It only took me one summer to realize that the 4th of July ranks up there with Christmas and New Year’s among Lake Oswegans. It’s a holiday you definitely want to be in town for because the festivities are endless. Here’s a game plan for how to enjoy it.
1. Start shopping early for red, white and blue décor. We have about three plastic bins that are stocked with everything from flag inspired tablecloths to a life-size stuffed Uncle Sam. In Lake Oswego we decorate for the holidays…. and one of them is in July.
2. Plan your wardrobe. Flag t-shirts are also stored in those plastic bins I mentioned…outfits that my teenage kids lamented having to wear which my now young adult children can hardly wait to put on.
3. Made up your guest beds. You’ll probably have company. This year our son and four of his friends are flying in…and the guest list isn’t finalized yet.
4. Kick off things early. The Millennium Band cranks out the patriotic favorites on July 3, beginning at 7:00 p.m. at Millennium Plaza Park.
5. Get to bed early so you can hit the pancake breakfast. The Lions Club starts flipping hot cakes at 7:00 a.m. at George Rogers Park, 611 S. State Street and the line continues to grow until closing time at 12:00 noon. Early birds make sure they get the marionberry syrup. Gluten-free eaters can indulge too.
6. Catch the Star Spangled Parade. What kid doesn’t love a parade? Apparently none in Lake Oswego as it seems every child under the age of 10 is either walking down A Avenue or cheering those on who are. Parade begins at 10:00 a.m. and finishes at Millennium Plaza Park with a Star Spangled Celebration…and pie eating contest (oh, and this year, the Farmer’s Market will be going on too so it will be a happening place).
7. Reserve your spot at the Lake Grove Swim Park. If you plan on viewing the fireworks from the Lake Grove Swim Park, you might want to get there early (it opens at 12:00 noon) and set out your picnic blanket to reserve your spot.
8. Look to the lake for the boat parade. While you’re at the swim park, you can also catch the Lake Corporation Boat Parade as boats wind their way around the lake decked out in their red, white and blue. The swim park is a prime viewing spot, as is Sundeleaf Plaza. Parade begins at 1:00 p.m.
9. Park yourself somewhere for fireworks on the lake. The show begins around 9:45 p.m. on the west end of Oswego Lake so best to be at the Lake Grove Swim Park, on the Oswego Canal bridge, in a boat on the lake, or at a lakefront party (work on getting that invite as part of your game plan).
10. Extend the celebration with the Lake Corporation Ski (10:00 a.m.) and Wakeboard (1:00 p.m.) Competition and Portland Water Spectacular Ski Show (5:00 p.m.) on Sunday, July 5 in Lakewood Bay. You can keep an eye on things from Sundeleaf Plaza, Stickmen’s Brewery & Skewery, the Lake Theatre and Café, and Millennium Plaza Park.
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