The sun was shining bright on Saturday for Parkdale’s annual Pumkpin Parade. The small downtown was transformed into Halloween Town as families gathered wearing their best costumes. While the little kids stole the show, some of the attendees had been to the Pumpkin Parade since it started in 1987.
“It started with a bunch of women who were on the community center board, and we just decided we needed a Halloween parade here,” said Patty Routson of Parkdale. “So we got the farmers out here and they pulled their flatbeds with their tractors, which had been decorated by the local kids. It just kept growing from there.”
Routson remembered, “The first five years that we held it, we would have a king and queen of the parade. They were all in their 90s, and would dress up and wear crowns, while leading the parade.”
Most of the parade was put together by staff and students of Parkdale Elementary.
“We have terrific weather this year, which means we have a better crowd,” said Principal Kim Vogel of Parkdale Elementary. “We also have horses and more floats than ever, with wonderful folks helping out. Luckily harvest is at the end, so farmers can be in the parade instead of out picking today.
“Most of these kids are our students; although there are a lot of our alumni that are now in junior high school that come back every year,” added Vogel.
Many of the participants walked or ran in the preceding Parkdale Pumpkin Fun Run and Walk.
A rare traffic jam happened in Parkdale at around noon, with Fruit Loop visitors in cars mixing with parade attendees on foot, in cars and on horseback, and the Mount Hood Railroad train pulling into the station.
This year’s Pumpkin Parade was another success, with people from all over the valley lining the streets to watch. It was just another example of how the little traditions really bring a community together year after year.
Turn to page B2 for additional parade coverage in Tamara Emler Ball’s column.