Hundreds attend Parkdale Pumpkin Parade

The sun was shining bright on Saturday for Parkdale’s annual Pumkpin Parade. The small downtown was transformed into Halloween Town as families gathered wearing their best costumes. While the little kids stole the show, some of the attendees had been to the Pumpkin Parade since it started in 1987.

“It started with a bunch of women who were on the community center board, and we just decided we needed a Halloween parade here,” said Patty Routson of Parkdale. “So we got the farmers out here and they pulled their flatbeds with their tractors, which had been decorated by the local kids. It just kept growing from there.”

Routson remembered, “The first five years that we held it, we would have a king and queen of the parade. They were all in their 90s, and would dress up and wear crowns, while leading the parade.”

Most of the parade was put together by staff and students of Parkdale Elementary.

“We have terrific weather this year, which means we have a better crowd,” said Principal Kim Vogel of Parkdale Elementary. “We also have horses and more floats than ever, with wonderful folks helping out. Luckily harvest is at the end, so farmers can be in the parade instead of out picking today.

“Most of these kids are our students; although there are a lot of our alumni that are now in junior high school that come back every year,” added Vogel.

Many of the participants walked or ran in the preceding Parkdale Pumpkin Fun Run and Walk.

A rare traffic jam happened in Parkdale at around noon, with Fruit Loop visitors in cars mixing with parade attendees on foot, in cars and on horseback, and the Mount Hood Railroad train pulling into the station.

This year’s Pumpkin Parade was another success, with people from all over the valley lining the streets to watch. It was just another example of how the little traditions really bring a community together year after year.

Turn to page B2 for additional parade coverage in Tamara Emler Ball’s column.

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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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