by: COURTESY OF DONNA GRAMSE - Jaycees drive the chuckwagon through the parade in 1954, the first year of the Chuckwagon COURTESY OF DONNA GRAMSE - This is a Fourth of July parade in Woodburn around 1940.The Fourth of July has always been a time of celebration for those who lived in Woodburn. In the early days, there was a parade, and there were floats.

In the picture from about 1940, it shows people waiting for the parade, and the hot dog-hamburger stand run by the Boy Scouts.

In 1954, the service group, the Junior Chamber of Commerce, or Jaycees, decided that there should be more of a celebration of the day, and that there was an opportunity to raise money for their many projects to help the city.

So they decided to host a breakfast with pancakes, ham and eggs. They had access to an old chuckwagon, so they decided to call it a chuckwagon breakfast.

The picture shows the first wagon, pulled by a tractor. On the tractor are Gary Butcher and Joe Walker.

On the wagon are (from left) Butch Flomer, Gib Ramage and Red Eaden.

The breakfast was held in Settlemier Park, and continued to be held there for several years.

The stoves were grills with gas stoves from the National Guard under them for heat. The ham grill was a high school project in welding with Al Ringo as the class instructor.

Some famous people who came to town to help serve breakfast were Mark Hatfield, Tom McCall, Al Ulman, Denny Smith and many county commissioners.

Joe Serres would go through Woodburn on his steam engine and blow his whistle to start off the celebration.

The Jaycees were eventually to give up the breakfast, and the French Prairie Kiwanis Club has taken on the task of feeding the town.

The early crowds were 1,000 people; now, as many as 3,000 might show up. The breakfast has moved to Legion Park, and a hot air balloon has been known to make an appearance.

It is a great place to meet friends, and renew old acquaintances.

The food servers are friendly, the food is good, the cost is low and you may have all you want to eat. So come on out to the park, and maybe I’ll see you there!

Contract Publishing

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