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Mike Milat leads Oak Harbor's Fourth of July parade

Oak Harbor resident Mike Milat stands with his wife, Carolyn. He is the grand marshal for the Fourth of July parade taking place Saturday starting at 11 a.m. - Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times
Oak Harbor resident Mike Milat stands with his wife, Carolyn. He is the grand marshal for the Fourth of July parade taking place Saturday starting at 11 a.m.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times

Oak Harbor resident Mike Milat has been organizing the Noon Rotary Fourth of July pancake breakfast since 1996.

He’s going to have some additional duties when the annual event takes place Saturday. He’ll be riding in the Oak Harbor’s Fourth of July parade serving as its grand marshal.

This year’s parade is the first time he’s served as grand marshal, which is a position he initially declined. He would have preferred someone who had enjoyed a long career in the military be given that honor.

“Personally I feel it should be reserved for someone who did more for the nation than I,” Milat said humbly.

He said he even recommended someone else to serve as grand marshal, but the committee ultimately decided Milat, with his long history of community service, was the right person to lead the parade.

“They were persistent and insistent,” Milat said.

Milat, who was born in Croatia in 1929, moved to the United States in 1931 and lived in Anacortes. He married his wife, Carolyn, in 1953 and moved to Oak Harbor in 1960. He taught at Olympic View Elementary and eventually served as the school’s principal.

In the community, he spent 24 years on the Oak Harbor City Council and participated in the planning of several key city and school district projects. He was on the planning committee for the Oak Harbor Marina; worked on the effort to create the City Beach Lagoon; and participated in the fundraising effort for Wildcat Memorial Stadium.

Milat is active at St. Augustine’s Catholic Church and he has been a Rotary member for 46 years. When he’s not helping the community, Milat spends time fishing and enjoying coffee with friends. Milat also enjoys spending time with his three children and four grandchildren.

He will continue to organize the pancake breakfast Saturday along with Jerry Sanders. The Rotary breakfast goes from 7:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, July 3, at the Armed Forces YMCA on Pioneer Way. Cost is $5 for adults and $4 for children.

There are other places to enjoy a pancake breakfast July 3. Members of the North Whidbey Firefighters Association will host a pancake breakfast from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Taylor Road Fire Station. Cost is $5 for adults and $3 for children.

Oak Harbor’s Fourth of July parade begins at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 3, in downtown Oak Harbor. In addition to the parade, a carnival and street fair at Windjammer Park also takes place Saturday. Games such as an egg toss and a pie-eating contest begin at 2 p.m.

People will have to wait until late Sunday, July 4, to enjoy the city’s fireworks display, which lights off at 10 p.m. Folks can start off the day Sunday by enjoying another pancake breakfast hosted by the Fleet Reserve Association. The breakfast goes from 9 a.m. to noon at 311 SE Eighth Ave. in Oak Harbor. The cost is $7.

Festive July 4 weekend

Saturday, July 3

Rotary Club pancake breakfast, 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Armed Forces YMCA, 540 SE Pioneer Way. Cost is $5 for adults and $4 for children.

North Whidbey Firefighter’s Association pancake breakfast, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., Taylor Road Fire Station. Cost is $5 for adults and $3 for children.

Oak Harbor Fourth of July Parade: begins at 11 a.m. on Pioneer Way.

Carnival begins Thursday night and street fair begins Saturday. Both take place at Windjammer Park and run through Sunday.

Coupeville Lions Club Garage Sale: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Coupeville Elementary School Multi-Purpose Room.

Sunday, July 4

Fleet Reserve Association pancake breakfast, 9 a.m. to noon, 311 SE Eighth Ave. Cost is $7.

Oak Harbor Fireworks display begins at 10 p.m. at Windjammer Park.

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