Independence Day celebrations
As the United States of America celebrates its independence this Wednesday, the local area offers abundant ideas for how residents can celebrate.
For those who want to start their Independence Day with a hearty breakfast outside, French Prairie Kiwanis Club is hosting its annual Chuckwagon Breakfast.
Kiwanis members will serve an all-you-can-eat breakfast of pancakes, eggs, ham, coffee, milk and juice from 7 to 10:30 a.m. July 4 at Legion Park in Woodburn.
Started in 1954, this annual event has been an opportunity to renew friendships and make new ones, as well as help raise funds for projects that support children.
Tickets may be purchased at the event and are $6 for adults, $4 for ages 4-10 and free for ages 3 and under.
The city of Woodburn's Fourth of July celebration starts at 5:30 p.m. at Centennial Park, 900 Parr Road. The event features performances by live bands, activities for kids, food vendors and, of course, fireworks.
Performances kick off with local classic rock band Reedy 300, followed by folk and country band Red Diesel. The night's headliner will be former American Idol contestant and Portland resident Jacob Westfall.
Kids can re-enact their favorite World Cup moments with an inflatable soccer goal, have their faces painted and play on the splash pad.
There will be 10 food vendors available this year, selling Mexican food, corndogs, kettle corn, and coffee. Craft vendors and artisans will also be present and there will be toys for the kids.
The Independence Day celebration ends with a fireworks show at around 10 p.m.
If a rodeo is more your speed, you don't have to travel far to experience the sights and smells of Fourth of July at the St. Paul Rodeo. The rodeo actually kicks off on Tuesday, with the carnival, Wild West Art Show and a rodeo performance in the evening.
But Fourth of July is special at the Rodeo, as it's highlighted by a parade at 10 a.m., followed by the Great Western BBQ Cookoff at 11 a.m.
Rodeo on the Fourth is Family Day, with children's activities all day long, including free wagon and pony rides in the warm-up arena, rodeo personnel autographs and discounted rodeo and carnival tickets.
There will be two rodeo performances on Wednesday at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Another kid friendly event is Gervais' annual Independence Day Parade and festival. The celebration begins at Gervais High School at noon with a flag raising accompanied by Woodburn High School sophmore Priscila Arechiga singing the national anthem.
The parade then loops through residential neighborhoods and around the downtown festival grounds, before ending back at the high school.
Floats in the parade will feature bands, cowboys and clowns, and children who wish to participate are invited to gather at the high school at 11 a.m. to decorate their bikes, trikes, scooters, wagons, strollers and other non-motorized vehicles.
The downtown festival kicks off at 2 p.m. after the parade. Patrons are invited to the Gervais festival grounds along Fourth Street for kids games, food vendors, arts and crafts, bands, and the high energy mixing of DJ Doc Titus. The festival will continue through the evening until fireworks at dusk, and will end with live music in the beer garden.
Mount Angel is hosting its own parade starting at 11 a.m. on the Fourth.
The parade begins at John F. Kennedy High School then winds through town before disbanding on the south end of Garfield Street.
Fireworks will follow around 10 p.m. in the evening at the athletics fields between the high school and middle school.
Newell Pioneer Village
History fans may want to take a drive out to Champoeg State Heritage Area on the Fourth for the Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration at the historic Newell Pioneer Village.
The celebration will feature a reenactment of the famous "Champoeg Divide" that established the Provisional Government of Oregon, commemorating the 175th anniversary this year. Participate in an Oregon History Bee, read the Declaration of Independence, and sing patriotic American songs. Hot dogs, strawberry shortcake, lemonade and iced tea wil be available to purchase from the concession stand.
Pie lovers will enjoy the scents and flavors of the "Best Pie in French Prairie," pie competition. Pies will be auctioned off after the judging, with proceeds going to help build new restroom facilities at Newell Pioneer Village.
The 2018 Old Fashioned Patriotic Fourth of July Celebration will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on the west lawn at Newell Pioneer Village.