2019 parade

The bike patrol in Gearhart is decked out in red, white and blue at the 2019 Independence Day Parade.

After canceling the annual Memorial Day Fireman’s Ball early this month, Gearhart officials held out hope on the city’s annual Fourth of July parade. That hope was dashed Tuesday morning as staff announced the parade cancellation due.

“Obviously it’s disappointing that our parade has to be cancelled this year due to COVID-19,” Mayor Matt Brown said. “But the health and safety of our residents and visitors is our top priority and the state’s orders about large gatherings need to be followed.”

The annual event, from Eighth Street and North Marion Avenue to the firehouse on Pacific Way, began as a “kid’s parade” on Independence Day in 1980, Bill Berg wrote in “Gearhart, Remembered.”

“The parade included both adults and children, some in costume appropriate to Independence Day, many waving flags; there was an odd fire truck, classic car and police car as well.”

The parade was “enthusiastically repeated the following year, and the year after,” he wrote. 

In later years, motorized vehicles were banned for safety reasons.

At recent parades, surreys and trikes wheeled by, along with the Tiki bar float and rescue dog brigades. Bob McEwan, the patriarch of Gearhart, rode in the cart behind Pancho, the proud red-white-and-blue bedecked donkey.

The 2019 hometown walking parade was the largest to date.

As in years past, firefighters served hot dogs and beverages to visitors.

“I will definitely miss seeing everyone, throwing candy for the kids, and getting a hot dog with our volunteer firefighters,” Brown said. “I’m hoping the parade will be back next year better than ever.”

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