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ODOT not permitting major road closures third weekend in August so parade on back roads

NEWS-TIMES FILE PHOTO - The annual Banks BBQ festivities are coming up the third weekend in August. There will be food, a combine derby and many other fun summer events. Organizers thought the parade portion of the large community event might be cancelled, but it's back on. After announcing the cancellation of this year's annual Banks BBQ parade, it looks like event organizers have found a way to get one of the community's staple events up and running again.

On Tuesday, Aug. 8, parade organizers announced that the Oregon Department of Transportation would not approve their parade permit. The agency is not allowing closures of major roads and highways during the third weekend in August because it precedes the total solar eclipse Monday, Aug. 21, which is expected to draw an estimated 1 million people to Oregon.

But Banks resident David Duyck, who helps organize Banks BBQ festivities, said he worked with the city of Banks, Banks High School and the Arbor Village Home Owners Association on an alternate parade route.

"We're so thankful to these three agencies for making it happen," he said.

The parade will now start at Banks High School, head onto Trellis Way, snake around Greenville City Park and end back at the high school. The revised route won't accommodate large equipment such as the big crowd-pleasing combines that usually participate, but it will allow smaller vehicles.

Duyck said BBQ organizers got a lot of calls after the cancellation announcement from upset community members. More than 1,200 people — mostly locals — come out to watch the parade each year and he understands how special it is for many residents.

The rest of the Banks BBQ festivities — the barbecue, combine demolition derby, truck-and-tractor pull, car show and more — are still happening and were never cancelled.

The parade starts at 11 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 20. Parade registration starts at 8:30 a.m. the same morning.

For a full schedule, visit bankssunsetpark.com/bbq.

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