On the 4th of July, Lake Oswego is at its small town best! Complete with pancake breakfast, children’s parade and fireworks over the lake, residents come out to eat, greet and celebrate.
Before moving to Lake Oswego, Independence Day was near the bottom on my list of favorite holidays. Now it competes for a spot in the top three. What can I say? I’m a sap for tradition and have passed it on to my kids. My son, who now lives and works in San Francisco, is taking valuable vacation time to make sure he’s here in Lake Oswego on the Fourth. Here’s why when Independence Day rolls around, Lake Oswego is the place to be.
- Brady Costello: When asked for a favorite memory of the Fourth, my son Brady, was hard pressed. “I don’t know if I have one favorite memory because the Fourth of July has always been my favorite holiday,” he explains. Why? His list runs long from that infamous pancake breakfast in George Rogers Park to water fights on our boat during the boat parade, to backyard parties, to the fact that it seems like the sun always waits until the Fourth to finally emerge and signal the start of summer. But, in a recurring theme he adds, “It seems like the Fourth brings the entire town together.”
- Riley Costello: “It feels like everybody comes out for the Fourth,”Riley echoes. Now a lifeguard at the Lake Grove Swim Park, she views the fireworks show from the dock at the park along with hundreds of other Lake Oswegans. As a kid, however, she remembers our annual backyard bashes complete with relay races, a bike parade down our street and as the kids got a little older, a DJ.
- Casey Costello: “If you ask any of my friends, they’ll tell you the 4th of the July is the best day of the summer. There’s just a good vibe–everyone is in a good mood because there is so much to do.”
- Maddie Vislocky: Maddie doesn’t know where she’s going to live once she is out of college and living on her own, but wherever it is, she’ll always come back to Lake Oswego for the Fourth of July. “I’ve been looking forward to it since sixth grade,” she admits. “I guess it’s the sense of community starting with the Lions’ pancake breakfast,” she explains, to which I can attest as she has joined us at our table many years.
- Gretchen Schauffler: “It’s not just about the fireworks,” explains Gretchen. “It’s about a community that actively engages everyone in the celebration. There’s something for all ages throughout the day that makes you feel part of the community.”
- Wendy Aldrich: “For me, the 4th of July is about bringing the community all together at the Lake Grove Swim Park—it’s like a good old-fashioned party,” she explains. She should know. Wendy has been watching the fireworks launch out on the lake from the swim park for the past forty years, bringing up her three kids in the same tradition.
Check here for a schedule of events 4th of July weekend. What’s your favorite 4th of July tradition? I’d love to hear it.