by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Kalum Schenck doesn't let the Teddy Bear Parade slow down his enjoyment of a chocolate ice cream cone during the Teddy Bear Parade in downtown Gresham. Kalum attended the event with his mother Tiffany, left, and several stuffed friends.  A light mist and overcast skies didn’t dampen the love of teddy bears and a parade Saturday, Sept. 29.

More than 3,000 spectators lined the curbs in downtown Gresham to watch the 30th Teddy Bear Parade, sponsored by Soroptimist International of Gresham.

According to Ginger Abbs, parade co-chairwoman, 2,500 participants marched, road in cars and walked the route, which was shorter this year due to construction on Northeast Hood OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Malani Boun, left, and her sister Sariah take part in the Teddy Bear Parade. They rode on the float representing Rockwood Center for Family Success.

“A lot of people felt it was easier for the little kids walking in the parade, and the spectators weren’t so spread out,” Abbs said. “We had a lot of positive feedback on the shorter route.”

Surprise guests were Miss Oregon United States 2012, Gabrielle Neilan, and Miss Teen Oregon United States 2012, Olivia Wetzel, who led the parade by carrying a banner for the parade’s sponsor. Neilan is a Gresham native.

The Teddy Bear Parade is held annually, the last Saturday of September.

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