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Arlington Festival Grand parade
The 116th Arlington Fourth of July Festival Grand Parade kicked off shortly after 5 p.m. on Olympic Avenue, and after four years of Cascade Valley Hospital sponsoring the event, Grand Parade Coordinator Kelly Penny noted that there are relatively few obstacles left in staging such a spectacle.
“The hardest thing about today is the heat,” Penny said July 4. “Still, I’m thankful it’s not raining.”
Penny estimated that this year’s Grand Parade drew approximately 80 entries, “about the same as last year,” which took close to an hour and a half to proceed southbound on Arlington’s main street. Local police, fire and other first responder vehicles were followed by classic cars, restored military rigs and antique tractors, as Arlington Mayor Margaret Larsen shared street space with Grand Parade Marshals Don and Lucy Melchior, the Arlington High School football team and the community’s surviving World War II veterans.
One of the main differences Penny cited between this year and last year was that last year was an election year and, as such, there weren’t nearly as many political entries this year. At the same time, Penny added that she’s seen more and more local community groups stepping up to enter, and even design their own floats.
“We had the Arlington Library last year, along with some horse entries, which there haven’t been a lot of,” Penny said. “The parade is better when you have more variety in the entrants. This year was exciting because we had a group of Civil War re-enactors, who were new to Arlington and very exciting.”
These first-time entrants to the Grand Parade were joined by plenty of longtime local favorites, such as the Scottish Mission Pipe Band that’s come down from Canada for the past two decades. The Cascade Valley Hospital even commemorated its own 100th anniversary with a special float.
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