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Parade highlights sunny Fourth of July in Oak Harbor

Thousands of people showed their patriotic spirit in Oak Harbor on Independence Day.

The city’s Fourth of July parade took place Monday along Pioneer Way and Bayshore Drive.

To assure everyone attending the parade shared in the patriotic spirit, volunteers from Acorn Properties Management walked along the street handing out flags to anybody who would take one, and that seemed like virtually everyone.

Oak Harbor’s parade provides a celebration of the Navy along with the community groups, religious groups, scouts, and car enthusiasts that help give the city its identity.

“It’s our favorite parade,” said Snohomish resident Bobbi Ann George, who grew up in Oak Harbor and brings her family to town every year. “We love the flyover,” referring to the Navy planes that started the parade.

Along with George was her husband, Tom, and her children Ruby and Kimberly, who were eager to take a couple of pieces of candy from a firefighter walking along the parade route.

An EA-6 Growler and a P3 Orion kicked off the parade with a flyover of downtown Oak Harbor.

Due to the one-way project on Pioneer Way in Oak Harbor, the parade route was a little different this year. Monday’s parade started out at the intersection of Regatta Drive and Pioneer Way near Skagit Valley College. The route followed Bayshore Drive then back onto Pioneer Way.

The construction project didn’t seem to deter people from watching the parade. The sidewalks were packed with flag-waving families and spectators.

“Things seem to be going like clockwork,” said Jill Johnson, executive director for the Greater Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce.

The day’s offerings included carnival rides and street fair.  A number of people brought tents and barbecue grills so they could spend a sun-filled day at Windjammer Park and enjoy the evening fireworks that capped off another 4th of July Day in Oak Harbor.

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