Madras gears up for big Fourth
Since 1981, Madras has marked the Fourth of July in fine style, with a grand community celebration from dawn to dark of night, with a variety of events and activites on the slate.
This year, with a new splash park at Sahalee Park and a First Thursday event in downtown Madras, promises to be among the most memorable Fourth events ever in Madras.
The Todd Beamer Memorial Run kicks the day off, with registration beginning at 6:15 a.m. The 6-mile walking portion begins at 7 a.m. At 7:30 a.m., the bus leaves for the 5K and 10K runs, which begin at 7:45 a.m. and 8 a.m. The 2-mile fun run begins at 9 a.m. and all the different races are followed by the awards ceremony at 9:30 a.m.
The price of the race is cheaper, $10, if participants preregister at macrecdistrict.com. The cost is $15 on the day of the race and all proceeds go to the Todd Beamer Memorial Scholarship fund.
The rest of the Fourth of July festivities kick off a little later than race registration, with the Elks Pancake Breakfast from 8-10 a.m. and the rest of the festivities in the park running from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
This year's parade — the largest annual parade in Jefferson County — begins at 10 a.m. and registration and check-in runs from 8-9:30 a.m. Participants can also preregister and are highly encouraged to do so.
Staging will take place on 10th Street by Madras Elementary School. Floats and entries will continue up 10th Street from the elementary school to B Street, where they will turn left and head toward Sahalee Park. On the far side of the park, the parade will turn left again onto Seventh Street and continue down just past the Jefferson County Library, where they will turn left onto E Street to complete the square parade route and return to the staging area.
Davida Plaisted, administrative staff at the Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, said that it is important floats don't turn too soon on their way back to the school, for example on D street, because if the last of the parade hasn't left the staging area when the first float returns from a shorter route, the parade can get backed up.
The events in the park will feature different types of vendor booths, with food and products for sale. Vendor registration will be cut off on July 3, but until then registration forms can be picked up at the Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce building, at 274 SW Fourth St.
At the park, there will be an opening ceremony, featuring the national anthem performed by the newly formed community choir, which will also perform several other patriotic songs. During the national anthem, the JROTC from the high school will perform a flag ceremony.
Throughout the day, the Bad Cats will provide music for the festivities and vendor booths will be set up throughout the park. Also, the new Ethan Stovall Splash Park will be open.
As the Fourth lands on Thursday this year, it aligns with the Madras Downtown Association's Park and Play event for the month of July, which will include the opening of Art Adventure Gallery's newest exhibit. The event begins at 5 p.m. and wraps up at 9 p.m., with just enough time for attendees to find a place to watch the Madras Sparklers' fireworks show that begins at dusk, usually around 10 p.m. The Madras fireworks show is one of thte largest East of the Cascades.
For more information about the festivities in the park or the parade, contact Plaisted at the Chamber of Commerce at 541-475-2350, or stop by the chamber office on Fourth Street.
And on Thursday, get ready to celebrate the United States of America.
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