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It was the Fourth of July in Eastmoreland -- and the usual crowds and fun were eerily absent this year

DAVID F. ASHTON - Participating in this years July 4th Eastmoreland Promenade on decorated bicycles were the members of the Agee family.One of the most notable Independence Day celebrations Inner Southeast Portland usually kicks off a bit before noon each year in the Eastmoreland neighborhood.

But this year, on the 4th of July, what would have been the 26th annual version of this huge block party didn't take place, due to COVID-19 coronavirus concerns. S.E. Reed College Place, the nexus of activity, was strangely quiet as the noon hour came and went.

This year's event committee wrote, "However, the best part of the parade was bringing our neighbors together, and we can still do that while respecting the social distancing guidelines."

So, between 11 a.m. and noon, neighborhood leaders suggested that people step up for what they called a "Eastmoreland Promenade" – with families strolling Reed College Place or riding decorated bicycles, and waving hello to folks in their front yards as they passed.

"We discourage congregating in groups, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy your community and maintain proper social distance," was the advice given.

Cruising the area during the designated time, THE BEE found few participants. But those who did turn out for the "Eastmoreland Promenade" told us they were having a great time!


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