The Wallowa Old Time 4th of July Parade started out with a bang courtesy of the American Legion VFW. The VFW led the parade, followed by Grand Marshal Mary Ann Burrows.
Crowds of people lined the streets, but there was one Wallowa resident not in attendance this year and her presence was greatly missed.
A fire engine displayed a banner reading “Cheer loud! Cheer proud!” in memory of Dawna Miller 1958-2019. Longtime Wallowa resident Miller passed away earlier this year after a battle with cancer. Miller worked to bring back the Old Time 4th of July Parade to Wallowa in the early eighties. Every year she spearheaded citywide clean up and spruced up Main Street before the parade. During the parade she cheered on everyone and would make sure children got their candy safely. Many community members spoke of her devotion and pride in the Old Time 4th of July Parade.
For this year’s parade the community elected young royalty. Ballot boxes were placed around Wallowa. Community members voted for one boy to be Mr. Liberty, and one girl to reign as Miss 4th of July. The children had to be between the ages of five and ten Winners were awarded a crown or cowboy hat and $30 prize money.
The community voted Preslie Hagen Little Miss 4th of July and Kasey Salmon Mr. Liberty. Hagen is the 10 year old daughter of Bailey Kootz and Jake Redfield of Wallowa. She wants to continue on the path of royalty and hopes she can someday be the Chief Joseph Days Rodeo Queen. Salmon is the 7 year old son of Patrick and Danielle Salmon of Wallowa and will be attending the second grade at Wallowa Elementary. Hagen shared that her favorite part about 4th of July is all the different floats in the parade, while Salmon said the best part is the fireworks.
After the parade a community barbecue and fundraiser was held at the fire hall. Wallowa Christian Church served hot dogs and hamburgers. Sundaes were available from the Wallowa FBLA, Future Business Leaders of America. Entertainment was provided by the band No Boundaries. Audra Allen, event coordinator said the event was well attended and over 400 people were served lunch.