n Thousands turn out to watch or take part in Lake Oswegos annual patriotic parade

If you didn’t see someone you knew walking down A Avenue during the Fourth of July parade, you weren’t really trying.

Thousands of Lake Oswego residents joined in the fun by walking the 10 blocks under clear, blue, sunshine-filled skies. Thousands more lined the street to wave and cheer as the Star Spangled Parade slowly passed. While there was a little music (a drum and fife group), some city vehicles and vintage cars, a number of local dignitaries (Mayor Jack Hoffman, all of the city councilors plus mayor hopeful Greg Macpherson and council candidate Skip O’Neil), and even a few unexpected critters (a bunny, a couple of chickens and a guinea pig), the unquestioned star was the huge number of private citizens — adults and children — making the trek.

A number of people walked or rode bikes, were pulled or pushed in strollers and wagons and rode unicycles behind the banners of various organizations. Even more just participated as private citizens, enjoying the uniquely hometown spin of old Americana that is what this parade has come to symbolize.

Capping the parade was a military flyover by a pair of fast-moving jets flying low over Lake Oswego.

More than 5,000 parade participants and onlookers filtered out into Millennium Plaza Park, which was virtually overflowing with people — plenty of fun, food and music but maybe a wee bit tough on those who might be prone to crowd-induced claustrophobia. Along with patriotic comments and a flag salute, the Schwing Daddies, fife and drum band performance and Southern Nights entertained the crowd.

The second annual pie-eating contest featured chocolate cream pies topped with whipped cream this year.

“We had to change up from berry pie,” said Maddy Ovenell, Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market manager, who was assisting Jamie Inglis, events coordinator for the city. “The berry pie was just too heavy for people to eat. The chocolate cream (was) much lighter.”

Whether the cream pie was indeed lighter wasn’t ascertained; the nine pie-eating participants used a variety of unique techniques to consume the whole pie without use of their hands.

“The trick is to get it out of the pan and eat it off the table,” volunteered someone in the audience.

James Fuson finished his chocolate cream pie first and won a trophy, bragging rights and a $25 gift card Burger Blast.

The pie-eating contest has secured its spot as not only a Lake Oswego Fourth of July tradition but as the last piece of the holiday trifecta by Lake Oswego resident Dusty Johnson.

“This is the first year we’ve done it all,” said Dusty Johnson. “We’ve lived here since the mid-70s and this is the first time we’ve been to the pancake breakfast, parade and pie-eating contest. We’ve always done the parade but we’ve been in it so we had to skip the pancake breakfast. This was the first year we watched so we got to eat pancakes. Pancakes, parade, pie — it’s a perfect Fourth of July trifecta!”

Over at George Rogers Park, the Lake Oswego Lions Club continued to work its Fourth of July magic, feeding thousands of hungry folks in patriotic attire a meal of giant pancakes, sausages and beverages. At the end of the morning, the Lions ran out of food — testimony to the large number of meals served.

Dusty Johnson’s daughter Annie, 13, enjoyed the pancakes and wanted to give the Lions a tip. She suggested they add brown sugar as a condiment.

“This is a fun day,” said Annie’s dad and Dusty’s husband, Joel Johnson. “It’s like (the television show) ‘Cheers.’ You see everyone you know!”

Lake Oswego’s Fourth of July festivities actually began on July 3, with a patriotic concert presented by the Millennium Concert Band. The spirited music was enhanced by the vocals of Julianne Johnson, who wowed the crowd with favorites like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” “S’wonderful” and a rousing rendition of “America the Beautiful.” Musical tributes were made to each branch of the military, and the crowd was treated to a program that included Broadway show tunes, marches and patriotic songs.

West Linn also celebrated the Fourth of July with its annual fireworks display put on by Alice Richmond at Willamette Park. The event included food vendors, a clown and plenty of fireworks. State Rep. Julie Parrish, R-West Linn, and Sen. Richard Devlin, D-Tualatin, kicked off the evening, followed by a performance by the horn-driven Return Flight band, and Claire Newrones sang the national anthem. The evening also included raffles and prizes.

— Barb Randall, Lori Hall and Martin Forbes

Contract Publishing

Go to top
Template by JoomlaShine