The Hockinson Fun Days kicked off without a hitch from June 3 to June 5 for the first time since 2019. Despite a sporadic downpour, the well-known Fun Days parade went smoothly as it featured local businesses and organizations, as well as the students from the Hockinson High School and middle school, Country Friends Childcare, and Master Oh’s HS Taekwondo.
The many spectators were happy to celebrate the event with their community once again. The organizers and volunteers were also pleased with the turnout, said coordinator Julie Atchley.
“I think I’m most grateful that the heavy rain didn’t start until the parade was just getting going,” Atchley said. “I think everything went really smoothly and the parade was amazing.”
In terms of floats and participants in the parade, she said the Vader’s Fist 501st Legion and Rebel Legion stood out to her, which is a Star Wars fan organization, as did the Brush Prairie Singers Company and the school bands.
“I also love that CalPortland comes with their cute little cement truck that spits out candy along the parade route,” she said.
Atchley said the turnout of the festival’s bingo night on June 3 was “the biggest we ever had,” with around 400 people in attendance.
“They came and they stayed for almost the whole thing, and then our final prize of the night was a $50 game, so we ended up with a four-way tie and had to actually pay out $50 to four different people,” she said with a laugh.
Hockinson School District Superintendent Steve Marshall liked what he saw as well over the eventful weekend.
“Hockinson families turned out today, which is really exciting to see,” Marshall said. “So did our community partners, Fire District 3, Clark County Sheriff’s Office personnel, and our local businesses. The crowds and the positive atmosphere, I think, show how much our families have missed this event as well as the opportunity to gather again as a community. From what I can tell, the drizzle didn’t dampen the enthusiasm for Fun Days much at all. (I give a) huge thanks to the Hockinson Boosters for pulling this off after a two-year break.”
Volunteer and Hockinson School District board member Gordon Smith helped judge the parade’s floats and went in the dunk tank afterwards. He enjoyed the creativity devoted to each of the floats.
“I think (the floats) were nice,” Smith said. “Especially since we had two years of no Fun Days. Unfortunately, it decided to rain on us during it, but it looked like everyone had fun. It was really nice to see people come out.”
He said Capel Outdoor Solutions’ float stood out to him, as well as Nate’s Plumbing and O’Keefe Farms.
“They had some really nice floats,” he said. “They put some time into them and it was pretty neat.”
While Smith is not sure if the previous Fun Days had the same amount of people as the one over the weekend, he believes the people’s enthusiasm was “on par or better” than the one in 2019. He also said he likes volunteering because of all the people he sees, both new and familiar.
“There’s no downtown proper in Hockinson like other small towns have, so the center of the community revolves around the things that happen in school, at least in my experience,” Smith said. “When you have events like this, you tend to see people in your own circle like all the band parents. When kids graduate, you get a chance to catch up with folks you haven’t seen in a year or so.”
Some of the floats at the parade won awards. Country Friends won the best use of theme award, Capel Outdoor Solution won best float, Master Oh’s HS Taekwondo received the best performing entry, Clark County Flying Eagle A’s for best motorized entry, Clark County Mounted Patrol for best animal entry, and the Brush Prairie Singers Company took the award for best youth entry.
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