July 4 array: Time to plan for, and support, Independence Day events

We all like a little fanfare in our lives.

But there is no such thing as a free spectacle.

The community will once again this year get to enjoy the July 4 events including the parade, Jackson Park activities, and fireworks show, courtesy of Hood River Lions.

The show begins at 10 p.m. and can be seen at the riverfront property of the Port of Hood River and virtually any other location around Hood River or White Salmon/Bingen.

The awesome aerial array costs $15,000. To cover the costs, and honor the hard work of volunteers (and extensive pyrotechnics training required of them), please consider making a donation this year to the project.

Individuals and businesses wishing to provide funds for the fireworks display should send their tax-deductible donations to Lions Fireworks, 1761 12th St., No. 136, Hood River, OR 97031.

Meanwhile, the Port of Hood River has issued its annual advisory regarding the set-up for the fireworks display:

Beginning Wednesday, July 3, there will be a three-day closure at a popular recreation area, the Spit, used particularly for kiteboard launching.

The Eyeopeners Lions Club will begin setting up its fireworks display just west of the mouth of the Hood River on July 3. Volunteers will be preparing fireworks used for the July 4 display. As a result, the Port of Hood River will close the Spit area at approximately noon on Wednesday, July 3, and leave it closed until approximately noon Friday, July 5.

No access will be allowed while fireworks are present. So you can’t get up close to watch this meticulous, potentially dangerous work, but it’s good to know that these volunteers will be at the scene July 3-5, setting up, firing and cleaning up after the show.

Lions are also asking for community help to pay the expenses of the parade bands and music in Jackson Park; the Hood River Lions Club is donating $400 but is also asking individuals, businesses and other organizations to join its members in providing a charitable gift. Checks should be made out to the Hood River Lions Club and mailed to P.O. Box 860, Hood River, OR 97031.

“We are hoping to have a least one band again this year to lead the parade behind the color guard and maybe will also play in Jackson Park following the parade,” said parade coordinator Tom Yates.

One final July 4 note: parade entries are available at the Hood River Chamber of Commerce. It’s a great way to share your organization with the community, and there’s still plenty of time to plan your patriotic-themed entry.

Completed and signed registration forms should be turned in between 8:30 a.m. and the start of the parade on Eighth and Sieverkropp streets on the Hood River Heights.

Like the last three years, a “No Candy” policy will be enforced during the parade. This has been an effective way to help keep the focus where it belongs: on the colorful and creative examples of the community as they walk, roll or trot down 12th from Pacific to Jackson Park.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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