Outer East Portland parade kicks off long holiday weekend

See all of the fun that goes on, before the parade begins – at what has become an annual tradition in the area …

East Portland Community Center staffer Terrie Bernier gives an American flag to parade participant Abgail Keller in the arms of Stephen Keller.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Some parades are produced as a spectacle for people to watch in person – and in many cases, on television.

But, the East Portland Community Center Independence Day Parade – held on July 3 this year – has long been a “participatory” event: As much fun for the participants as for those watching from the curb.

East Portland Community Center & Pool Director Abbe MacFarlane heads inside to fetch more supplies.

“This is our 16th annual parade,” said Portland Parks & Recreation East Portland Community Center & Pool Director Abbe MacFarlane. “It began in the year the Community Center opened.”

It’s more than just a parade; a half dozen activities begin an hour before the marching even begins. Around the exterior of the outer East Portland facility, families and kids are encouraged to make crafts, get a temporary tattoo, have their face painted – and, of course, to take a turn on the Parks Bureau’s climbing wall.

Portland Parks & Recreation mascots Wader the Gater and Pete the Pirate pose for pictures.

The Fender family – Caleb, Naomi, Adaiah, and mom Janine Fender – together make festive holiday hats.

Supporting the CherryWood Center, this hot dog chef – Meals on Wheels People Chief Operating Officer Brent Horn – serves up another hot dog, fresh off the grill.

“We do this because the community center is a catalyst for community-building,” MacFarlane told East Portland News.  “We like to sponsor and produce activities that everyone in our community can participate in, and enjoy.”

The most fun for her, she said, is the parade itself. “It’s fun to watch the little kids. Many of them have never even seen a parade. But today, many kids are amazed that they are actually able to be able to participate in a parade!

“This is a parade, and it’s more about participation than it is about watching,” MacFarlane grinned.

Dance exercise instructors lead the crowd in an aerobic warm-up, before the parade begins.

2013 East Portland Community Center
Independence Day Parade Photo Album

A Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division patrol car and the Police Honor Guard lead off the parade.

U.S. Air Force veteran Jim Johnstone and Commanding Officer of the veteran’s group at Cherrywood Village ride in this Jeep, rebuilt by David Callaway – a member of the WW2 Airborne Demonstration Team out of Frederick, Oklahoma.

Lynn Haldeman’s “Oom-pah Boys” serve as the “marching band” along the parade route.

This year’s CherryWood Village guests of honor ride along the six-block route, which travels from the Community Center to their subdivision.

Adding a touch of color and elegance to the parade are these participants, fresh from ChaCha and Loopie’s Clown Camp.

And the parade marches on!

From all of us here at East Portland News, we wish you a safe and enjoyable July 4th celebration!

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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