June 28, 2001 11:00 pm
 (File photo).
(File photo).

By The Observer

Grab a flag, give it a wave, and join neighbors and friends in celebrating the Fourth of July through a day of good fun, good times and great fireworks.

This year July 4 in Union County promises to be a family-oriented day from beginning to end.

Wake up to pancakes. The Kiwanis Club of La Grande will be serving pancakes, ham, sausage, scrambled eggs, juice and coffee beginning at 7 a.m. at Riverside Park.

Breakfast will be served until 11 a.m. The cost is $4 for adults and $2 for children.

For early risers, and youngsters of all ages, the Mobile Fun Unit will arrive at the park at 9 a.m. for two hours of crafts and fun.

Imbler-Summerville Fourth of July Parade. With a full breakfast under the belt, head out to Imbler in time for the 26th annual Fourth of July parade.

Started as part of the 1976 Bicentennial celebrations, the parade has become a tradition, with little separation between those in the parade and those watching.

Anyone wanting to participate in the parade should be at the Imbler School by 11:30 a.m. The parade will begin and end at the school. Theres no entry fee for the parade, which heads out at noon. Kids, old cars, fire trucks and floats are all welcome.

For information, call the Imbler City Hall, 534-6095.

Afternoon kiddie parade. Dont forget the cameras when its time to head for the Fourth of July Kiddie Parade through the Eastern Oregon University campus.

Sponsored by the La Grande Downtown Development Association, the parade is open to kids of all ages who want to show off their patriotic spirit.

Bicycles, wagons, skates, skateboards, roller blades, battery-operated vehicles and balloons are all welcome, but parade organizers say that horses, other animals, and motorized vehicles should be left at home.

The parade lineup is at 4:30 p.m. on University Boulevard (K Avenue at Eastern), by Loso Hall, so that all entries can be given their numbers.

The parade will begin at 5 p.m., winding along the campus sidewalks toward G Avenue near the football stadium. All participants will be given a small prize at the end of the parade, with special prizes awarded to the most patriotic in three age categories, the most patriotic group, and a grand prize winner.

The awards will be announced at 6:50 p.m. in Community Stadium.

Pre-registering will speed the start of the parade, so call Tanya Abel at 963-3180 or contact her by E-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Community entertainment and fireworks show. After the parade, cross the street to Community Stadium for more fun.

Rides will be available on antique fire trucks, driven by firemen from the La Grande Fire Department and the Volunteer Fire Department, water games organized by the fire department, a ping-pong ball drop and scramble for prizes for children, kids crafts and activities provided by the Parks and Recreations Mobile Fun Unit, and a dunk tank and more games organized by the Union County Safe Kids Coalition.

There will be an antique car and motorcycle display from the Rusty Wheels Car Club and a military vehicle display from the Oregon National Guard.

Lots of food. At the stadium, the LHS Band Boosters, the Salvation Army, the Island City Lions Club and Larry Knapp Cotton Candy will all be set up.

Keep dancing. While the youngsters are busy with games, sit down for a bit, or grab a dancing partner, and listen from 5:30 to 6:50 p.m. to the Mike Mallory Band, playing on a new stage under the video tower on the eastside of the football field at the 50-yard line.

A high-quality sound system has also been contracted to provide clearer, brighter sound.

At 7 p.m., Too Loud MacLeod and the Silencers take the stage for a hour and a half, after which the national anthem will be sung by 2001 La Grande High School graduate Audria Simmonis.

The Nuketown Cowboys, with local fiddler Nolan Murray, bring their music and fun to the stage at 8:30 p.m. and will play until the fireworks start at 10 p.m.

Hiss, boom, ahh. The Fireworks Action Committee, which organizes events at the stadium, is planning a better show than ever to celebrate Americas 225th birthday.

The last two years, the fireworks in La Grande have cost about $7,000. This year, $8,500 has been raised for a more intense show.

The fireworks will still last about 30 minutes, said Bruce Weimer of the La Grande Fire Department.

Weimer said the fireworks committee members ultimate goal is to reach the $10,000 mark, at which point a more sophisticated, computerized firework launching program could be purchased, with the fireworks synchronized to music.

The ultimate goal, Weimer said, is to make this the best fireworks show in Eastern Oregon, Eastern Washington, or Western Idaho and make this a destination show.