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Vancouver honors Irish pioneer at Paddy Hough Parade

Hundreds turn out to march, spectate at St, Patrick's Day event

By Susan Parrish, Columbian Education Reporter
Published: March 18, 2015, 12:00am

The Paddy Hough Parade honors Patrick (Paddy) Hough.

Born in Tipperary, Ireland, in 1846, Hough emigrated to Vancouver in 1883.

He was a teacher and eventually associate superintendent of schools in Vancouver.

Hough Elementary was built 16 years after he died.

Scarlett Heasley, 19 months, was too busy picking a bouquet of dandelions to notice the parade marching by her Tuesday afternoon. Her mom, McKennah Heasley, waved at the marching students. Somewhere in the parade lineup was her son, Grant, who attends preschool programs at Hough Elementary.

The Heasleys were joined by hundreds of Hough students, staff, families and neighbors on Tuesday afternoon for the 24th Annual Paddy Hough Parade, featuring every student in the school.

The parade celebrates Irish immigrant and pioneer educator Patrick “Paddy” Hough, the namesake of both the school and its neighborhood near downtown Vancouver.

The parade began in front of the school, wound through the neighborhood, down the Uptown Village portion of Main Street and ended back at the school. Grand marshals were retired Educational Service District 112 Superintendent Twyla Barnes and current Superintendent Tim Merlino.

Parade participants and observers were dressed in St. Paddy’s finery: green hats, green tulle tutus, green-striped socks, gigantic green glasses and green fuzzy moustaches.

Grinning, Miles Johnson, 2, sat in the driver’s seat of a power boat pulled by a truck. He rode in the float along with his grandmother, Lavyonne Barnes, and others from New Hope Foursquare Church, which is just across the street from the school.

Wearing a vintage 1970s green velvet leprechaun suit, Megan Peterson pulled a wagon with her children, Nathanael Peterson, 5 and Enoch Peterson, 3. They were walking with the group from Noah’s Ark Preschool, where both of Peterson’s sons attend.

Per Junkerman, a Hough fifth-grade teacher, walked alongside his students, who rode a hay wagon decorated with a poster featuring Columbia River towns and landmarks including Vancouver, Astoria, Ore., and Celilo Falls.

“We’ve studied about the Columbia River and fishing rights,” Junkerman said.

His student, Ava Galvez, 11, sported a furry green moustache for the occasion.

Carrying a banner that read “Endless Opportunities,” fourth-graders wore construction paper mortarboards. Some sported green tassels.

Paradegoers were just as colorful and enthusiastic as the kids marching in the parade. Wearing a green top hat, Sandy Currah, 71, waved at the kids walking past as she sat in front of Columbia House, a senior housing complex where she lives. It was her third parade.

What’s her favorite thing about the parade?

“The kids! The way they decorate their hats,” she said, smiling and waving.

First-time paradegoers Nancy Parsons and her mother, Myrtle Parsons, 94, watched from the sidewalk along Main Street in Uptown Village. They were waiting to catch a glimpse of their grandson and great-grandson, Henry Parsons, 3, who was marching with his preschool cohorts.

Jenna Adams and her children Leah Adams, 3, and Xander Adams, 1, hoped to see two cousins who attend Hough Elementary.

Hough second-grader Peyton Behrens wore a tiny green leprechaun hat perched atop her head. She’d added green plastic grasses, a green T-shirt, a green and white tulle skirt, white tights, black socks with green and pink polka dots and black cowboy boots. Wearing a tall, green-white-striped Cat-in-the-Hat chapeau, her dad, Josh Behrens, walked alongside her carrying an umbrella, just in case. But not a drop of rain fell.

Moms who are part of a Baby and Me group in the nearby Lincoln neighborhood sat on the curb holding their children, who were experiencing their first parade. Erin Hayes held her son, Ellis Hayes, 7 months; Torum Larwick held her son, Sterling Larwick, 8 months, and Tina Samples held her daughter, Raegan Samples, 5 months.

Ashlee Bowermaster, 21, sat on the curb holding her sleeping daughter, Aaliyah Gonzalez, 3 months, who was oblivious to the parade noise. Bowermaster attended Hough Elementary when she was a kid and marched in many Paddy Hough parades.

Her mother, Patricia Bowermaster, talked about watching her daughter in the parade years ago.

“We even walked in the parade together for a couple of years when she was young,” she said.

The Paddy Hough Parade honors Patrick (Paddy) Hough.

Born in Tipperary, Ireland, in 1846, Hough emigrated to Vancouver in 1883.

He was a teacher and eventually associate superintendent of schools in Vancouver.

Hough Elementary was built 16 years after he died.

This was the third parade for Hough neighbor August Hayman, 3. He sat on the sidewalk between his mom, Tasha Hayman, and a substantial stash of candy he had collected from parade participants.

What’s August’s favorite thing about the parade?

“Candy!” he said, waving a Dum-Dum sucker.

Columbian Education Reporter