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Jungleer Ed Bartlien, trouper Lila May Schow honored as Hood River parade grand marshals

Ed BartliEn holds his Oregon Military Hall of Fame plaque, from 2008.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea.
Ed BartliEn holds his Oregon Military Hall of Fame plaque, from 2008.

Hood River County communities join the rest of the nation in celebrating Independence Day on Friday.

The parade rolls in Hood River at 10 a.m. and fireworks shows are planned in Hood River and Cascade Locks, both at dusk. The Odell community parade starts at 4 p.m., with formation at 3:30 p.m. at Mid Valley elementary School.

Two grand marshals will lead the Hood River parade: 92-year-old World War II veteran Ed Bartlien and 3-year-old Lila May Schow of Odell.

Bartlien enlisted in the National Guard in 1939 by altering his driver’s license to show that he was 18 instead of 17.

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Lila May watches a pinwheel blow in the wind Saturday morning before the start of a fundraiser run at the Mosier Twin Tunnels.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he was transferred to the Army and then was shipped to the South Pacific where he became what is known as a “Jungleleer,” fighting in the Dutch East Indies and the Philippine Islands. Bartlien was on the first troop ship that went to that area and he left on the last ship that returned to the U.S. in 1946.

Lila May is battling stage 4 neuroblastoma cancer. She has undergone chemotherapy treatments at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland and will travel to New York later this year for antibody therapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital.

New this year - Three items of note:

Cash prizes for the top judging winners in the Hood River parade. Application forms and parade rules are posted at gorgelions.org.

Closure of the Sandbar at 7 p.m. Friday (see sidebar for full details on July 3-5 waterfront closures).

Shuttle bus service provided for Joe Kollas-Jerry Cranmer Memorial Run, from Jackson Park to the run’s starting point, Mid Valley Elementary, and back.

Lila May will ride with Bartlien in a vehicle furnished by the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum, which also will provide a flyover of vintage planes at the start of the parade.

Commercial and organizational groups are encouraged to put together an entry for the annual Hood River Lions Independence Day parade, which begins at 10 a.m. on July 4. The theme of the parade is “Young and old, proud to be an American.”

This year the Hood River Lions will be judging the parade entries and three of the best entries will receive monetary awards: $50, $35 and $20. Application forms and parade rules are posted at gorgelions.org.

Completed registration forms should be turned in between 8:30 a.m. and the 10 a.m. start of the parade at Eighth Street and Sieverkropp Drive on the Hood River Heights. At least two local music groups have indicated that they will play in the parade.

Prior to the parade, several hundred people participate in the Kollas-Cranmer Memorial Run and Walk from Mid Valley School in Odell to Jackson Park. The participants make their way via the parade route on 12th and May streets; walkers leave the Odell Fire Station at 8 a.m. while runners start their race at 9 a.m.

The American flag will be raised at noon to the national anthem and then grand marshals Ed Bartlien and Lila May Schow will lead the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Also in the park will be face painting, two bounce houses and the Hood River Fire Department’s annual barbecue hamburger/hot dog meals, along with refreshments from other vendors.

The vendor fee is $25 and spaces are limited; register by calling 541-490-9982. The music for the event will be provided by Willy & Nelson, a four-piece group playing favorite rock, pop and country tunes.

For the safety of children and to minimize litter along the parade route, the “no candy distribution” policy will be enforced during the parade. Instead, the Hood River Rotary Club and The Heights Ice Cream Store have teamed up to provide ice cream for a small fee to all who come to Jackson Park.

Later in the evening at 10 p.m., the Eyeopener Lions Club will provide a 30 minute fireworks display. It can be seen at the riverfront property of the Port of Hood River or 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, OR 97031.

For more information contact Tom Yates at 541-386-7212 or tfyates@embarqmail.com.

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