by: CHRISTOPHER ONSTOTT - Mayor Dennis Doyle and his wife Ann interact with citizens during last year's Beaverton Celebration Parade. The pageantry returns Saturday at 10 a.m.For area residents still exhausted from Labor Day weekend travels, a bevy of activities around town this Saturday and Sunday — including a run, bike ride and parade — should provide an added incentive to stay closer to home.

Anchored by the 55th annual Beaverton Celebration Parade, with Olympic gold medalist Mariel Zugunis serving as grand marshal, at 10 p.m. on Saturday, the weekend will offer a series of family-oriented activities designed to squeeze a bit more fun out of the final weeks of summer.

“There will be a lot of fun things to do,” says Jordan Imlah, spokesman for the city of Beaverton. “It’s all about the tradition and celebrating the community.”

It all starts with the second annual Beaverton Fun Run. Registration begins Saturday at 7:30 a.m. for the 6-kilometer and 1-mile courses that weaves around the parade route. The $20 entry fee for adults and $10 for children will help benefit the mission of the Beaverton Resource Center, 12500 S.W. Allen Blvd.

On Sunday at 1 p.m., the 8-mile Bike Beaverton event will give cyclists of all ages and skill levels an opportunity to cruise safely through Central Beaverton while taking advantage of free bike helmets, inspections and repair at the starting line.

Olympic-level parade

Zagunis, a two-time gold medalist fencing champion and flag bearer at this summer’s London Games, will helm this year’s parade, along with fellow area Olympians Dan Browne, Chuck Richards, Joni Huntley, Mac Wilkins and Zagunis’ mother, Cathy. They will lead 110 entrants displaying a dynamic variety of floats, award-winning marching bands, cars, mascots and more to illustrate this year’s theme, “The Many Faces of Beaverton,” created by resident Laurette McGee.

“With that theme, the entrants decide what Beaverton means to them,” Imlah says. “For us, it’s about celebrating everything that’s different and good about Beaverton — the diversity and differences in residents — the city’s uniqueness.”

It seemed appropriate to parade organizers to spotlight the area’s wealth in Olympic athletes, he says.

“The idea is to tie it all to the good happening in London. We have a lot of people around here who have won medals.”

A new twist in the parade route will take it along Fifth Street near the Beaverton Farmers Market. The parade begins at the corner of Southwest Wilson Avenue and Allen Boulevard, heading toward Southwest Erickson Avenue to Fifth Street, passing by the Beaverton City Library on its way to ending at Griffith Park near Beaverton City Hall, 4755 S.W. Griffith Drive.

While there is no official street fair to complement the events, the farmers market will provide food and vending opportunities from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Beaverton City Park, 12455 S.W. Fifth St.

“I think the parade will draw a lot of people from the farmers market this year,” Imlah says. “It hasn’t gone down Fifth Street for a long time.”by: CHRISTOPHER ONSTOTT - Lorenzo Freddi, 3, and his mother, Marcy, can hardly contain their excitement as the Beaverton motorcycle police race down the street in the 2011 Celebration Parade.

Running in the streets

Ernie Conway, founder and director of the Beaverton Fun Run, said the change in the parade route necessitated the racecourse, which begins and ends at Griffith Park, winding through Central Beaverton on Griffith Drive, Fifth Street, and Erickson and Watson avenues.

“It caught us off guard,” he says of changes requested by the Oregon Department of Transportation. “So we made it a 6K and a 1 mile. We’re one of the only (races) to have a 6K finish time.”

While last year’s confluence of events, including Bike Beaverton, on the same Saturday in August was fun, Conway acknowledges the need to break up the events a bit.

“Trying to have Bike Beaverton, the Fun Run and farmers market just makes for too many things happening on Saturday to get it all in,” he says. “It’s a long day for the police.”

In addition to promoting fun, physical fitness and healthy competitive spirit, the goal of this year’s run is to draw awareness of the Beaverton Resource Center. The city-sponsored center provides assistance to local families and individuals in need, including homeless students in the Beaverton School District.

“The money is targeted for homeless students attending Beaverton-area schools,” Conway says.

His goal for this year is to get 120 runners to come out and enjoy the community.

“A morning run or walk along closed city streets is a friendly, safe, fun, and easily identifiable way to show your support for our community,” he says. “You get outside, bonding with other citizens, then get to sit down and enjoy a parade that reflects what the weekend should be about: a celebration.”by: CHRISTOPHER ONSTOTT - Jessica McCurdy cheers on a friend at the finish line of the inaugural Family Fun Run.

Sunday riding

The fifth annual Bike Beaverton event will cap off the weekend’s activities. At 1 p.m., the Beaverton Police Department will sponsor a bike rodeo, including an obstacle course, for kids at Beaverton City Park, Southwest Fifth Street at Hall Boulevard, the ride’s starting and finish line. Free helmets will be distributed, and representatives from the Northwest Bicycle Safety Council and mechanics from Bike Gallery, Santiam Bicycle and Bike ‘N’ Hike will be on hand to inspect bikes for safety and make adjustments.

Event Chairwoman Barbara Chapnick said she looks forward to seeing upwards of 300 bicyclists taking to the downtown streets in the free event. “Everyone loves it,” she says. “It’s a very easy ride through the streets of Beaverton. We encourage everyone to come out and enjoy their neighborhoods by bicycle, see their neighbors, get their bike inspected and pick up a free helmet.”

And there’s also free ice cream at the finish line.

“People have a really good time,” she says.

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