Pre-Independence Day Parade marches again

Discover where this fun event took place, on the July 4th weekend …

Already kicking off this Independence Day event on the front lawn of the East Portland Community Center in the Mill Park neighborhood, a day camp leader hosts a dance party.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

An event associated with the Fourth of July in outer East Portland for two decades never takes place on the holiday, but is always a lot fun for kids, families and seniors.

The festivities began at about 10:30 a.m., a day or two before the holiday – this year held on July 3 – outside the East Portland Community Center (EPCC).

Many have fun with crafts and lunch, out side the EPCC.

“This is our annual Independence Day event,” grinned the organizer, Portland Parks & Recreation EPCC Recreation Coordinator Elizabeth Corrigan. “On the lawn out here we have face painting, crafts, temporary tattoos – and we’re also serving an inexpensive hot dog lunch!”

Working on his craft is Roman Falaschetti-Dec, while his friend, Fevi Belknap, waits her turn.

Ready for the parade are Powellhurst-Gilbert neighbors, are dad Trevor Smith, Holden Smith, mom Liz Smith, and Oliver Smith.

“Then, about 11:30 a.m., everyone joins in the parade,” Corrigan told East Portland News.

Near parade time, volunteers began marshaling the crowd into a casual parade contingent.

Members of the Portland Police Bureau made up the Honor Guard – but noticeably absent this year, since being de-funded by the Portland City Council, were the Bureau’s Mounted Patrol officers.

Led by the Portland Police Bureau Honor Guard, this year’s EPCC Independence Day heads into the neighborhood.

Piping a tune as he walks is bagpiper John Goff with the Portland Metro Pipe Band.

CherryWood Village veterans Walt Davis, Kathleen Copeland, and Pat Demaio smile and wave to all, as they are honored in the parade.

“This is a great family event,” observed Corrigan. “It brings out all the kids and many families; and our day campers come out and join in the fun of the parade and activities as well.”

It wasn’t long until the parade of about 150 participants stepped off, heading out on SE 106th Avenue, toward CherryWood Village, marching to tunes played by Haldeman’s Oom-Pah Boys. After reaching that destination, the merry throng turned and returned to the Community Center.

It is another beautiful day for this fun, community parade.

Their annual mission was accomplished – many people from across the area came together to celebrate Independence Day together.

>> On our Front Page: With flag and decorations in hand, standing along the route, Shelby Webster celebrates the Independence Day Parade.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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