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Hundreds showed up for Lake Oswego's beloved Star Spangled Parade on A Avenue last week

PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Ayden Krawczyk, 5, waves an American flag as participants in the Star Spangled Parade pass by him along A Avenue. Lake Oswego's 2019 Star Spangled Parade & Celebration wasn't just a group of cars, trucks and homemade floats that traveled down the street this past Independence Day. Rather, it was a rolling collection of stories. On July 4, many creatively decorated vehicles from boats to bikes mixed in with marching bands, children throwing candy, frisbees and bouncy balls, and a veritable menagerie of dogs.

The Review caught up with one of Lake Oswego Community Rowing's team captains, Alex Fu, before the parade, and he talked about his unique float. He, along with a group of team members, assembled a float by putting a racing single (a type of racing boat) on top of a white pickup truck, and decorated the truck with other nautically-themed materials. Fu, a Lake Oswego resident, could hardly contain his excitement about the upcoming parade, saying that it's the 7th year that LOCR has participated, and that it's a great opportunity to both celebrate America and showcase the organization that he loves so much.

The Lake Oswego Library got in on the fun, too. Cyndie Glazer, the library's program & volunteer services coordinator, spearheaded the library's float, including a decorated red Audi and the "Book Cart Brigade," which consisted of several librarians pushing and doing tricks with library book carts. She said, "It's the community event for families. We do it every year and we love it."

Lisa Gezelter of Portland and Shona Mackenzie of Lake Oswego headed up the efforts of the Portland Metro Youth Pipe Band, a Portland metro area-based bagpipe and drumming performance group. The competitive group, made up of youth under 18, has spent quite a lot of time practicing for the parade, this year being their second straight year involved. They say that it takes about a year of weekly practices for bagpipe players and eight or nine months for drum players to be prepared for an event like the LO parade. But it's all worth it, with Gezelter saying, "Our kids have fun. There's a ton of people."

A few of those people spoke with the Review about their parade experiences. Lindsay, an LO resident, said that she has attended over a dozen parades over the last 20 years or so. PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Men dressed in period clothing march down A Avenue during the Star Spangled Parade.

"It's all my favorite," she said. "It's so fun to see the kids." Those kids also had fun, says Harley, also an LO resident, who attended the parade with family and friends. It was his first time, and he said that he and his kids really enjoyed it. Charles, a Lake Oswego resident and four-time volunteer at the parade, including this year, greatly enjoyed the experience, especially getting to people watch and see the aforementioned dogs. He said, "It's incredibly popular and well attended," and that "everyone has such a good time."

With luck, next year will be just as well received.

PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - The West Coast Ravens fly over Lake Oswego during the Star Spangled Parade.

PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Chase, a K9 dog with the Lake Oswego Police Department, walks with goggles over his eyes during the Star Spangled Parade.


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