Plenty of activities on tap in the Woodburn area as the nation celebrates its independence

by: PHOTO BY COLIN HENDERSON - Fun and fireworks shows will abound throughout the Woodburn area this July Fourth.There will be no shortage of fun, food, fireworks and free entertainment on display Friday, as locals gather across north Marion County to celebrate our nation’s independence on the Fourth of July.

The largest congregation will likely be in the smallest town, as thousands descend upon St. Paul for a day of rodeo sports, a parade, carnival food — including the Great Western BBQ Cook-off — and games, capped by an extended fireworks display — which the St. Paul Rodeo puts on every night of its run, and not just July Fourth.


In Woodburn, the city’s celebration will start even earlier, with the Chuckwagon Breakfast from 6 to 10 a.m. at Legion Park. The event is the annual fundraiser for the French Prairie Kiwanis Club, which uses the proceeds for scholarships and other charitable endeavors.

Tickets for the breakfast, which features pancakes, ham, eggs, coffee and orange juice, are $6 for adults and $4 for children. For more information, call Laurie Cooper at 503-351-1263.

Later that evening, the city will be hosting its annual Independence Day celebration beginning at 6 p.m. at Centennial Park. Festivities include food vendors, family-friendly activities, music and, of course, fireworks.

Two dance troupes will be performing, Dance Dance Dance at 7 p.m. and the Mid-City Breakers at 8 p.m., followed at 9 p.m. by the Starship Renegade, a Christian alternative rock band from Salem whose sound is influenced by the likes of Switchfoot, Anberlin and Foo Fighters, according to the group’s Facebook page.

Kristin Wierenga, the city’s recreation services manager, said the band was selected because organizers believe it will have broad appeal for the approximately 2,000 people who are expected to attend Friday’s event.

There will also be a DJ from R Squared Rhythmes to keep the audience entertained and engaged.

Wierenga, who just started her new position this month, said the Independence Day celebration is already one of the city’s and the area’s most popular annual events, and she would like to see even more attention and resources dedicated to it in the future.

“In the future, I really foresee it being one of the recreation department’s signature events,” she said.

For the children, a number of activities will be offered, including crafts, face painting, games and a bounce house.

A fireworks show by Western Display Fireworks will wrap things up around 10 p.m.

Mount Angel

This year’s celebration in Mount Angel will commemorate more than the founding of our nation, as the community also honors the recent passing of one of its most notable benefactors.

Orville N. Roth, co-founder of Roth’s Fresh Markets, was a longtime partner of the city of Mount Angel, and had participated in the city’s Fourth of July parade and sponsored its fireworks display for many years.

Roth died suddenly Oct. 13, 2013, at age 79, so this year, the fireworks show — still sponsored by Roth’s Fresh Markets — will be dedicated to his memory.

“There will be an awful lot of green fireworks,” Randy Stockdale, vice president of the Mount Angel Chamber of Commerce board, said, alluding to the primary color used in the grocery chain’s branding, and worn by Orville Roth in his signature apron and bow tie. “He was just a huge, huge community supporter.”

Mount Angel’s fireworks display also starts at 10 p.m., but the full show at the Kennedy High School baseball field will kick off a couple hours earlier, with an extended musical performance by the Marion County Citizens Band.

Mount Angel will also celebrate Independence Day with its annual parade through downtown, starting at Kennedy High School at 11 a.m. and winding its way through to City Hall at 5 N. Garfield St.

The parade’s theme this year is “It’s a Grand Old Flag,” and participants will be judged in four categories: floats, tractors, kids and classic cars.

Stockdale said downtown businesses will be open for the festivities, with many of them offering special deals and activities in recognition of the national holiday.


The city of Gervais is looking to host its biggest-ever celebration of the Fourth of July, with a hula hoop and limbo contest, group karaoke, raffles, free watermelon, a kids’ carnival, dunk tank and the barbecue rib contest.

Food and festivities begin at noon. A DJ, Doc Titus, also known as “the party doctor,” will perform throughout the day.

The fun in Gervais will also culminate with a fireworks show at approximately 9:45 p.m.


Visit Champoeg to enjoy the Fourth of July as Oregonians celebrated it in years gone by and hear “Tales of the American Revolution” for the sixth annual Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration.

The event will feature the live re-enactment of Revolutionary War Patriot George Robert Twelves Hewes. It will also include the lively fiddling of Truman Price and an afternoon of fun and educational celebration.

This event is interactive and fun for the entire family. Participate in an Oregon History Bee; join in reading the Declaration of Independence; listen and dance to live fiddle music of the period and sing the patriotic songs of American freedom. Bring your blanket or folding chairs and a picnic supper, or help support Newell House by purchasing strawberry shortcake and hot dogs.

For those who those who love to bake pies, bring your best home-made pie to compete for “bragging rights” for the Best of French Prairie! Pies to be tasted and judged by an illustrious panel of historical and local characters. The pies will be auctioned off after the judging, with proceeds going to support the Newell House Museum and the Butteville School.

The event will 4 to 6 p.m. on the west lawn at the Historic Newell House at Champoeg. Picnic attendance and Newell House Museum parking are free; donations to Historic Newell House are appreciated.

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