CHRISTOPHER PALANUK/THE CRESWELL CHRONICLE
Stars, stripes and smiles – a short, sweet way to recap Creswell’s Annual Fourth of July Celebration. Whether you’re new to town, longtime resident or were just a visitor to The Friendly City, seeing the population swell in Creswell on the Fourth of July is spectacular, and also slightly puzzling. How does a town with a population of 5,300 cram in an excess of 20,000 into its parameters?
We just do. We make room. We welcome all. After all, we’ve got a lot to offer, and this year’s celebration offered some new attractions.
A Firecracker Vintage Car Show was a flashy and classy way to ease into the day at Emerald Valley Golf Course, which showcased dozens of shiny, chrome beauties.
Live music from The Men from S.U.R.F. got you boogying at Emerald Valley Golf Course, thanks to the liquid courage supplied at Seth and Melissa Clark’s Creswell Coffee beer garden. Homemade barbecue chicken was served with delicious sides, with all proceeds benefiting the Creswell Chamber of Commerce.
South Lane Wheels provided a shuttle this year to get spectators to and fro opposite ends of town. Executive Director Ruth Linoz said about 120 people used the shuttle this year, which was more than she anticipated. South Lane Wheels took spectators from Emerald Valley Golf & Resort to a stop just outside of Joe’s Diner, making it easy to attend all activities spread throughout town.
This being the first year, Linoz already has ideas on how to improve the shuttle situation for next year and sees the shuttle being a key feature in proceeding celebrations.
Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and the Young Eagles Program offered free airplane flights to 79 kids.
Harry Holt Park was at nearly full capacity for the annual pancake breakfast in the park, where Dr. Sheri Schlorman and her army of 40 volunteers dished out around 700 meals of eggs, pancakes, ham, strawberries, coffee and orange juice.
Harry Holt Park also welcomed music from DJ Ken Donner, Bradley Shepherd’s Perfect Flavor Duo, The Tuba Ensemble, David ”Elvis” Lomond, baton twirlers Miss Linn Benton and Danielle Cormier and Richie G and MA Beat.
This year’s fantastical parade featured over 100 floats, including the Willamette Valley Military Vehicle Group, American Rosie the Riveter Association, Creswell VFW Post 4039, Adventures in Narnia ballet and Bohemia Mining Days, Lowell High School Vietnam Veterans and Families, South Lane Women’s Network, McKenzie A’s model A Ford Club and Creswell Grange, to skim the top.
Miss Oregon, Miss Lane County, Miss Central Valley and Miss Linn-Benton waved to onlooking spectators and One More Time Marching Band marched along. Creswell Cub and Boy Scout Pack 28 and local government agencies and officials, like Creswell City Council, also partook in the parade.
This year’s raffle prize winners from the Fourth of July Button sales were pleased with their prizes.
Terry Hanson won a Picnic in the Park backpack, compliments of the City of Creswell, while DJ Holbrook won a camping cooler, compliments of First Community Credit Union.
Tracy Sorensen won a $100 gift card to Jerry’s Home Improvement – Eugene and Nick Cole won a basket of product and a $50 gift card to Creswell Bakery. Dan Kelso, Melodie Slaymaker, Jennifer Gardiepy and Scott Pisani won $20 gift cards to Figaro’s Pizza, while Christie L. May won a $50 gift card to TJ’s Restaurant and Sheena Clark won patio decorations and a $20 gift card to Cascade Home Center.
Ross Behrens won a $50 gift card to Creswell Coffee and Cassandra Ashley won a crate of Cozy Kitchen gifts from Farmhouse Collective. Cassandra Nevins won a sweet basket of honey from Bear Mountain Honey – A Sweet Basket of honey and Lorraine Still won a personalized rock from the ”Creswell Rocks” group, compliments of State Farm. Jason Boaze won a year’s subscription to The Creswell Chronicle and Jenni Donley won a lunch bag of supplies compliments of US Bank. Clark Kent won a Fourth of July Bag and Absolut Vodka from Emerald Valley Spirits and Al January & ”LT” DeGeer won a pot of flowers from Dan’s Plants.
There were not many major issues with safety this year, police are happy to report.
”This Fourth of July was the best one I’ve seen happen in quite a while,” Lane County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Scott Denham said. ”This year was the smoothest it’s been.” Adding that deputies only had to deal with a few complaints, as well as an intoxicated person.
”There were not many parking problems,” all things considered, he said.
And then, as the sun set and darkness and the sky exploded with color with a generous firework display.
Calls regarding neighbors setting off fireworks is always a given, Denham said. This year, six calls were made to LCSO about fireworks, and one citation was given. If the caller can say specifically what house is setting off fireworks, deputies can go and have a chat with the resident and maybe issue a citation.
”But we can’t do anything if we don’t know what house it is,” Denham said, noting that the permittance of fireworks is an ongoing back-and-forth conversation in the community.
The Fourth of July Celebration is coordinated by the Creswell Chamber of Commerce and is largely backed by only a small group of volunteers.
Each year, the celebration grows, but volunteers remain sparse. In order to keep up with the demand, more volunteers are always being sought to help with the event. If interested in helping with next year’s festivities, email Creswell Chamber of Commerce President Scott Olson at [email protected].
Until next year, Creswell!