There are few more recognizable American icons than Uncle Sam so I checked in with him before the Fourth of July and asked where he thought patriotic Americans could best observe this national holiday.
Guess what? It wasn’t Washington, D.C. or New York. No, for the real flavor of a good old-fashioned Fourth of July, he recommended small towns like Lake Oswego, Oregon. “They know how to do it up right,” he explained. I wholeheartedly agree and here’s why.
●Millennium Band Concert. Lake Oswego is so excited to celebrate the Fourth that organizers couldn’t fit everything into one day so they scheduled this USO style performance of the Millennium Band for July 3rd at Millennium Plaza Park, kicking off at 7:00 p.m. Wear your red, white and blue, as the selections will include patriotic, marching and military numbers. Veterans will be honored including a Presentation of Colors conducted by the Lake Oswego Police Honor Guard.
●Lake Oswego Lions Club Pancake Breakfast. This used to be the only event in town to mark the Fourth, and 64 years later it’s still going strong. These hot-off-the-griddle morning jump-starters bring out the crowds (an estimated 2,800 when the holiday falls on a weekday) who line up in George Rogers Park starting at 7:00 a.m. It’s a good old-fashioned meet-up, with neighbors and friends reconnecting while waiting in line, searching for a table, listening to the banjos play (this year tunes will come via the Pickled Peppers Kitchen Band), or tracking down the ever elusive marionberry syrup. Gluten free pancakes will be on the menu too. Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. George Rogers Park.
●Star Spangled Celebration and Parade. It doesn’t get more down-home than this complete with a bona fide Fife and Drum Band, strollers and wagons sporting red, white and blue streamers and balloons and little ones waving their flags and tossing out candy. Definitely the place to see and be seen if you’re part of the under 10 crowd. Hours: 9:00 a.m. staging at Lake Garden Court; 10:00 a.m. parade begins and winds down A Avenue, finishing at Millennium Plaza Park.
●Celebration at Millennium Plaza Park. Parade goers can keep right on celebrating with live music, face-painting, balloon animals, a pie-eating contest and all American cuisine in Lake Oswego’s outdoor living room featuring Pine Shed Ribs. Millennium Plaza Park at 200 First Street. Hours: 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
●Lake Corporation Boat Parade.If you love parades, you’re in luck. Lake Oswego offers two of them on the Fourth—one on land and one on water in Lake Oswego. Boats decorated to the theme of “Favorite State” will depart from the Lake Grove Swim Park viewing area at 1:00 p.m. Check them out. There will be live music and prizes awarded.
●Fireworks on the Lake. There’s something magical about hundreds of boats displaying their red and green navigational lights while waiting for the fireworks display over the west end of Oswego Lake to take off. Once the show is in the air, boaters toot their horns to show their approval and viewers at the Lake Grove Swim Park and waterfront homes clap and shout for their favorite color explosions. 9:45 p.m.
What’s your favorite 4th of July tradition? Leave a comment below and let us know.
All the reasons that make Lake Oswego the place to be on the Fourth of July also make it a great place to live–small town feel, strong community, vibrant city programs, scenic lake. If you’d like to check it out, I’d love to show you around. Call me on my cell, 503.939.9801, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website.
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