Oregon City Teddy Bear Parade returns to honor hometown heroes
Oregon City's first-annual Teddy Bear Parade was held in May of 1998, and after a two-year hiatus, will be back for 2022.
This year's parade theme is Bridging Communities, and its mission remains to honor first responders and to encourage the donation of stuffed animals to the organizations who arrive in times of crisis and emergency to help adults and to provide comfort to children.
"The simple act of providing a stuffed animal to a scared child can make all the difference not only in the moment but for forever," said Oregon City Lions Club President Rae Gordon.
Gordon enlisted the help of Lorie Griffith as parade-committee chair, and volunteers from the community stepped up to work hard to bring this parade back.
School bands, community service groups, police and firefighters, dancers and prancers will travel down Main Street ending at Clackamette Park where teddy bears that were brought and collected during the parade will be distributed to various organizations to be given to children during times of crisis.
"The public is encouraged to not only watch and support their hometown heroes but bring teddy bears to the parade to be collected," Gordon said.
This year representatives are being invited to come have fun by picking out teddy bears for their organizations.
"The organizers knew this would add a personal touch to the event and to the experience the staff and volunteers of these great service organizations would have," Gordon said.
Gordon thanked "countless" organizations for making the Teddy Bear Parade possible, including CARES Emergency Communication Services, ODOT and Oregon City officials making it "truly a community offering."
Oregon City shops and restaurants are encouraged to be open during the parade and add incentives to visitors to stop in the establishments while in the area. The Lions Club will be making programs available to parade watchers with information about participating businesses.
Hundred-year-old Delores "Dee" Ferrante will serve as the parade's grand marshal, and Holly Dunn Swogger provided the theme artwork for the event.
Teddy Bear Parade
When: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 21
Where: Best views are between Clackamette Park and the intersection of Main and 10th streets.
Parade programs: Information booth in front of Modified Printing.
Sign up to be a participant: OCLionsClub.org/teddybearparade.html
Some organizations in the past who have benefited from donations of these stuffed animals are:
• Community Human Services
• Local Law Enforcement Agencies
• Clackamas County Sheriff's Office
• Willamette Falls Hospital
• Doernbecher Children's Hospital
• Shiner's Hospital
• Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue
• Clackamas Fire District #1
• The Children's Center of Clackamas County
• Northwest Family Services
• Bloomin Boutique
• Grandview Baptist Church
• Prince of Life Lutheran Church
• Candlelighters For Children With Cancer
• Randall Children's Hospital
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