This year's Fourth of July parade broke all the local records for number of entries and length, and likely for attendance.
"Of all the parades I've done with the Jefferson County Fair, as well as with the Chamber, this is the longest parade I've ever been associated with," said Joe Krenowicz, executive director of the Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, who has been involved with the parade since the early 1980s, when it was the county fair parade.
"We had over 100 entries," he said, noting that Fourth of July parades usually have 60-70 entries.
"I heard a lot of comments from the parade entries that they saw a lot more people all the way around the whole route, from the start to the end — all the way down to E Street," said Krenowicz.
With the 100-plus entries, naturally the parade took longer than usual. "It was an hour and five minutes," he said, adding that parades typically run for 30-40 minutes.
"The highlight was three World War II aircraft that left the Erickson Aircraft Collection going to another show and flew over the parade," he said. The aircraft, a P-38 Lightning, P-47D Thunderbolt, and an F6F Hellcat, were headed to a Fourth of July air show in Hollister, California.
"I couldn't have timed it better; they came over right at the end of the parade," said Krenowicz.
Although he had no estimate for the size of the crowd, he believes it was the biggest ever for the parade. "The crowd was a lot larger and remained a lot longer into the afternoo," Krenowicz said. "I believe the credit goes to the splash park, which kept kids active and mom and dad able to enjoy the music and have a nice lunch."
Awards for entries in the parade had not been announced by press time Tuesday afternoon.
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