REDMOND, OR -- Continued hot temperatures expected through the weekend have led one organization to pull out of Redmond’s annual Fourth of July Parade. Troy Meeder, co-founder and CEO of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, tells KBND its not the first time, but it wasn’t an easy decision. "We’ve got a lot of young kids and mature adults; the horses are ok – it’s tough on them, but the heat is just tough on those kids. Sometimes they can be out there waiting on that float for two or three hours in the sun, and then they’ve also decorated. We just felt like this year, much to our chagrin, that for the health of the kids and some of our older kids who want to be on the floats and the horses, we just felt like we should probably just step aside."
He adds, "We made the mistake a couple of times – at least I think so – of going ahead and doing it, and then having some kids really struggle through the heat and we went ahead and did it anyway. And, we just look back and thought, it’s just tough on them. Again, we could do it, but we were just trying to be wise for everyone involved."
Meeder says they have every intention of returning to the parade next year, and parents have been very supportive of the decision. "Without exception, everyone was just ‘oh my gosh, I totally understand, we’ll see you guys next year.’ So, our parents were thrilled. I’m sure some of the kids were disappointed because they love to be in the parade, love to be on the horses." Crystal Peaks pairs rescued horses with disadvantaged and special needs kids for riding and ranch experience.
Karen Sande with the Redmond Chamber of Commerce says adjustments are being made to the order of parade entries, so that young children and animals are earlier in the parade. She says one other group has pulled out. An antique car club will not be participating due to the heat, since their cars do not have air conditioning, and most participants are senior citizens.
The downtown Redmond Fourth of July Parade
begins at 10 a.m., Saturday. Check-in begins at 8:30, judging is at 9:00. Saturday's highs are predicted to be in the upper 90s.