Fourth festivities: Mark your calendar for Mount Angel parade, fireworks

June 2014 Posted in Community

By Brenna Wiegand

Though it appeared this year’s Mount Angel Fourth of July Parade would be turned on its ear, the traditional route will prevail. And of course there will be fireworks – just from a different point of view.

The reason for change and initial confusion has to do with significant improvements under way at the schools as the district’s $10.4 million construction bond is administered.

The gutted middle school is undergoing extensive asbestos abatement in anticipation of its modernizing remodel.

“The middle school project and the high school track/football field project are out for bid ‘til June 24 and will start immediately; by July 7 both could be under full construction,” said Troy Stoops, Mount Angel School District Superintendent. “The construction fences may not yet be up during the Fourth of July, but we’ll be preparing as if they were so we are limiting the activities to the fields between the middle school and the high school.”

Late in the game it appeared the high school parking lot would be unavailable to those queuing up for the morning parade and there were reports that the parade route would be reversed, but, as organizer Randy Stockdale joked, those reports “have been greatly exaggerated.” Dedicated Chamber of Commerce volunteers will begin staging parade entrants at the high school parking lot around 8 a.m.; all should be in place by judging at 10.

“It’s a Grand Old Flag” is this year’s theme, and a grand parade it will be with classic cars and veterans; ag machinery, antique military vehicles and firetrucks. Parade entry instructions and applications are available at US Bank in Mount Angel, or in the Mt. Angel Shopper.

The National Anthem will be sung at the high school at 11 a.m. as the parade commences out Marquam to Birch to Taylor then down Garfield through Mount Angel.  It will be sung again at city hall as Norm Zollner announces the parade as participants reach the downtown finish, where shops and restaurants will be open to serve both parade goers and participants.

“Kids will bring their people or people will bring their kids,” Stockdale said. “As with small town, old-fashioned events, those who enjoy them them the most tend to be the very young and very old.

The National Anthem will also kick off that evening’s fireworks display. Since the football/track stadium will be closed, the audience will occupy the baseball field between Kennedy and the middle school. Parking will be limited: the middle school lot is closed.

Fireworks begin at dusk. In the meantime, Knights of Columbus will sell strawberries and ice cream and the Marion County Citizens Band will perform.

There will be plenty of open space for friends and families to lay out chairs and blankets and for the kids to play. Pack a picnic, but leave alcohol and pets at home.

When the rockets finally hit the sky, there will be a special tribute to Orville Roth, who died last October. He was an unforgettable part of both the parade and the fireworks.

“There will be a lot of green in the beginning of the show in honor of Orville Roth and Roth’s longtime support of the event, personally and financially,” said Stockdale. The Chamber-sponsored fireworks display generally runs $4,000, in recent years substantially subsidized by Roth.

“I’ve been in Oregon all of my 63 years and I’ve seen a lot of community events,” Stockdale said, “but nobody does it as often or as well as Mount Angel.”

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