Party and parade kicks off holiday weekend

Hundreds turn out again for this annual outer East Portland Independence Day festivity. Take a look, and feel the holiday spirit …

With lovely summer weather prevailing, families come for the activities before the annual East Portland Community Center Independence Day Parade gets under way.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

For nearly two decades, outer East Portland families have kicked off the Fourth of July holiday weekend at the Portland Parks & Recreation East Portland Community Center with an Independence Day Parade on July 1.

Kids use up some of their energy on the Parks Bureau’s Climbing Wall.

Community Center Recreation Coordinator Elizabeth Corrigan oversees the morning’s events.

“In addition to the parade – the highlight of the day – we also have face painting, tattoos, crafts, the climbing wall, and lots of activities for kids and families beforehand,” said Elizabeth Corrigan, the recreation coordinator in charge of the parade and festival.

“It is important for us to celebrate our country, especially right now,” Corrigan told East Portland News. “It’s a good time for us all to come together and celebrate Independence Day.”

Meals on Wheels Cherry Blossom Center Manager Colette Livermore serves up hotdogs to Mitica Enache.

Astride “Diesel”, Portland Police Bureau Mounted Police Officer Ryan Albertson greets families at the celebration who enjoy meeting their gentle mounts.

Before the parade, the Lynn Haldeman “The Oom-pah Boys” play lively tunes.

A number of staff members were working to support the event, and “we also have lots of volunteers, including our junior leaders – we could not do it without them,” Corrigan said.

Behind the banner, the parade starts to line up.

Led by a Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division car, the 2016 East Portland Community Center Independence Day Parade rolls out.

Members of the Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band provide a marching beat – and are followed by the Honor Guard, comprised of members of the Portland Police Bureau and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.

Streets along the parade route were closed by members of the Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division motorcycle officers along the .6 mile route.

As in past years, the parade headed south on SE 106th Avenue, and turned onto SE Cherry Blossom Drive.  From there, it continued to SE 107th Avenue, into CherryWood Village – and then returned to the Community Center.

This year’s “Honored Veterans” are United States Marine Corps veteran Bob Eisencort and United States Coast Guard veteran Bill Eggiman, here being chauffeured by Brian Gonroff.

Carrying their handmade banner, this group of Community Center kids march in the parade, as it makes it way to CherryWood Village.

“Personally, the best thing for me about this is seeing all the kids have fun,” concluded Corrigan.

By the expressions on the faces of kids, parents, and everyone along the parade route, everyone looked to be having a grand time at this traditional celebration.

>> On our Front Page: Bailey Hoard has her trike decked out for the parade.

© 2016 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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