborhood community. Not much attention has been drawn to the positive improvements along this avenue. This event showcases the good things that are happening on the east side.”

Turner said that one of the significant challenges for him, and for the core dozen volunteers who worked on the event for eleven months leading up to the parade, was to make sure the parade represented the large collection of communities along the route.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1442’s Color Guard leads the parade.

“Another indication of its success this year was the higher number of volunteers we had,” related Turner. More than 85 people pitched in on the day of event – and throughout the year – to make it happen, he said. “This is a way of showing acceptance of this event.”

Participation, he added, wasn’t limited to neighbor volunteers. “City, county, and state agencies that have a connection with – or responsibility for – 82nd Avenue have been really supportive of our event.”

Following the Title Banner, many community, civic, business and governmental groups march in this second annual parade.

Asked about highlights, Turner observed that the “Get a Life Band” was an incredible addition to the parade. “They love to entertain and make people laugh.” After the parade, the band gave a concert Eastport Plaza – complete with majorettes dancing to the beat of lively music.

“It’s going to grow to becoming a major eastside tradition,” Turner predicted. Volunteers are already hard at work on the third annual edition – it’s scheduled for Saturday, April 25, 2009.

Our 82nd Ave. of Roses Parade Photo Album

The Madison High School Drum Corps.

Richard Kiely of Home Run Graphics was one of the core volunteers who worked throughout the year to promote the parade – and co-sponsored the great “Get a Life Marching Band” along with Eastport Plaza.

Playing as they pass, the “Get a Life Marching Band” is a highlight of this year’s parade.

Animated veggies from the Lents Farmer’s Market remind us that the fresh food season is just around the corner. The Montavilla and new Parkrose markets also had entries into the parade.

East Portland Chamber of Commerce president Rich Sorem of Stewart & Tunno Insurance Agency and chamber VP, Pam Olson, Farmer’s Insurance, extend their greetings on behalf of the organization.

A parade favorite is the Dragon Dancers in the parade.

Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Commander Michael Crebs cruises up the avenue.

The parade comes to an end – but look for it again on Saturday, April 25, 2009.

Ready to have even more fun, members of the “Get a Life Marching Band” reassemble at Eastport Plaza and play an impromptu concert for their sponsors, Eastport Plaza and Home Run Graphics.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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