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News / Clark County News

Hazel Dell Parade of Bands returns for 57th year

Live music, candy and patriotism are the themes during 'just another successful year'

By Mia Ryder-Marks, Columbian staff reporter
Published: May 20, 2023, 8:30pm
7 Photos
The 57th Hazel Dell Parade of Bands on Saturday included performances ranging from music to traditional dances.
The 57th Hazel Dell Parade of Bands on Saturday included performances ranging from music to traditional dances. (Mia Ryder-Marks/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Community members peered down Hazel Dell avenue on Saturday, as the familiar notes of “Crazy in Love” by Beyonce swallowed the street.

Members of Hockinson High School’s marching band — the producers of the well-loved song — strolled down the pavement in an assembly line, hyping up everyone they passed.

The Hazel Dell Parade of Bands returned on Saturday, celebrating its 57th year of bringing residents from across the city to enjoy a morning of live music, candy and patriotism. Hundreds of spectators lined the sidewalks to watch the more than 25 local marching bands, parade floats, classic vehicles, sports teams and other talents.

The parade is orchestrated by the Hazel Dell Salmon Creek Business Association, which starts its preparation in early January. This year’s theme, “Sounds of Freedom,” was in salute to the parade’s grand marshals: Lt. Col. Bob Knight and Lt. Col. Royce Pollard, retired past commanders of the Vancouver Barracks.

12 Photos
The Battle Ground High School Tiger Band marches along Hazel Dell Avenue during Saturday's Hazel Dell Parade of Bands.
Parade of Bands Photo Gallery

“It was great to see all the (floats and parade participants) wearing and honoring the red, white and blue theme,” said Shelly Palmer, co-chairman of the business association.

As the melodies from Hockinson High’s trumpets, drums and flutes lingered in the warm spring air, a cluster of all-terrain vehicles rolled down the route, with drivers waving at parade-goers like Jayden Taylor.

Taylor, who lives in one of the apartment blocks that borders the parade’s route, hasn’t been to the parade since she was a child.

But she was happy she returned this year.

“It’s been like 10 years since I last saw the parade, and honestly I just wanted to see it again because I missed it and forgot how fun it is,” Taylor said. “I really wanted to celebrate the nostalgia of the parade.”

The event included musical performances from primary and secondary schools, as well as appearances by little league teams, first responders, pageant winners and local agencies like Thrive2Survive, among many more entities.

“The kids in the bands and everyone in (the parade) did great, and we had so many good and new (participants) this time,” Palmer said. “It was just another successful year.”