Othello celebrates America

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Emry Dinman/Columbia Basin Herald - A star-spangled girl scoots her way downEast Main Street at the Fourth of July parade in Othello Wednesday.

When joggers wiped off the sweat from their 5k, 10k or 1-mile long Freedom Fun Runs, and yoga in the park finished stretching on, with a late-morning breakfast courtesy of the Othello Rotary club well digested, folks in Othello got down to serious business: parading down Main street.

The parade began at 10 a.m., and it seemed like every one of Othello’s 8,000 residents showed up to watch as fire trucks, police cars, floats and antique automobiles fanned down East Main Street. A police siren signaled to marchers that the time had come and five veterans heading the parade, local members of the Othello’s Robert F. Wiley Post No. 8889, began their march.

The parade was a sea of red, white and blue. Young bicyclists rode forward wearing hats, shirts, pants and socks all designed to look like the Star-Spangled Banner, while also waving anywhere from one to three American flags. The Othello High School cheer team danced and sang their way down the street, followed shortly by young women involved with AIM School and Gymnastics cartwheeling and spinning themselves on a high beam-mounted float.

Vintage cars carried area children down Main Street, and at least one kid rode shotgun in a police vehicle, waving at spectators while his chauffeur piped out Inner Circle’s “Bad Boys.” A handful of politicians, their cars decked out in election posters, joined area businesses and organizations in tossing candy to those lined along the sidewalk.

Children dashed into the street to gather up the celebratory lollipops and taffies, smiles splitting their faces. One or two adults may have done the same.

The parade ended a little over an hour later with the raising of the flag and a stirring rendition of the national anthem. Kids’ games and a pie eating contest followed from 1 p.m. onwards, with music and a performance by magician Joe Black spilling out into the late evening. The flag was lowered at 8 p.m., and fireworks were lit off at dusk.

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