Let’s hear it for Grand Marshall Dan!

Dan Driscoll

The Ocean Park Fourth of July Parade is the funkiest, funnest, flakiest parade ever!  Over the years we’ve clapped and cheered for Bubbles-the-Pig, the Pepsi Truck, candidates for county and state offices, various and sundry marching bands, horses, Okies Shopping Cart Drill Team, Senator Sid Snyder, classic cars and, in 1990-something-or-other, my own parents as Grand Marshalls.  This year will be a bit different.

For starters Bubbles has been re-homed off the Peninsula but I don’t think she’s been clamoring to come, anyway. Okay. Understandable. It’s a long walk for short legs.  But the biggest difference this year will be NO “candidates or political party entries.”  That’s right.  None. The Ocean Park Area Chamber of Commerce who sponsors the parade has so declared.  Wow!  A Fourth of July Parade with limitations on politics.  A curious spin on our Independence Day Celebration – a national institution known since its inception as a time for orations and declarations and displays of political aspirations – no matter the party or affiliation.

Ocean Park Parade 2016 – Fred and Bubbles

I’m sure there are reasons for banning political candidates and incumbents – reasons that someone thought were important.  But, most of us have no idea the why or the what or the who of it.  From what I understand, some politico was way out of line at a previous event, or so some thought, and the Ocean Park Chamber, after much quiet deliberation, decided to separate the parade from the political scene, somehow.  If the letter to the editor in last week’s paper is to be believed (and I’m inclined to do so) the decision was made without input from the community at large.  Bad form!

In an interesting twist, however, the Chamber has chosen Dan Driscoll of Oysterville Sea Farms as Grand Marshall.  I couldn’t be more delighted!  I’m sure that there won’t be a local at the parade who doesn’t know of Dan’s continuing troubles with Pacific County officials.  For seven years he has been the focus of unrelenting assault by our County, despite several court cases which have exonerated him from wrong-doing.

Okie’s Ahopping Cart Drill Team

So maybe the Chamber has changed the parameters of the parade away from the political candidates and toward citizens who appear to be at the mercy of our current elected officials.  An interesting twist.  But it would also be informative if the prospective candidates for office were marching in the parade. Since they are not being given that opportunity, I urge readers to go the AAUW Candidates’ Forum at Ilwaco High School on July 10th from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Or… you could go the Ocean Park Fire Hall at 8:00 a.m. on the morning of July 12th – the regular meeting time of the O.P. Chamber – when they will give candidates an opportunity to speak.   (Wouldn’t it have been easier on everyone to let the candidates march in the parade?)

2 Responses to “Let’s hear it for Grand Marshall Dan!”

  1. Becky says:

    I for one am thrilled we can have ONE day without the politics. I am sick to death of everyone bitching and barking about who did or said what to whom and with whom. It seems some folks aren’t capable of civil discourse and want to take matters into their own hands and ruin a fun family event by turning it into their personal vendetta/forum. Thank you to the Board of Directors of the Chamber for making a tough decision. And no it doesn’t bother me that they didn’t seek the public’s opinion. The Chamber of Commerce is a private organization made up of businesses in the community, not a public entity. So, again, I’m thrilled with the decision to ban politicizing the parade. Enjoy the parade!

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    sydney Reply:

    Becky, I guess your understanding of the reason for our July 4th celebrations is different from mine. Perhaps you have forgotten that it commemorates the day — July 4, 1776 — that the Second Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence, a formal document that laid out the reasons why the 13 original colonies wanted to leave the British Empire and declare themselves a new nation. Declaration of Independence — drafted by a committee that included Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin — announced that decision to the world. The day has been about politics from the very beginning. That we’ve forgotten how to talk with one another civilly is another matter…

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