By Bryan Navarro
ASHLAND, Ore. — Before the night time festivities, there were a handful of parades and celebrations. More than a century of tradition lives on in Ashland; that Fourth of July parade is one of the highlights of the daytime festivities.
It was the fly-over that ignited the parade, fifteen minutes later than scheduled, but not a problem for the thousands of spectators. The weather cooperated and the sidewalks were full.
The parade had something for everyone, for the young, and the not so young. Of the dozens of entries, some of the crowd favorites were the bald eagle from Wildlife Images, the “Dance Works” girls strutting and cheering and Southern Oregon University’s ROTC program, representing the military.
The Chamber of Commerce sponsored the parade and officials say they were thrilled with the turnout, more than 20,000 people. They say it’s a pleasure to be able to bring generations together for the yearly tradition.
Some people staked out their spot yesterday, others came to get coffee downtown and didn’t know it was even going on; they got caught up in the crowd, and said they enjoyed it, and would come back next year.
Even though the parade’s over, the sights and sounds continue into the night. The American Band College performs at 8 p.m. at Ashland High School and their concert is followed by fireworks at 10 p.m., launching from SOU.