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Raindrops dont stop annual Ardenwald Bicycle Parade from rolling

by: David F. Ashton Despite the rain, participants and spectators began to show up, and so Ardenwald Elementary School teacher Kathy Richards and Principal Sheila Shaw led the “instant parade” as they headed out.

Organizers of the 2011 Ardenwald Bike Parade looked downcast, as rain fell on Saturday, September 17th, a mere fifteen minutes before the annual parade's scheduled departure from Ardenwald Elementary School.

Only a handful of kids and adults were present, huddling under the school's entrance, as the unseasonably cold rain continued to pelt down.

'This parade has been a tradition here for - I don't know how many years - but for decades,' Joe Campbell, whose wife Sherry usually leads the procession.

'Although it's just a little neighborhood thing,' Campbell explained, 'We think it's an important tradition. This is a good thing, because the community comes together. It helps students from the school bond with people in the community.'

Amazingly, as the announced start time neared, out of the fog and rain people started to appear and gather in front of the school. 'It looks like the marching band washed out,' Campbell observed, 'But look, we have Milwaukie Police and Clackamas County Fire and Rescue here, right on schedule!'

At 10:05 am, the Parade set out - on an abridged route around the school. We counted 76 adults and children walking and riding bicycles, and more watching, as the annual march moved out.