Community Center hosts pre-Independence-Day Parade

It’s never held on July 4th – but, see how this traditional parade and party at the East Portland Community Center ‘revved up’ the holiday spirit …

Families from all over outer East Portland come to the Hazelwood neighborhood to participle in the annual parade, and have fun with “Red, White and Blue crafts”.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Hosting an Independence Day Parade and Party a day or two before July 4th has been a long-standing tradition East Portland Community Center (EPCC)  – and this year it took place on the morning of July 3.

“In fact, we started it in the first year the Center was open, in 1998,” recalled the former and now-retired Center Manager, Abbe Macfarlane, who came to participate with her family.

With a little help from adults, kids make colorful decorations for their bikes, wagons, and themselves.

Before the event, families were participating in “Red, White and Blue crafts”, including face-painting, temporary tattoos, and Zumba dancing on the front lawn.

“After crafts, and perhaps a hot dog lunch, we’ll again head out on our parade at 11:30 a.m., over to CherryWood Village Retirement Center and back,” outlined EPCC Recreation Coordinator Elizabeth Corrigan.

With the party up and running, EPCC Recreation Coordinator Elizabeth Corrigan and Recreation Leader Maggie Finley pause for a moment, before lining up this year’s parade.

“In our parade, we honor veterans who ride in the parade, and our senior citizens; and, as important, we give kids the opportunity to actually march in the parade,” Corrigan told East Portland News.

The parade is led by a Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division vehicle, followed by the EPCC’s banner carriers, a bagpiper, and the Police Bureau Color Guard.

Military veterans riding in this year’s parade are (back seat) Fred Pelzer and Fran Shults – and in front, driver Kathleen Wendler and veteran Bill McDaniel.

SE 106th Avenue is filled with holiday revelers during this unique parade.

What followed was a colorful, merry procession of kids and adults strolling along SE 106th Avenue before turning southeast on SE Cherry Blossom Drive – then turning around at CherryWood Village and heading back.

After they returned to the EPCC, many families opted to participate in the “Safety Splash Fun Day” in the center’s pool.

After the parade, hungry folks fuel up on $1 hot dogs, grilled by EPCC Center Director Neal Brown.

“We do this to provide an opportunity to have summer fun for families. That’s why we do it!” Corrigan smiled.

© 2018 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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