Hundreds of local and area residents lined the streets of downtown Hermiston Saturday night to get a glimpse of the more than 130 floats, cars and more entered into the Umatilla County Fair Parade this year.
Organizations and groups of all kinds were represented during the parade, from the Umatilla County Fairs royalty court, including Queen Taryn Coffman and princesses Elizabeth Olsen, Kristin Ottmar and Katie Sotelo, who were ushered down the streets of Hermiston in a black convertible, to the Oregon Trail Veterinary Clinics traditional horses and carriage, to a giant inflatable watermelon from Walchli Farms.
Many area residents said they have attended the parade every year, and it offers a special opportunity to get together as a family to enjoy the kick off of the start of the Umatilla County Fair.
Edna Hernandez, a Hermiston resident, said she and her family have attended the parade probably three times. She said her daughter, Jazleene Gutierrez, 2, enjoyed collecting candy from the floats and cars that passed by.
Its been a lot of fun, she said.
Others said they really enjoyed the Hermiston High School band, which performed and danced its way down the streets of Hermiston.
We loved the band, Hermiston resident Nancy Caldwell said Saturday night after the parade.
Caldwell said she attended the parade with her family, and they really enjoyed the evening despite the heat of Saturday night.
In addition to the regular floats and souped up cars that graced the downtown Hermiston area, the parade also featured a number of local politicians, including State Sen. Bill Hansell. Tillamook also had a float in the parade again this year, and representatives handed out cheese. Others kept up the tradition of throwing candy to children lining the streets or handing out fliers with discounts and information about their businesses.
Some of the floats had live entertainment as they slowly made their way down the streets, such as 92.5 FMs Mi Favorita, which featured mechanical bull-riding and a singing performance. Others stuck to the more traditional float where children of all ages sat and waved.
Throughout the parade, Joe Thompson, known as the voice of the Hermiston High School Bulldogs, emceed the parade as each of the entries passed down Main Street.
I think it went really well, he said after the parade.
Those on the floats also said they had a good time.
Hermiston residents Beckie Higgins and Amber Ruiz-Burleson, who were part of the Head Start entry, said everyone seemed to have a great time throughout the parade. They said Head Start had a bus that had been painted where volunteers, parents, staff and children all enjoyed a ride. Higgins said they handed out toothbrushes as they made their way down the parade line.
It was fun, Ruiz-Burleson said.
Ruiz-Burlesons daughter, Lillie Ruiz, who was also on the float, said, after they were done, they got to enjoy the last few floats and entries. She said her favorite that she saw was the Pendleton Round-Up horses that trotted with their riders.