Fireworks over the river, parades down the main street, and plenty of good times in between all add up to Independence Day in Hood River County on Thursday.
Don Benton of Hood River will be grand marshal of the Hood River parade. Theme this year is “Go the Extra Mile,” honoring Benton’s extensive community service, and red-white-and-blue décor is encouraged.
Entrants are asked to pay $10 and have their completed forms ready to give to volunteers on Thursday morning at parade set-up. Parade entries are available at the Hood River Chamber of Commerce. Completed and signed registration forms should be turned in between 8:30 a.m. and the start of the parade on Eighth and Sieverkropp streets on the Heights.
Food and music will be available after the parade at Jackson Park, where the parade disbands. (May Street from 13th to 17th streets will be closed.)
The “warm-up” act for the parade is the Joe Kollas-Jerry Cranmer Run; walkers start at 8 a.m. and runners at 9 a.m. at Mid Valley Elementary in Odell for the 8-mile run to Jackson Park.
The Cascade Locks Port Commission has established a volunteer effort to collect donations in Marine Park prior to the fireworks show, starting at 1 p.m. Teen Program volunteers will do the collecting, and the program will receive 50 percent of the collected donations.
The new teen program has so far involved 16 local teenagers and plans are now under way for another teen event in mid-July.
Odell hosts its own parade, at 4 p.m., which also stages at Mid Valley, beginning at 3:30 p.m.
To finish up the night, fireworks displays are planned in Hood River and Cascade Locks, at dusk.
- Getting going: July 4 events start early, with the popular Joe Kollas-Jerry Cranmer Run from Odell to Hood River; registration starts at 7 a.m.; cost is $20 with T-shirt, $5 without.
- Hood River Parade: Music, horses, kids on bikes, dancers, hot cars, fire engines, and much more will fill the streets from 12th and Pacific to Jackson Park. The “No Candy” policy will be enforced during the parade.
- Got a few dollars? Hood River Lions Club volunteers, such as Paul Zastrow in 2012, are asking donations for fireworks, as well as to pay the expenses of the parade bands and music in Jackson Park.
- Overhead: During the Hood River parade, look for a flyover of vintage planes provided by Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum, starting at about 9:45 a.m.
- After the parade: The fun continues in Jackson Park where there will be the fire department’s barbecue fundraiser, music, raising of the flag, and vendors. Ice cream will be served free to all children.
- Odell parade: There’s plenty of action as residents gather along Odell Highway for the annual parade, forming at 3:30 p.m. at Mid Valley Elementary. Anyone may enter.