It’s the 4th of July in a small town. There is a parade, food, booths, brass bands, kids and adults mingling, friends shaking hands, saying, “How do you do?”
As Louis Armstrong might have sung in “What a Wonderful World”: “What they’re really saying is, ‘I love you,’” and in Lane County, no community brings this wonderful spirit of togetherness, of family, on Independence Day better than the town of Creswell — “The Place To Be On The 4th Of July,” the Chamber of Commerce, which puts this show on annually, proudly notes. The entire town of a touch more than 5,500 people will be at it again this year with the 2023 4th of July Celebration.
The 2021 parade was not permitted by the city due to COVID concerns and marred by the participation of the neo-fascist Proud Boys.
But it’s now fully back, and as in years past, the celebration will start at 7 am sharp with the pancake breakfast. It’s the only event that has out-of-pocket costs for visitors ($10 for adults, $6 for children ages 6 through 12 and free for kids under 5). That, plus buttons for sale at $2 and t-shirts at $20, help offset the cost of the fireworks, says RuthAnn Seim, the Chamber’s spokesperson.
A military flyover follows at 11 am, then the parade through downtown Creswell. Animals, old cars, floats, individuals and groups of people — the parade has it all and draws a healthy dose of out-of-town visitors. The Boy Scouts then present the flag, and Miss Lane County, Kaylin Sallady, sings the national anthem.
There are activities throughout the afternoon, then the evening shines first with the country dance band Pendleton Highway, one of the top country music acts of the Pacific Northwest. At dusk, the booms, crackles and showers of bright lights fill the sky from the fireworks to end the family-friendly 4th of July celebration in Creswell.