Espyn Gassett, 3, pets a dog who walked in the parade. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

Espyn Gassett, 3, pets a dog who walked in the parade. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

An old-fashioned Fourth: Oak Harbor’s first post-pandemic celebration a blast

Oak Harbor residents lined Bayshore Drive for the Fourth of July parade.

The sun was hot but the breeze was cool as Oak Harbor residents lined Bayshore Drive for the Fourth of July parade.

Despite public gathering prohibitions that stretched from 2020 into the beginning of 2021, this year’s parade had all the fixings of a regular year: decked out trucks, kids scrambling for candy and the star-spangled banner waving at every turn.

Last year’s parade was canceled to protect residents from contracting COVID-19. Gov. Jay Inslee’s June 30 statewide reopening came just in time for the city to celebrate properly this year.

Oak Harbor’s was the only parade on the island Sunday.

The promise of sunny weather and a welcoming crowd of old and young alike brought Oak Harbor’s own giant chicken to the celebration, here relying on a tractor to navigate the parade route. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

The promise of sunny weather and a welcoming crowd of old and young alike brought Oak Harbor’s own giant chicken to the celebration, here relying on a tractor to navigate the parade route. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

A youngster collects candy tossed to the crowd by parade participants. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

A youngster collects candy tossed to the crowd by parade participants. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

The crowd watches the parade pass by. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

The crowd watches the parade pass by. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

A horse-drawn carriage trots down the parade line. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

A horse-drawn carriage trots down the parade line. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

A young girl hands out candy to parade watchers. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

A young girl hands out candy to parade watchers. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

A dog rides in a truck at the parade. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

A dog rides in a truck at the parade. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

Two star-spangled babies are wheeled in the parade. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

Two star-spangled babies are wheeled in the parade. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

A local martial arts group shows off their skills. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

A local martial arts group shows off their skills. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

Adam Gordon, 3, waves at people in the parade as they pass by. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

Adam Gordon, 3, waves at people in the parade as they pass by. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

A gymnast walks on her hands in the parade. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

A gymnast walks on her hands in the parade. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

Three teen pageant winners wave at the crowd. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

Three teen pageant winners wave at the crowd. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

Two women wave at the crowd. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

Two women wave at the crowd. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

Kids line up, eager to stuff their pockets with candy. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

Kids line up, eager to stuff their pockets with candy. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

Oak Harbor mayor Robert Severns rides in the parade. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

Oak Harbor mayor Robert Severns rides in the parade. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

People dressed as pirates pass out beads to the crowd. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

People dressed as pirates pass out beads to the crowd. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

Sophie Amerine, 3, rushes back to her parents with her candy. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

Sophie Amerine, 3, rushes back to her parents with her candy. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

A sailor waves at the crowd. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

A sailor waves at the crowd. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

A sailor and his family wave American flags as they travel the parade route. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

A sailor and his family wave American flags as they travel the parade route. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

Oak Harbor Wildcat Battalion walks in the parade. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

Oak Harbor Wildcat Battalion walks in the parade. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

A local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter carries flags in the parade. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

A local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter carries flags in the parade. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

Espyn Gassett, 3, shows her father the candy she got at the parade. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

Espyn Gassett, 3, shows her father the candy she got at the parade. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

Kids scramble to collect candy. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

Kids scramble to collect candy. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

A local firefighter throws candy to kids watching the parade. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

A local firefighter throws candy to kids watching the parade. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

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