Oak Harbor’s old-fashioned 4th celebration

A little drizzle and wind didn't dampen the patriotic spirit of parade-goers.

Thousands of people turned out for Oak Harbor’s Fourth of July parade.

It was a typical Oak Harbor Fourth of July — a little wet and windy, but that didn’t stop the fun.

Thousands of people turned out for the parade that snaked along Bayshore Drive. It was through-and-through an all-American parade, complete with gleaming red fire trucks, beauty queens, politicians in classic cars and hydros dragged on flatbed trucks.

For the first time in as long as anyone can remember, Oak Harbor High School’s marching band made an appearance. Its new band director is working with the kids this summer with plans to put the band on the field during half time at football games this fall too.

The parade included eclectic entries, including a quilt-covered Volkswagen, mermaids who didn’t appear entirely female and Oak Harbor Yacht Club’s Buccaneers. Their pirate ship would occasionally light off an explosive BOOM, causing pre-teen boys in the vicinity to clutch their ears and shriek.

At the front of the parade was Haylee Armstrong, 7, who helped carry a banner for Re/Max Acorn Properties. She participated in the first Miss Pioneer Pageant at the Whidbey Playhouse hours earlier.

Re/Max Acorn annually gives out thousands of miniature flags. This year, they upped the ante to 9,000 and still ran out.

Christine Cribb, executive director of the Greater Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce, estimates twice that many people attended, since it seemed half the people didn’t get a flag.

The chamber and Oak Harbor Noon Rotary Club organized the event, which included a party in Windjammer Park and a fireworks celebration later that evening. Community sponsors paid for all of it.

Not far down the route was Adelaide Wallin, 6, who told her grandparents Gary and Martha Wallin she was looking forward to C-A-N-D-Y. And, boy, did she and every other kid get it. The firefighters were busy flinging helmets of the stuff to children, who scurried into the street to retrieve it.

All along the route, kids and adults alike wore their best red-white-and-blue garb, including Joy and Jason Brent and their dog, Roxie. They’re originally from the Midwest, and Oak Harbor’s parade rivals any there, they said. It’s a good, old-fashioned parade.

“You know a lot of the people,” he said.

“It’s just a good, friendly feeling.”

 

More in Life

File photo/Whidbey News Group.
                                Classical guitarist Andre Feriante of Langley plays at a gathering of Island Bohemians last year. He’s hosting a guitar festival at two South Whidbey wineries Aug. 10-12.
Feriante brings festival to Whidbey

Two wineries host ‘Guitar Euphoria’ Aug. 10-12

Jack and Jill’s Downhill Marathon 2018

Two fat flies spin wacky spirals around my head and torso, like… Continue reading

For t’ai chi class, yielding sabers all about better balance

Onlookers who witnessed a group of sword-wielding people Tuesday night at Fort… Continue reading

“Foggy Sunrise, Lone Lake” by Pete Jordan
Artist’s new home

Painter Pete Jordan moves into Museo gallery, reception planned

Theron Murphy, of Orem, Utah, kisses his wife, Jody, in front of the John L. Scott Real Estate office in Langley. People stand on the sidewalk on the heart, kiss, then make a hash mark on the chalkboard. The office keeps a tally and posts the monthly and yearly count. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Pucker up!

Chalkboard tally ensures every smooch counts

Coffee brew has a Whidbey kick

Combining beer and coffee isn’t exactly a unique idea. There are plenty… Continue reading

Tidepooling Along the Olympic Peninsula

The shell collector skillfully maneuvers his way across the beach, wades through… Continue reading

Origins of fairgrounds’ story pole is a mystery

South Whidbey historian on the case to uncover true carver

Little Mermaid Jr. awash with color, talent

Whidbey Playhouse kids’ production on stage July 19-29

Teens to shine at music festival

‘We’re just really blown away by these kids’