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It's been a contentious couple of years in Eastmoreland; a parade soothes the nerves

DAVID F. ASHTON - This year's Eastmoreland Neighborhood Independence Day Parade Grand Marshalls - Jerry and Gretchen Eichentopf of Ottos Sausage Kitchen - waved to the crowd, which shortly afterward would be back at Duniway School enjoying the hot dogs the Eichentopfs have always provided. For all the discord and acrimony among many in the neighborhood regarding the controversial Historic District proposal THE BEE has been reporting on since last year, neighborhood residents came together in harmony to enjoy their annual Eastmoreland Neighborhood Independence Day Parade.

Early on July 4, the extended Eichentopf family brought down their crew from Otto's Sausage Kitchen in Woodstock to set out barbeques, to light charcoal, and to get ready to serve a massive number – perhaps a record number – of frankfurters.

Again this year, Steve Baker and Steve Calderaro organized the celebration that staged in front of Duniway Elementary School, along S.E. Reed College Place.

"This is just good clean fun; a nonpolitical event that attracts everyone – including many who live outside the neighborhood!" commented Calderaro.

"And, it's so good to see people coming together all at once," Baker chimed in. "With our neighborhood being 'on edge' about the proposed Historic District, it's delightful to see everyone just get together to have fun."

"Special this year – we've elected our Grand Marshals to be Jerry and Gretchen [Eichentopf] from Otto's Sausage Kitchen," Calderaro announced. "They and their family have been here, feeding people as many as 2,000 hot dogs, every year of the parade – including today, the 24th year!"

"I've kept working with this for so many years because it's so much fun – and seeing our neighbors at their best," Baker grinned, as the two organizers readied to start the parade.

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