Memorable march in Hazel Dell

Nostalgia and community spirit make for a parade that needn't be forgotten soon

By Laura McVicker, Columbian staff writer


photoRoosevelt the Clown, otherwise known as Greg Saum of the Rose Festival Clowns, entertained a crowd Saturday at the 48th annual Hazel Dell Parade of Bands. About 22,000 people turned out for the perennial parade.

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photoBetty and William Brye of Vancouver drove their 1958 Chevy Impala Saturday during the 48th annual Hazel Dell Parade of Bands. Many entries took a vintage approach as the parade's theme was "Remember When."

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Parade Awards

Grand Marshal Award: Clark Regional Waste Water District

Directors Award, equestrian division

Trophy: Clark County Fair Court

First-place ribbon: El Tapatio Restaurant

Second-place ribbon: Miss Vancouver Rodeo

Association Award, noncommercial division

Trophy: City of La Center

First-place ribbon: Clark County Goats

Second-place ribbon: Clark County Special Olympics

Third-place ribbon: Salmon Creek Christian Preschool & Daycare

Presidents Award, commercial division

Trophy: Christian Youth Theater

First-place ribbon: Glenwood Place Senior Living

Second-place ribbon: Hazel Dell Fred Meyer store

Third-place ribbon: Mind Your Manners Dog Training

Founders Award, classic cars

Trophy: North County Cruisers

First-place ribbon: Rose City Classics

Second-place ribbon: Mustangs Unlimited

Third-place ribbon: Clark County Eagle A’s

Chairman’s Award, specialty vehicles

Trophy: Water & Air Works

First-place ribbon: Fort Vancouver Antique Equipment Club

Second-place ribbon: Southwest Clown Club

Third place: 30 et 8

Colorful vintage convertibles rolled along Hazel Dell Avenue on Saturday as 1960s-era music played over a loudspeaker. Men in Afro wigs and women wearing tie-dyed shirts threw candy to spectators.

Trailing behind, a group of young gymnasts wearing 1980s fluorescent headbands and leotards struck poses for the crowd.

"Remember When" was the theme of the 48th annual Hazel Dell Parade of Bands on Saturday, and judging by the various eras represented in the entries, it appeared that was just what people did.

And "Remember Me" appeared to be the theme among the flock of political candidates who turned out, including two gubernatorial candidates.

Under partly sunny skies and mild weather, about 22,000 people came to watch the 146 entries -- 26 high school and middle school bands, politicians,

businesses and law enforcement and fire agencies -- meander through Hazel Dell Avenue and Highway 99.

Sally Seng said her 12-year-old daughter, Jenna, one of the troupe of about two dozen from Naydenov Gymnastics studio in Vancouver, prepared for the nostalgic parade by playing 80s music on her phone.

"It was very reminiscent of high school," Seng said, smiling.

Carrie James' 9-year-old daughter, Madison, was another of the Naydenov gymnasts in brightly colored leotards. James said she went shopping Friday night at Kohl's and Target for Madison's retro 80s wear. It wasn't hard to find a good ensemble.

"It was pretty easy because I know what the 80s were like," James said, as she sat in the grass near the Target store.

The parade also brought politicians -- and lots of them. Candidates for state Senate were shaking hands or riding atop the back of Corvettes. Local politicians had colorful floats.

Some gubernatorial candidates took time to come to the parade. Democrat Jay Inslee missed the beginning of the parade because of a meeting, but showed up to march carrying a political sign. His campaign staff were ahead of him in line, but Inslee said he preferred to not be atop a float, so he could shake hands and introduce himself to folks in the crowd.

"This is what makes Washington great," Inslee said. "I love small-town parades."

Toward the rear of the parade entourage was Inslee's principal Republican opponent, Rob McKenna, and his campaign staff, marching alongside a red Ford F250 pickup hauling a hay trailer.

McKenna also said parades are a great way to get to know constituents. "You meet so many people," he said. About parades: "They're so America."

Laura McVicker:;;; 360-735-4516.