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Furry friends and festivities

The annual Crooked River Elementary Fall Festival and Crook County Pet Parade are set for this Saturday

by: CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Abby Dalton (left) and Emily Ackley (right) walked their dogs in last year’s Crook County Pet Parade.

Fall begins this Saturday, and local residents can celebrate the new season by participating in the Crooked River Fall Festival and Crook County Pet Parade.
   The parade kicks off the festivities at 10 a.m., traveling from the corner of Northwest Claypool and Fourth streets to Ochoco Creek Park. It is sponsored by For the Children, a Crook County child abuse prevention team.
   “We usually have about 300 kids (and adults) that participate in the parade,” said Terri Andreasen, For the Children chair. “They come with their pet — whatever that is. It could be a real-life pet, or it could be a stuffed pet — it doesn’t matter what kind of pet it is.”
   At the parade’s conclusion, For the Children provides the participants a goody bag.
   The Fall Festival will follow at Pioneer Park. The annual event serves as Crooked River Elementary School’s top fundraiser.
   “All of the teachers are involved and a lot of the parents get involved,” said Victoria Mize, Crooked River’s PTO president. “It’s like a carnival in the park.”
   The festival will include a variety of activities including face painting, hair streaking, and a science/creation station as well as an obstacle course and pumpkin patch.
   “The local pumpkin patch comes and delivers about 300 pumpkins for us,” Mize said, “so we have a little pumpkin patch where they can paint pumpkins.”
   Previous versions of the Fall Festival have also featured a dunk tank and this year is no exception — only this time, Crooked River Principal Cheri Rasmussen won’t play the dunk victim.
   “We get to dunk fifth-graders this year,” Mize said.
   Along with activities, visitors can treat themselves to popcorn, cotton candy, and snow cones as well as some tacos.
   Past Fall Festival fundraisers have helped Crooked River pay for field trips and high-end ELMO projectors, which Mize said can utilize the Internet. Last year, the event raised about $4,000 and drew around 500 people throughout the day.
   “It’s just an all-around fun event for all different ages,” Mize concluded.
   The Crook County Pet Parade and Crooked River Fall Festival will both be held on Saturday, Sept. 22.
   Pet Parade participants will line up at 9:30 a.m., at the Ericksons Thriftway parking lot. The parade will begin at 10 a.m., and go from the corner of Northwest Claypool and Fourth streets to Ochoco Creek Park.
   The Fall Festival will begin immediately following the parade, in Pioneer Park, with the event concluding at 2 p.m.