The La Center Our Days Steamboat celebration went on without a hitch on July 29 and July 30 despite a heat wave that impacted Clark County and much of the Pacific Northwest.
One of the key events of the festival was the Twilight Parade, which kicked off the festival with floats and vehicles that represented various local businesses, organizations and public figures.
Organizer Sam Glackler was impressed by the amount of people who came out to the parade despite the high temperatures.
“I thought that the parade was amazing,” Glackler said. “It just showed that a little hot weather couldn’t stop this small town from coming together and kicking off La Center Our Days. … It was clear that everybody was willing to celebrate as one.”
Glackler said organizers almost had to cancel the parade at the beginning of July because they didn’t have enough parade entries, but La Center Our Days committee chair Makayla Bannister rallied for more entries and received “an overwhelming response.”
Thanks to the efforts of Bannister and the community, the event was able to return for the first time in three years with the same enthusiasm that resembled the celebrations prior to the pandemic.
“The theme of the 2022 Our Days, ‘Under the Big Top,’ was a success,” Glackler said. “Businesses, organizations, youth sports, (and) families all showed up in lighted, decorated vehicles ready to entertain spectators lining the entire parade route. I couldn’t believe it.”
Glackler said Bannister’s organizational abilities and the way she handled the logistics of the event was “top notch.”
“We had so much praise and just responses on Facebook and people reaching out and saying how great the event was. It was clear that the community was overdue for such an event,” he said
Glackler said one entry that stood out to him was the Portland’s Power Pep Band float, which carried the brass musicians in a long trailer adorned with flames on the side. He also liked the Lookouts Baseball and Softball Club, “because the youth is our future.” Glackler said he hopes the younger generations will carry the event forward as they get older.
Glackler also admired the entries by Vantol Dairy, which threw cheese sticks to the crowd; the Streissguth family, who rode on vintage fire trucks and threw otter pops to people; Exit 16 Brewery’s entry, which handed out drink koozies; and the Lily Garden float, which passed out flowers.
This year, a few changes were made on the logistical side of the parade. The route was longer and traveled from La Center Middle School to the La Center Church. He said Bannister “did a spectacular job” handling the traffic of the parade route as well.
“I do know that it was definitely super warm,” Glackler said. “It dropped down, but I do think that we had maybe one situation where one of the members of that pep band from Oregon may have gotten overheated and needed medical attention, but again the community responded and was right there and took care of whomever that was. Even with the temperatures, everyone was in a good mood, everyone was excited, people were having fun, and everybody just took it and dealt with it.”
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