ashland.news
July 14, 2024

2024 parade theme: ‘Go 4th for Kids!’

Embodying Ashland's parade theme, "Go 4th for Kids," Avalon Gerk (at left), 14, and Ember Richards, 10, have been named parade grand marshals. Jim Flint photo
June 23, 2024

Ashland celebrates Independence Day with a parade, park activities and an epic band blowout

By Jim Flint for Ashland.news

Ashland’s Independence Day community celebration this year will be all about kids and family. In fact, even the parade grand marshals are kids.

“Our 2024 parade theme is ‘Go 4th for Kids! We’re All Kids at Heart,’” said Dana Preston, membership and business development director for the Ashland Chamber of Commerce, sponsor of the Ashland Chamber’s 4th of July Parade.

In addition to the annual parade, there will be a jet flyover, a 2-mile fun run, a 10K competitive run, and post-parade family activities in Lithia Park, including musical performances, a recitation of the Declaration of Independence, and vendor booths. An evening performance by the American Band College band will cap off the day.

Preston praised city of Ashland police, fire and public works departments for helping make the holiday celebration a safe and well-organized one.

“Recology helps us organize cleanup and works with us to reduce the waste these kinds of events produce,” she added.

Following are details about the various events and attractions.

A 10K and a 2-mile

The annual 4th of July runs are organized by Ashland Parks & Recreation, with proceeds going to the Ashland and Phoenix high school cross country teams. Donations also will be accepted for the Ashland Parks Foundation.

Both the 2-mile fun run and the competitive 10K begin at 7:45 a.m. Thursday, July 4, with registration available online (click here) or in person on the day of the runs. The starting line, near the Ashland Public Library at410 Siskiyou Blvd., will remain open until 7:50 a.m.

All ages are welcome. Early bird registration is over. The fee for adults is $30 through midnight on June 30, rising to $35 from July 1 to 4.

Entrants can pick up run packets at the library on July 3 from noon to 5 p.m. or in front of the library on July 4 after 6:45 a.m.

The routes are scenic and on closed roadways. A section of the 10K route is along the tree-lined Bear Creek Greenway.

Ashland Boy Scouts Troop 112 carried the National, Oregon State, and Legion flags to start the annual Fourth of July parade in 2023. They were followed by military flags. Bob Palermini photo
The parade

Starting time for the 4th of July parade is 10 a.m. It will begin at Triangle Park (850 Siskiyou Blvd. at Liberty Street), proceed down Siskiyou Boulevard and East Main Street and end near Ashland Plaza.

Parade viewers are allowed to mark off viewing spots on East Main Street sidewalks beginning at 6 a.m. on the morning of July 3.

Jets from Klamath Falls’ Kingsley Field, home of the 173rd Fighter Wing, will perform a flyover during the early part of the parade.

“Parade entries may check in at the new staging area in the SOU parking lots on Mountain Avenue beginning at 7 a.m.,” Preston said. “Judging will begin at 8:30 a.m., and cut-off time for floats and participants entering the staging area is 9:15 a.m.”

Entries received and approved June 14-21 are charged a late fee. For more information, call the chamber at 541-482-3486.

Grand marshals

The chamber chose Avalon Gerk, 14, and Ember Richards, 10, as parade grand marshals in honor of their winning Ashland’s “If I Were Mayor” contest.

“It’s all part of our ‘Go 4th for Kids’ theme,” Preston said.

Avalon is the daughter of Aaron and Fiew Kanokwan Gerk of Ashland.

She just completed the eighth grade at Willow Wind Community Learning Center in Ashland.

Ember is the daughter of Dave and Lea Richards of Ashland. She just finished the fourth grade at TRAILS Outdoor School in Ashland.

Ember will be at the parade in spirit only. A member of the Siskiyou Violins, she will be in Vienna on the Fourth as part of a group playing in the Summa Cum Laude International World Music Festival.

After-parade activities

Following the parade, the focus turns to Lithia Park where there will be family activities and vendors of food and crafts until 5 p.m.

The Ashland City Band and other musical groups will perform at Butler Bandshell in Lithia Park beginning at noon.

The city band’s concert will include marches and descriptive patriotic pieces, including a medley of American Civil War songs that will feature a recitation of the Gettysburg Address by Bob Jackson “Abe Lincoln” Miner.

Early on, Brian Tingle, who sings the national anthem for the Ashland City Band, will recite the Declaration of Independence as part of the salute to the founding of the nation.

The Project Trio, a YouTube phenomenon from Brooklyn, will be guest artists at the American Band College band concert the night of July Fourth at the Ashland High School football stadium. Submitted photo.
American Band College

Fireworks prohibited
Fireworks and sky lanterns are prohibited throughout the year within the city of Ashland, which went to a “moderate” fire danger level on June 20, with additional restrictions on activities that can cause fires. For details, click here.

The American Band College concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Ashland High School football stadium.

The band is composed of nearly 200 musicians, master’s degree candidates attending the annual American Band College’s three-week summer workshop in Ashland.

Founded by Max McKee, and now run by his son, Scott McKee, the program draws band directors from around the world.

Their “Fourth of July Pops Show” will feature a varied program of patriotic, jazz, popular, and classical hits.

Project Trio, a high-energy virtuosic group from Brooklyn, will perform four numbers: “Yardbird Suite” by Mozart, a Jethro Tull take on “Bouree” by J.S. Bach, “West Side Story Suite” by Leonard Bernstein, and their own arrangement of Rossini’s “William Tell Overture.”

The trio’s YouTube channel, which has more than 85 million views and over 100,000 subscribers, is one of the most-watched instrumental ensembles on the internet. There will be no fireworks after the concert.

For more information and to purchase tickets, go to bandworld.org/ABC/Tickets.htm.

Reach writer Jim Flint at jimflint.ashland@yahoo.com.

June 24: Ember Richards grade level corrected.

Picture of Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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