Benton County Pioneer Life

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Pioneer life in the Benton Co. WA area

Author rode in 1st Parade/Recent Parade is Praised

Tri-City Pioneer
Sunday, 2 September 1962, page 8

The Old Pioneer and his brother Charley rode in Kennewick’s first parade July 4, 1890, which celebrated the admission of the state of Washington to the Union Nov. 11, 1889. It marked the first appearance of Washington’s star in the national flag. Pasco and Kennewick business men held a joint celebration at Kennewick. There were no floats, no queens and no princesses in those early days. The ladies and girls were all busy preparing food for the multitude.

Pasco’s small brass band made up in endurance what it lacked in musical ability. It played its instruments continually, except when it members took food and liquid refreshments.

Capt. Charles E. Lum, the builder and proprietor of Kennewick’s new hotel, donated a large new flag which was raised on a high flag pole that he and Charlie Aune had erected across the street from the hotel.

Kennewick had not one shade tree then large enough to cast a shadow. There was nothing but sagebrush, sand and salt grass. Total buildings in the settlement would not exceed a dozen. It is hard for the present-day resident of the Tri-City region to visualize the conditions that existed 72 years ago and the progress that has been made here since.

Concerning the recent parade and the smoothness of its operations, I have never seen anything to equal it. Those in charge are to be complimented on their efforts. Did you ever see a parade keep moving as it did? In pagentry, beauty, mirth and horse flesh, I have never seen its equal.

It warms the heart of an old buckaroo to behold the results of modern horse breeders. We had nothing in the early days that could compare with these wonderful horses.

There are few parades that are not stopped by breakdowns or where some child does not wander from its elder’s care nor where some performer does not try to gain more than his share of the spotlight. The clown and his motorcycle was a scream. He really made you feel that the old red motorcycle was alive and fighting and bucking him at every turn. He did not overdo his act. He kept everyone in a quiver of expectation when his unruly mount would try to buck him off again. It was one of the most clever pieces of clowning I have ever witnessed. Not too much, not too little, just right, absolutely perfect.

The spirits of the floats were admirable conceived. They were artistically constructed and beautifully decorated with flowers and accentuated by feminine pulchritude. (some flowery speech, is it not?) The entire crowd, the paraders and viewers were in a holiday spirit of mirth and enjoyment.

The police are to be congratulated in the manner in which they handled the crowd. They were always pleasant and impressed everyone that they had confidence in each citizen’s desire and ability to do that which was right. There must have been some experienced heads in the management of this celebration.

The equestrian portion of this parade concluded its performance as is should and not lead it as is so often the procedure. Everyone can be proud of the parade and the part they had in it. It was beautiful and instructive and inspiring.

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