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Corbetts 36th parade is perfect

Families line the route to watch floats, tractors, collect candy
by: John Klicker, From left, Cora Bruders, 5, and her friend Carley Sprando blow bubbles along the Corbett parade route Tuesday, July 4.

After 36 years of Fourth of July parades, Corbett knows how to parade.

The community uncorked an hour-long event Tuesday that involved at least two-dozen mostly vintage tractors, more than 50 old cars, nearly every pickup and trailer in the community (despite gas at nearly three bucks a gallon), a cavalry of horses with two tag-along-foals, a humongous vintage John Deere combine, and - in a wild guess - about a half-ton of tossed candy.

In Springdale at the candy-rich beginning of the parade, four little boys in a diligent effort gleaned more than 10 pounds of roadside treats. And there was still some left over. Note for next year: Mints are not a favorite.

'Make sure what you're picking up after the horses go by,' cautioned Bob Scott, who has a handy front-yard seat for the event.

Some items required inspection. One parader tossed dog biscuits to canines on the sidelines.

This year's parade was bolstered by a large contingent from the Rose City Model T Club and the first-ever appearance of the Corbett High School band.

Neighboring Cascade Locks, campaigning for a casino, entered a float and riders threw packets of playing cards to bystanders. Paul Thalhofer, Troutdale mayor, demonstrated multi-tasking by driving himself in his vintage Cadillac convertible and throwing candy at the same time.

Troutdale City Councilor David Ripma, who drives his John Deere tractor towing a hay wagon every year, won a first prize.

'I'm not sure in what category,' he said, 'but likely not farm equipment. There's a lot of fine farm equipment here.'

High on sugar from a tossed Tootsie Pop, bystander Mike Stockman of Boring allowed as how he 'would like to have some land so he could buy a tractor and go out and till the earth.'

Marine Lance Cpl. Brad Slate drew a big hand walking behind a float honoring the Marine Corps. The family of Navy SEAL Jeffrey Lucas, who died in Afghanistan just before last year's parade, shot candy cannons in the air.

Nearly every horse in Corbett seemed to be present. One equestrian entry, a young woman in a wedding dress, rode as a bride astride. Another rider rode with a cell phone at his ear. Some horses were pedicured with red and blue hoofs and sprinkled with glitter.

One float took a black humored slant on the parade's theme, 'Remembering the Past: Building for the Future,' by depicting Corbett 'after Mount Hood blows.'

The float's riders sheltered under a beach umbrella making the next big eruption look pretty much like a picnic.

The parade ended at Corbett School where Independence celebrants lined up to eat 400 pounds of barbecued beef, buy chances on a live beef and mark the destruction of countless local moles in the annual mole-trapping contest.