“What would the Fourth of July be without the traditional parade of kids and bikes, led by the siren-sounding Gerhart Volunteer Fire Department engine?”

So wrote historian Bill Berg, author of “Gearhart Remembered,” who died in May at the age of 82. Berg is gone, but the parade lives on. The annual event, which began as a Kid’s Day Parade on July 4, 1980, returned as the state reopens after more than a year of restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Parade watchers filled the streets early, staking out the best location to view the show, running as in years past on North Marion south to Pacific Way before turning east to the firehouse.

Just after 11 a.m., the engine gave the signal. Mayor Paulina Cockrum waved from the lead engine. The Tiki Bar, hokey-pokey dancers, and Bob McEwan and his donkey, “Pancho,” posed for a thousand pictures. Kids jostled for taffies and Tootsie Pops, sometimes fighting off their parents.

Final destination: the firehouse, where families lined up for hot dogs courtesy of Gearhart firefighters.

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