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Paddy Hough parade steps off in Vancouver

By Susan Parrish, Columbian Education Reporter, and
Craig Brown, Columbian Editor
Published: March 16, 2014, 5:00pm

Wearing festive four-leaf-clover earrings and a glittery green clover on her cheek, Hough teacher Mina Milligan herded her fifth-grade students into a hay wagon pulled by a restored 1942 green-and-yellow John Deere tractor. It was time for the 23rd annual Paddy Hough Parade. Climbing aboard the wagon, she settled on a straw bale, surrounded by her students and a couple of her grandchildren.

Milligan, who is retiring in June after 25 years of teaching at Hough Elementary, was the parade’s grand marshal Monday. As a new teacher, she started the parade, which is sponsored by the Hough Foundation.

Hough students holding drums — from snares to tom-toms to marching drums to large Brazilian bass drums — sat on the sidewalk waiting their turn to join the parade. The Youth Escolade Samba is an after-school club, also sponsored by the Hough Foundation, that plays Brazilian and other kinds of music.

“Traditionally, we bring up the rear of the parade,” said Steve Schob, director of the program.

22 Photos
Emily Kennedy, 12, plays clarinet with the Discovery Middle School marching band in the 23rd annual Paddy Hough Parade as it makes its way through downtown Vancouver, Monday, March 17, 2014.
Paddy Hough parade Photo Gallery

The Vancouver Firefighter Pipes and Drums began playing “Scotland the Brave,” starting the parade.

Hough neighborhood residents Michelle Roth and her daughters Ingrid, 4 and Neva, 2, stood on a corner across from the school, waving at the passing parade. Both girls are future Hough students.

“We’ve been looking forward to it,” Roth said.

Students from the Center for Agricultural, Scientific and Environmental Education walked in the parade and offered potted kale and cilantro plants to neighbors. Although CASEE is part of Battle Ground Public Schools, the land for the agricultural program was purchased by money from Paddy Hough’s estate.

Standing on the corner in front of Columbia House, resident Paulie Schenkelberg clutched a potted kale plant. It was her seventh Paddy Hough Parade.

“I never miss it,” she said. “I plan my schedule around it.”

Hough students and staff were joined by the Discovery Middle School marching band, Vancouver fire and police, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and local dignitaries.

Neighbors, including several area preschools, walked in the parade. The Tiny Peas Preschoolers wore matching straw hats with green bands and cardboard green peas strapped to their chests.

A boy from Little Acorn Preschool rode his Big Wheel with wild abandon through a large mud puddle — twice — before an adult redirected him back to his group.

Members of the Slo Poks car club tossed handfuls of wrapped candy.

Eagerly gathering the candy were five toddlers and preschoolers from Karen Miller’s day care in the nearby Lincoln neighborhood. Miller, helper Patience Haggard, and Miller’s charges sat on the sidewalk, clapping and smiling as the parade passed. But perhaps the group’s biggest appreciator of the parade was Bella the bulldog.

“Bella doesn’t miss the parade,” Miller said.

It was a homecoming for former Hough Elementary students and staff. Sitting on the sidewalk in Uptown Village were two friends who formerly worked at Hough School. Sharon Bishop Cline, 74, managed the cafeteria and was the school’s baker for 38 years. She also attended kindergarten and first grade at Hough.

Beside her was Gail Adams, 64, who worked as a staff assistant at Hough for six years. Her grandson, Dylan, 18, was walking with the CASEE students.

Three generations of the Hanes family waved Irish flags and were outfitted in green hats, scarves and sweatshirts. Cliff Hanes, 61, attended Hough School but now lives in Bend, Ore. He and his wife, Mary, were in town visiting their daughter, Lacey Ogle, who watched her son, Liam Ogle, 3, devouring an ice cream sandwich.

“It’s nice to see the changes in the old neighborhood,” Cliff Hanes said. “I had lots of happy times here.”

The school’s namesake, Patrick “Paddy” Hough, was born in Tipperary, Ireland, on March 17, 1846, and immigrated in 1883 to Vancouver, where he was a teacher and associate superintendent.

Monday’s parade ended, and the hay wagon stopped in front of Hough School. Milligan helped her students climb down. They disembarked excitedly, pushing, shouting, being fifth-graders.

With the unruffled authority learned by teaching elementary school for a quarter of a century, Milligan smiled, turned, and led them toward the front door.

“Head back in,” she said. “Time to go inside.”

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Columbian Education Reporter