Friday, June 29, 2018

Corvallis July 4th Parade

The signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919 marked the formal end to World War I.  Veteran Don Beery, who was discharged on July 3 at Fort Washington and arrived back in Oregon the next day, “A grand and glorious Fourth of July.”

Corvallis residents marked this occasion with, according to the Daily Gazette Times, “the most elaborate Fourth of July celebration in history. “  The day began with an immense parade through downtown Corvallis led by Elizabeth Knotts who won the contest to represent the “Goddess of Liberty”.  She was followed by groups of returned soldiers and sailors.  

The parade also featured many floats and decorated cars. The Downtown Girls club featured 3 cars:  one decorated with red roses, one with white daisies and one with blue bachelor buttons. 

July 4, 1919 Corvallis parade
Another winning entry was a series of three cars decorated by the PEO:  Faith, Love, and Purity and Justice. 

A section of the parade was devoted to entries from commercial entries such as that from the Hanson Poultry Farm.
Hanson's Poutry Farm parade float, Corvallis, Oregon
If the over 100 entries had been stretched out, the parade would have been 2 miles long.

The parade was followed by a patriotic program and basket lunch in the city park.  Afternoon events included a band concert and a patriotic address by J. B. Ferguson of Philomath.  Sporting events included a 10-inning baseball game in which the Corvallis cubs defeated a summer school college team 7-6  and races-- sprints, bike races, roller skating races, pony races, an egg race for girls, and a “fat man’s race.” 

The day ended with demonstrations by the Fire Department, a dance, and fireworks. 
By Martha Fraundorf, Volunteer for Benton County Historical Society, Philomath, Oregon

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