Battle Ground struts its stuff in Harvest Days parade

Harvest Days parade puts small-town life on display

By Stefanie Donahue, Columbian staff writer

Published:

 
photoStefanie Donahue/The Columbian Jo Wright waves to Harvest Days parade participants on Saturday. Wright enjoys parades and has attended more than 50 as she travelled across the country, she said.

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photoStefanie Donahue/The Columbian Devon Walker, 7, carries the American flag at the Harvest Days parade on Saturday. "He is very proud," said his mother Amber Walker, as she walked along. Devon is a part of Cub Scout Pack 443.

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photoStefanie Donahue/The Columbian Brendon Adams leaps for candy at the Harvest Days parade on Saturday. His mother, Christi Adams, has taken her two kids to the parade for several years, she said.

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Eager kids plunged into a hailstorm of candy Saturday as floats passed along Main Street in Battle Ground. The Harvest Days parade brought smiles, excitement and a sugar rush to the thousands in attendance.

"I love a parade," said Jo Wright of Yacolt.

Wright has gone to more than 50 parades across the country, she said. In her motor home, Wright trekked to each state, with the exception of Hawaii, of course, she said with a smile.

"My husband always said, if we built a bridge, we'd go there too," she joked.

Wright talked a friend into joining her this year in Battle Ground, she said.

"It is always fun to see the kids waiting with their plastic buckets for the candy," she said. "It is just a wonderful and fun event."

Among the floats, Wright especially looked forward to seeing members of the 4-H Club pass by. The 4-Hers, she said, are the future leaders of our countries. They care about people and they care about food supply, she said.

"They are our future," she said.

This year's 4-H exhibits are among a host of activities at the "Wild, Wild West" themed Harvest Days celebration, said Carrie Schulstad, executive director for the Battle Ground Chamber of Commerce.

The celebration has grown bigger and bigger each year, said parade attendant Christi Adams. Adams grew up in the area and has gone to the parade for years, she said.

As the floats passed, Adams watched her two kids, both alert for falling treats. By the end of the day, their baskets would be filled, she laughed.

Watching a good time

"I am just watching the kids have a good time," said Arne Hanson with a grin, as his three grandchildren scooped up loads of candy.

Hanson's grandkids, Kendra, Richie and Tommy Azbill, were visiting from Texas, he said. A veteran parade-watcher, Hanson was introducing them to the parade experience Saturday.

All three kids were ready-armed with garbage bags to swipe up loads of candy and donned gleeful smiles as floats passed by.

The parade, lasting more than an hour, featured a variety of floats. The Battle Ground Rose Float, titled "Party Island," won the Grand Parade People's Choice Award with well over 30 votes from spectators, said Schulstad.

This year, the Harvest Days parade attracted an estimated 5,000 people, she said.

"It shows how much people love their town," she said.


Harvest Days Sunday

• 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Book sale at the Battle Ground Community Library

• 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. BGAA Art Show in the Community Center

• 10 to 10:30 a.m. Vancouver Pipe Band and Friends

• 10:30 to 11 a.m. Music by Joy Russell and Amber Sweeney

• 11 a.m. to noon Church and Worship — the Story of Battle Ground

• Noon to 5 p.m. Carnival opens

• Noon to 5 p.m. Beer garden and vendors open

• 1 to 5 p.m. Radio Disney on Main Stage and free balloon art

• 3 p.m. Raffle drawings on the Main Stage

• 3 to 5 p.m. Heather Jolma Fray, with guitarist, beer garden

For more information, visit http://battlegroundchamber.org/pages/HARVESTDAYS