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Tigard to celebrate the 4th as only Tigard can

The ninth annual Middle of Millen Drive Independence Day Parade precedes the 20th annual Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration

TIGARD - Old-timers and new residents alike can enjoy two popular annual Fourth of July events next week - the ninth annual Middle of Millen Drive Independence Day Parade followed by the 20th annual Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration at Tiger Stadium.

The wacky, zany neighborhood parade has grown from the efforts of a few neighbors - organizer Carol Gifford notes that originally there were more people in the parade than watching it - to a full-blown event with loads of spectators.

The parade is known for its catchy and unusual floats and groups of people, who make props and costumes out of anything handy.

'A pair of neighbors are building a float around their pug, Gizmo, but it's top secret, and they won't tell me what it is yet,' Gifford said. 'Last year, they did Gizmo Beach, and he was stuck on a sand bar with an inflatable palm tree atop a wagon.

'And there's a collection of people who are going to be part of 'Great American Inventions,' and I've heard that there will be several entries, including a walking steno pad with 'Happy Independence Day' written in shorthand, a Coca-Cola bottle, a sewing machine, a robot and someone wrapped in plastic - and I have reminded the plastic person that this is a PG event.'

An entire Cub Scout den is coming with a float called 'Camping in America,' and Mayor Craig Dirksen will ride in a neighbor's old Studebaker.

The grand marshal is Pauly Dexter, who will be atop a vintage Mustang.

'The Coast Guard Auxiliary is supposed to send five or six people to march - that's a first for us, and I'm so excited,' Gifford said. 'Mike Homa is once again going to help us start things off with the 'National Anthem' on trombone, and we'll have an opening song by Jennie Ceciliani singing the Lee Greenwood song, 'God Bless the USA.''

Tigard Police Chief Bill Dickinson is expected to be in the parade along with, members of the Tigard High School marching band, plus there's always a good assortment of dogs and kids on bikes and trikes.

'Grand Floras Schmoral - it's not MOMDIDP,' Gifford noted. 'It's time to wish America a happy 230th as only we know how.'

To view the parade, people should take Durham Road to 92nd Avenue and park beside Tiger Stadium or in the THS parking lot.

The parade starts at 4 p.m., and the streets off 92nd that the parade uses are closed until 5 p.m.

Following the parade, people can take a short break or leave their vehicles parked and visit Cook Park before the gates open at 6 p.m. for the Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration at THS sponsored by Tigard Fourth of July Inc.

The family event features clowns, live music, kids' games, police and fire vehicles to view, plus concession stands selling light snacks before the fireworks are set off at dusk.

The event does not allow alcohol, personal fireworks or smoking, plus no personal barbecues on the football field's artificial turf.

For more information, call organizer Mike Marr at 503-624-2975.

Finally, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue personnel want to remind people to have a safe holiday.

Oregon law bans fireworks that fly, explode or travel on the ground more than 12 feet.

Devices sold at local fireworks stands are all certified as being legal in Oregon, but fireworks purchased by mail order or in the state of Washington or on Native American reservations are illegal in Oregon.