Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Patriotism to reign on July 4 parade


Huge turnout expected for annual star-spangled extravaganza

by: REVIEW FILE PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - People in Lake Oswego love a parade, especially when its held on the Fourth of July. This year's Star Spangled Parade is expected to be bigger than ever.Lake Oswego will be a great place to be an American on July 4. That’s because the Star Spangled Parade will once again surge down A Avenue in a tradition that gets better and better every year.

“It’s All-American,” said Kathy Schilling, director of special events for the City of Lake Oswego, who has organized the parade for 15 years. “It’s kind of crazy. It’s kind of like herding cats. But it’s really organized. When you give parties in Lake Oswego, people come.”

There are 45 entrants ready to march Friday at 10 a.m. The lineup includes Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, a vintage fire truck, antique cars, the Dixie Jazz Band under Dick Saunders, the Fife & Drum Band (authentically dressed in costumes from the American Revolution era), an honor guard from the Lake Oswego Police Department, a robotics team and lots and lots of kids on bicycles.

“The bicycles will have old playing cards pinned in their spokes,” Schilling said, “just like kids have been doing for years and years.”

There’ll be floats, too, including the Bank of Oswego float captained by Dan Heine and entries from Parkway Vets, Lake Oswego Public Library and State Farm Insurance.

The parade will head down A Avenue to Millennium Plaza, where there’s more fun planned. Look for a pie-eating contest, live music, lots of food vendors and more.

For Schilling, the parade gets a little better and a little bigger every year. More and more downtown streets have to be closed, she said, because of the ever-growing number of kids running out onto A Avenue to grab candy thrown by parade participants.

When she started the parade in 2000, Schilling managed to get so many children involved that a city official asked if she had borrowed kids from other towns.

“We did have a lot of kids,” Schilling said. “But we had a hard time getting a lot of people to watch the parade.”

That’s not a problem anymore, which is why the Fourth of July is a great day to be an American and a Lake Oswegan.

“It is so heartwarming,” Schilling said. “It’s all that is good about our community.”