Student musicians once again descended onto the streets of Hazel Dell on Saturday during the return of the annual Parade of Bands, which was postponed for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On May 21, more than two dozen middle and high school bands from Clark County marched down Hazel Dell Avenue and up Northeast Highway 99. The more than 100 entries was fewer than in past years but parade co-chair Brad Lothspeich said it was a good turnout given the hiatus.
The parade’s theme of “Back in the Saddle” fit with the return of this year’s event.
“The kids are excited, the band directors are excited,” Lothspeich said. “The kids’ parents are excited.”
This year’s grand marshal was Mitch Canton, the co-founder of Clark County Live! Apart from the bands, other entries included local businesses, community groups, political candidates and car clubs.
With more than half a century’s worth of precedent, Lothspeich said the parade doesn’t receive any complaints from businesses on the parade route and its effect on traffic.
“It started years ago because there were some bands that had no parade to march in,” Lothspeich said.
He said Hazel Dell’s event remains the only parade a number of the bands get their chance to march in.
“It’s one of those events that makes everybody feel good,” Lothspeich said.
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