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Christmas on Parade

by: Vern Uyetake, West Linn police and bagpipers lead off  the annual Christmas  parade down Willamette Falls Drive.

The weather forecasters must have gotten it wrong - at least in West Linn.

Because on Saturday, it was snowing on Willamette Falls Drive.

At the annual West Linn Holiday Parade - the town's most popular winter event - a city truck equipped with bags full of miniscule Styrofoam pieces and a blower turned the Willamette district into a pseudo winter wonderland. And nobody seemed to mind the fake scenery - especially the children dashing around under the lightly falling white stuff gathering as much candy as they could and marveling at the seasonally decorated floats.

'I liked the snow,' 8-year-old Kennedy Mohr said.

'I liked the snow, too. 'And I liked getting all the candy,' said Emma Glaunert, 8, who was enjoying the parade with Mohr and two other friends, Miranda Rose, 9, and Sidney Wood, 8, under the watchful eye of dad, West Linn resident Paul Glaunert.

The parade, which wound down Willamette Falls Drive in the historic district, was as well attended as any ones previous. Organizers estimated that between 600 to 800 people were on hand. 'I thought it was great,' West Linn Recreational Coordinator Terri Jones said.

She said there were 35 entries in the parade constructed by groups ranging from local scout organizations to area businesses. 'I liked the one with the carriage and all the horses,' Rose said.

It was also for a good cause, too. The parade generated more than 400 toy donations to the Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue's Toy and Joy Program. 'It's just the terrific support and the sense of community that the Willamette area has,' Jones said.

As the parade wound down, families gathered around TVF and R's station where Santa Claus was the center of attention. 'We enjoy it,' said Corey Stark, a TVF and R volunteer who drove an antique fire engine, a 1929 Model A, West Linn's original No. 1 engine, in the parade. 'I think the kids who ride have the most fun.'