EPCC ‘Independence Parade’ again celebrates the season

Take a look at how hundreds of outer East Portland folks began their Fourth of July holiday …

Both kids and adults make hats and decorations they’ll use in the 2015 East Portland Community Center Independence Day Parade.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The front lawn of the Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) East Portland Community Center (EPCC) was abuzz with activity on the morning of July 2, as families gathered on the front lawn.

Some kids were getting faces painted or temporary tattoos, others were making crafts, and still others were trying their skill on the climbing wall. But all were looking forward to participating in the annual Independence Day Parade.

Getting a workout on the PP&R Climbing Wall is Theo Morgan, who with his mom Cecelia, traveled from Happy Valley to be part of the event.

EPCC Recreation Coordinator Elizabeth Corrigan spends a moment with coworker Sara Mulliner as they prepare for the big parade.

“Welcome to our 18th annual Independence Day Parade celebration,” said EPCC Recreation Coordinator Elizabeth Corrigan, organizer of the festivities.

“We celebrate the holiday a little bit earlier, because we know a lot of families will be out of town on July 4,” Corrigan explained.

“Still, it’s a wonderful occasion to celebrate the holiday, both with the parade and with all of the free activities here,” Corrigan told East Portland News. “And, at the same time, we also celebrate those who helped make our country great.”

With condiments in hand, Trina Tunstall and Iris Tunstall fix up the hot dogs they purchased from the Cherry Wood Meals on Wheels volunteers.

The EPCC Cougar mascot looks as if he’s about to take a big bite of the living slice of Papa Murphy’s Pizza.

Entries line up for the 18th annual EPCC Independence Day Parade.

To the sound of bagpipes, the parade stepped off with 393 adults and children, plus two Portland Police Bureau Mounted Patrol horses and riders.

Again this year, those marching and watching the parade were serenaded by Lynn Haldeman’s “The Oom-pah Boys”.

Off goes the merry throng of marchers.

In the back row are US WW II military veterans Bob Eisenhart and Walt Davis, and in front is Vern Keiper – and driver David Callaway, at the wheel of his 1942 GPW.

The gleeful procession slightly wilted on the sizzling hot pavement, but bravely and spiritedly headed out on SE 106th Avenue, toward Cherrywood Village, where it turned around and came back to the Community Center.

In all, 500 folks or more watched the merry procession along the way.

The EPCC Independence Day Parade heads out along SE Cherry Blossom Drive.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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