Agustin Cisneros and his daughter ride with Comunidad y Herencia Cultural in the BEAM BRiGHT Parade through downtown Eugene. Photo by Todd Cooper.

From parade winners to Birkenstocks in Slant

• The BEAM BRiGHT Parade took over downtown Eugene Oct. 14 with lights, music and more. A crew of celebrity judges, including sculptor Jud Turner and KLCC’s Brian Bull, had the difficult job of deciding the winners out of a delightful cast of entries. Best of Show (The SLUG Award) went to Comunidad y Herencia Cultural and its group of charros on horseback and twirling lassos, mariachi musicians and dancers. Best View (Best Decorated Entry) was Wildling Collaborative Arts; Best Dressed (Best Use of Costuming) went to the brightly lit Thrill The World Eugene, who you can see in some upcoming “Thriller” flash mobs this month if you missed the parade. Best in Step (Best Marching) was the bright and green Sheldon Colleens Dance Team; Best Laughs (Best Use of Humor) to no one’s surprise was the wild and wacky SLUG queens, while the winners of Best Listening (Best Use of Sound) was the drum wielding Samba Ja. Finally, Best Bright (Best Use of Lighting) was Next Step Dance Studio, and Judges Know Best (Judges’ Choice) was the cool kinetic vehicles of Corvallis Kinetics and Friends.

• Congratulations to Eugene School District 4J, voters and the taxpayers for building a tremendous new North Eugene High School — the first new high school in our region in almost 60 years. This bold investment in our community and our kids is already paying dividends — word on the 4J street is that more kids are going to class, and attendance rates at North Eugene are way up this year

More bucks are being raised to do grandstands and other work at Civic Park in south Eugene. We understand that kids from all over the city are using Civic, but wouldn’t it be great to have a similar facility in north Eugene? It takes money, but the Civic has shown that’s possible.

“Changing Access to Arts and Music Education” is the City Club of Eugene topic for noon Friday, Oct. 20, in the Maple Room at Inn at the Fifth with speakers from the Lane Arts Council and Eugene Symphony. City Club says, “The benefits of arts learning are far-reaching, impacting young people in ways that support them in all aspects of their lives.” Civic-minded City Club meetings are free, open to the public, and usually offer lunch to buy, and if you are busy on Friday, tune in on KLCC Monday night instead.

Who imagined that our Birkies could become fashion favorites in Manhattan, with or without socks! The Sunday, Oct. 15, The New York Times told the story of how the clumsy, sturdy cork-soled German shoe worn “by hippies and off-duty hikers, eccentric aunts and science teachers with a penchant for pairing them with ankle socks” became cool without losing its core devotees. Right. Just because New Yorkers and TikTokers are wearing Birkenstocks doesn’t mean Eugeneans will give them up. We just won’t wear them with socks when it’s raining.

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