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If you missed this annual celebration of Independence Day, we have photos -- and a link to a short VIDEO, at the end!

DAVID F. ASHTON - A joyful throng fills S. E. Reed College Place as the Eastmoreland Independence Day Parade is underway. As has been the tradition since at least the 1990s — only missing a year in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic — Eastmoreland volunteers put on their big Independence Day Parade in the late morning of Monday, the Fourth of July.

Long before most of the revelers arrived, Jerry Eichentopf of Otto's Sausage Kitchen, along with his family and crew, were stoking their grills — getting them ready to prepare "1,800 buns and 'a lot of hot dogs' that we brought to the parade," he said.

By 10:30 a.m., vehicles were lining up along Reed College Place near Duniway Elementary School, and members of the Portland Police Bureau's "Motorcycle Team" were arriving (the "Traffic Division" has officially been disbanded).

"This parade, put on by the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association, has been going since 1994," neighborhood historian Joanne Carlson told THE BEE. "This event started as a bicycle parade; now we have cars, bicycles, and lots and lots of people on foot!

DAVID F. ASHTON - Serving all comers with free hot dogs - including these Portland Police Bureau Motorcycle Officers, volunteering their time for the parade - were Tanner Saxe (Jerrys grandson), Jerry Eichentopf of Ottos Sausage Kitchen, and Kevin Coniglio (Jerrys son-in law). "And, we're so grateful for the Portland Police Bureau motorcycle officers coming every year," she said. "Especially this year; we understand they're simply volunteering to be here. And, we also appreciate Portland Fire & Rescue allowing firefighters from Station 20 in Westmoreland to come back this year to be part of our parade."

She also extended gratitude to the Eichentopf family from Otto's, as well as sponsors Woodstock Safeway, Bi-Mart, and Trader Joe's.

DAVID F. ASHTON - Joanne Carlson showed THE BEE her photographic history of the annual Eastmoreland Independence Day Parade. "It is amazing: A quarter of an hour before the start, you would think there wouldn't be a parade," observed Carlson. "But by the time it starts at 11 a.m., a thousand people appear!"

And, so they did. Riding, biking, and walking in the parade — many of those on foot with an American Flag in one hand, and an Otto's hot dog in the other.

Relive this year's parade in this brief BEE video — youtu.be/RqJjkvvbTSQ


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