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Festive 4th A grand and personal Independence Day

Hood River News Editorial

July 6, 2005

Those responsible for a splendid — and safe — July Fourth deserve the thanks of the community.

July Fourth is based on the grandest of events — a nation’s freedom and the creation of a democratic society — but in Hood River, like many places, the day was a celebration of community, in loud and quiet ways.

For while it was the nation’s birthday it was Sally Moore’s, too.

During Monday’s entertaining parade, the St. Urho’s Queen received a greeting from a member of the crowd: her friend Vi Thomas was seated along 12th Street when she saw Moore, and Thomas jumped up and handed her a birthday card as Moore rolled by in the Finnish festival’s famed green-and-purple car.

“I figured I’d run into her at some point today, but I hadn’t planned to do so (give her the card) in the parade,” Thomas said.

It was the kind of thing that could happen in any community where people care for each other, and it was hardly surprising to see such a personal touch in the Hood River parade.

Things got noisy Monday night with the Eyeopener Lions’ annual pyrotechnics. The group outdid itself this year, slipping in as sort of trick grand finale, and then following it with another 10 minutes of eye-poppers resembling exploding jelly beans, vibrating coral reefs, and giant sparkling clamshells — before jettisoning a giant booming glittering barrage to cap things off at about 10:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, all those illegal fireworks going off around town and the valley were like puppies yapping outside the pedigree dog show: the real (and legal) pleasure came from watching the Lions’ riverside roar.

Thanks to that civic group for providing such an amazing show, and to the firefighters and law enforcement officers who patrolled the streets after dark, keeping the night remarkably fire-free.

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