Big July 4th, in the little City of Maywood Park

It’s genuine slice of Americana!
See why this community chooses to hold a parade
on Independence Day – and why …

Dillon “Spiderman” McCarthy is revving up his car, while Princess Kaylien Knecht gets ready to walk, in the City of Maywood Park’s July 4th Parade.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
For the tenth consecutive year, folks in the City of Maywood Park – located just northeast of the intersection of I-205 and I-84 – chose to celebrate Independence Day with a city-wide parade.

As the parade throng was forming, we spoke with the small city’s Mayor, Mark Hardie, who told us, “We enjoy celebrating freedom and the greatness of America here in our community.”

The parade, Hardie said, helps bring the community together. “Our neighborhood and city is all about families, and the parade is a family event. In it you’ll see kids, grandparents, dogs, and a World War II veteran who’s lived here for 55 years. The whole purpose of this is to get together and get to know our neighbors.”

Residents of the City of Maywood Park gather for their traditional annual community photograph, taken by resident and professional photographer Patrick Smith.

And they’re off! Marching to “Stars and Stripes Forever” – played over the PA system of a Multnomah County Sheriff’s patrol car – the celebrants take to the streets. On the right side of the photo, photog Smith is still up on the ladder!

“It looks like we’ll have about 150 folks in the parade today – we’ll probably have more watching from their front yards than we have marching,” Hardie observed.

The entire parade route took the revelers on a 12-block stroll through the wooded streets of their community. The parade ended up where it started, in the northwest corner of the city.

By the time the marching (actually, strolling) group returned, the order of the participants has scrambled – and no one seems to mind. Some participants dropped out along the route; others joined in, and finished the parade.

Byron Perry provides the motive force for the only float in this year’s parade …

… and we see Francesca Perry walking along side as Aidan Perry and Stella the Dog have the seats of honor as the stars-and-stripes decorated float — that their dad, Bryan is powering — cruises down the street.

The city’s Mayor, Mark Hardie, marches in the annual parade.

Says they’ll maintain their independence
After the parade, neighbors gathered at the park along side their main street – and about 250 folks tucked into a hosted barbeque. “It’s a fun, safe-and-sane way of celebrating the holiday,” noted Hardie.

We asked the mayor if there was any talk in Maywood Park City Council meetings about giving up cityhood and joining the City of Portland.

Hardie thought for a moment, smiled, and replied, “Not as long as I’m alive! Part of the independence we’re celebrating today is having our own city here in East Multnomah County. We’re very happy to be our own little city.”

Arnold Mutz, a World War II veteran – and 50-year resident of the City of Maywood Park – rides in the parade in full dress uniform.

In the parade, we are greeted by Jann Churchill and her four-legged friends, Winston and Yolsi.

Bringing up the rear are Portland Fire & Rescue’s Truck 2 and Engine 12.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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