The Hood River Lions Club has chosen Don Benton as grand marshal for its July 4 Independence Day Parade. Organizations and commercial entries are encouraged to register for the parade, which begins at 10 a.m. Line-up starts at 8:30 a.m.
The parade theme is “Go the Extra Mile” in honor of Hood River resident Benton, a retired Navy veteran who brought home three Purple Heart medals and two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medals for valor during his service in Vietnam.
“Like Don, there are many people in Hood River County who go the extra mile in times of need and so the parade is all-out thanking them for their services,” said Tom Yates, parade chairperson. “Organizations or businesses may want to thank a longtime club member or employee. Also take advantage of this theme and decorate your business patriotically the week before the July 4th holiday.”
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.
Prior to the parade, several hundred people participate in the Kollas/Cranmer Memorial Run and Walk from Mid Valley Elementary School in Odell to Jackson Park. The participants make their way via the parade route on 12th and May streets. A flyover of vintage planes will be provided by Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum.
After the parade the fun continues in Jackson Park where there will be the Hood River Fire Department’s barbecue fundraiser, music, the raising of the American Flag, and all types of vendors, including last year’s ice cream and face painting.
In order to pay the expenses of the parade bands and music in Jackson Park, the Hood River Lions Club is donating $400 but is also asking individuals, businesses and other organizations to join them in providing a charitable gift. Checks should be made out to the Hood River Lions Club and mailed to P.O. Box 860, Hood River, OR 97031.
“We are hoping to have at least one band again this year to lead the parade behind the color guard and maybe will also play in Jackson Park following the parade,” said Yates. Five bands have been invited, including Hood River Valley High School.
Like the last three years, a “No Candy” policy will be enforced during the parade. “That’s why we are providing ice cream in the park for all the children.” Donations to help make the ice cream free are gladly accepted.
Concessionaires who wish to have a booth in Jackson Park should contact Colleen Fogarty at 541-490-9982 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Eyeopeners Lions Club will provide another one of its stupendous fireworks displays that will last about 30 minutes.
The display, which begins at 10 p.m., can be seen at the riverfront property of the Port of Hood River and virtually any other location around Hood River or White Salmon/Bingen.
Individuals and businesses wishing to provide funds for the fireworks display should send their tax-deductible donations to Lions Fireworks, 1761 12th St. #136, Hood River, Ore., 97031.