With the theme "America the Beautiful," the Hood River Lions Club and Heights Business Association have selected the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization in Hood River as the grand marshal of the 2006 4th of July parade.
"We live in a beautiful valley with its own 'purple mountain majesty and fruited plain' and organizations such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters are helping make this area an even better place to live," said Tom Yates, parade chairperson, explaining how the theme and grand marshal were chosen.
This year's parade will begin at 10 a.m. at its usual location of 12th and Pacific Streets and finish at Jackson Park where more Independence Day festivities will be held.
Organizations, businesses, music groups and individuals have a good reason for participating in the parade and putting their best efforts in terms of decorations and performance. That's because the Heights Business Association will again be handing out prizes for the best entries in five categories: organization, business, music group, individual and children's group.
Judging based on the "America the Beautiful" theme will take place before the parade begins and the prizes will be handed out from the Cascade Central Credit Union parking lot where the parade will be announced both over a public address system and on an FM frequency that can be picked up on radios within one mile of the parking lot.
In Jackson Park starting at noon, the national anthem will be played and the American flag hoisted. The Hood River Fire Department will serve its usual tasty barbeque along with food offerings from other vendors.
Performing in the park will be the Gorge Winds and the White Salmon Jazz Band. The music starts at 11:30 a.m.
Parade entrants can begin their line-up on Pacific and 8th streets starting at 8:30 a.m. All vehicles should enter the parade route from Elliot Street next to Nelson Tire and turn left on 8th Street. The line-up area on Pacific is a one-way route westbound.
All young people are invited to ride their bikes in the parade by being part of the "Kids on Bikes" group, which will be gathering at Pacific NW Credit Union located on Pacific Street.
Winners of the parade competition and the Joe Kollas Memorial run from Odell through the Hood River Heights to Jackson Park will be announced at the Jackson Park festivities.
The run starts at 9 a.m. at the Mid-Valley Elementary School. Registration at the school begins at 7 a.m. with walkers beginning their route at 8 a.m.