What started years ago as a parade of 20 or so kids marching through Felida on the Fourth of July has ballooned into an annual celebration that draws thousands.
Around 4,500 people crowded local streets and parks for the Felida Children’s Parade, which is planned and sponsored by the Felida and North Salmon Creek neighborhood associations. People donned patriotic gear to wind though the 1.5-mile route by foot, bike, wagon and even stilts.
It might not have been as hot as previous years, but that was just fine with organizers and residents.
“It was ideal weather and one of the best parades we’ve ever had,” said Milada Allen, president of the Felida Neighborhood Association. “We had a partnership with everyone, including nature.”
There were vendors and activities including a fishing pond, golfing, a hot air balloon, face painters, painting stations and button makers. Roger Wendlick — acting as Lewis and Clark expedition member George Drouillard — taught children and grown-ups about the Corps of Discovery.
Volunteers handed out cotton candy, snow cones, ice cream, hot dogs, hamburgers, cookies and punch, all of which were donated by sponsors.
Barbara Anderson, vice president of the North Salmon Creek Neighborhood Association, helped plan the festivities. She said the parade — which also does a nice job of bringing the community together — has become more popular in recent years since people seem to be staying home instead of going on summer vacations.
“This thing is a good way to get to know your neighbors and have some fun,” Anderson said. Many people live a few houses away from each other and don’t meet until there is an event like the parade, she added.