CRESWELL, Ore. — Some Creswell residents are riled up about a change in the city’s annual Fourth of July parade.
The holiday is a big deal in Creswell. It’s celebrated every year for several years with a huge parade running right through this street, but that all changes this year as the route is scheduled to change moving its starting point from 10th Street two blocks down to 8th Street.
It’s a longstanding tradition with small beginnings.
“The parade really started with Creswell Fire District got a new fire truck, and they were proud of it and they wanted to show the community,” said City Administrator Mark Shrives.
That was more than 30 years ago. And things have changed, to say the least.
“It started out as a small parade but what’s mushroomed into what now brings anywhere from 10 to 15 thousand people, additional people into Creswell. So it’s become a very large event,” Shrives said.
And for city and parade managers, the size now brings about a safety issue.
With the big crowds and the lack of resources, the old route makes it difficult to get emergency services to the 130 homes on the west side of Creswell. That’s why the city came up with the new route.
“The driving force behind moving the parade routes was safety. It’s a safety issue. I’m not sure if a discussion with the public over a safety issue is going to accomplish much,” Shrives said.
But some residents along 10th say the change is a slap in the face.
“We always feel with any major changes even though it’s not like government change or anything like that, but public opinion would have been really appreciated, especially when it affects a lot of people,” said Omar Bowles.
“We plan our whole day around the parade and invite all our friends over from out of town and when we heard about it, we were definitely disappointed,” said Kristin Davis.
Residents say they found out about the change just last week and are still wondering why the public haven’t been notified so that they can plan accordingly. So for now, unlike years past, residents on 10th won’t be able to count on front row seats to the parade this year.