Self-described "Small-Town USA" is gearing up for its biggest day of the year.
At 10 a.m. sharp on Saturday, July 20, a "Rock and Roll" themed parade will be the opening act for the annual Hubbard Hop Festival. Established in 1974, this year marks the 44th for the event, which has endured successively save for a one-year hiatus in 2016.
"We are working extremely hard to make sure this does not happen again," an event spokesperson noted in an email.
Since the festival's inception, volunteer firefighters were tasked with doing the bulk of the work in preparing, setting up and hosting it. But as the duties of training and serving as volunteers became more arduous over the years, handling the full load of festival preparation became less feasible.
So it's all hands on deck as the community prepares to host another festive July Saturday, including a couple of familiar public safety figures: Hubbard Police Officer Glen Bentley and his K-9 partner Zafa will represent the community as the parade's grand marshal.
Bentley said as the event is a major fundraiser for the Hubbard Fire District volunteers, he is beyond pleased to be a part of it in that capacity.
"They look for a grand marshal every year, and they approached me this year and asked if Zafa and I would be the grand marshal," Bentley said. "I thought, 'Wow, what an honor.' I'm extremely humbled and honored – so Zafa and I are going to do it."
Registration for the parade runs from 8 to 9:30 a.m. and parade judging begins at 9:45 a.m. There is no fee to participate.
The procession sets out at the intersection of A and 3rd streets, heads southwest down 3rd Street before it rolls onto G Street and travels up to 7th Street, circling its way back to A Street and wrapping up close to where it began.
Motorists are advised that all the crossings will be closed until the parade has passed through, and a platoon of public safety cadets will fan out to each intersection to ensure safety and a smooth flowing caravan.
Afterward, parade spectators, participants and others will filter into Rivenes Park, bordered by 4th, 5th, D and E streets, as the official festivities commence with the national anthem to be sung by the Oregon Trail Pitchpipers on stage in the beer garden.
Food and craft sales and informational booths will be featured, and the Hubbard Saturday Market will also be in operation on 5th Street. The live music backdrop includes Timothy James, Kelsey Bales and Time Machine.
Activities include kids games, a horse-shoe tournament and a whipped cream eating contest, the latter slated for 4 p.m. A water-balloon contest takes place at 3 p.m.
A relatively new part of the event is the car show, for which there is no fee to participate. Organizers said they are cultivating the car show; this is the second year and they hope to grow it bigger and better in the coming years.
Another popular draw is the Hubbard Volunteer Firefighter Association sausage booth, the biggest tradition of the Hubbard Hop Festival. Organizers said since an increase in call volume, training hours, school, work and family obligations preclude volunteers from running the entire event, the community is grateful they are willing to continue with their booth.
No event is complete without a raffle, and this one is no different. Tickets go for $1 each, and drawings will take place at 7:30 p.m. Prizes include a chain saw, paddle board, wine basket and a gift certificate to Ludicrous Ink.
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