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Contact: Bob Cromwell, (360) 816-6253In support of local students and in celebration of the region's historical diversity, the National Park Service, the Evergreen School District, and the Vancouver School District are proud to present the annual Children's Culture Parade at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site on Friday, May 11, 2018. The Children's Culture Parade begins at 10:15 am just north of Pearson Air Museum (1115 East 5th Street, Vancouver, WA 98661) and continues north on East Reserve Street, turning west on Evergreen Boulevard, and finally turning south to follow the Park Road across East 5th Street straight into the national park's reconstructed Fort Vancouver (1001 East 5th Street, Vancouver, WA 98661).
The parade will include marching bands from local schools and over 1,500 third and fourth grade students celebrating the community's diversity. "These students have worked hard for months in their classrooms to study cultures from around the globe while rediscovering their family's and their community's cultural heritage," said Fort Vancouver National Historic Site Superintendent, Tracy Fortmann.
City of Vancouver Mayor, Anne McEnerny-Ogle, Superintendent Fortmann, and school district leaders will lead the parade through Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, one of 419 units of the National Park system.
Once the students enter the reconstructed stockade, National Park Service volunteers will greet visitors wearing 1840s traditional clothing, highlighting Vancouver's diverse past.
The entire procession will assemble in the courtyard in front of the reconstructed Chief Factor's House to hear music and brief remarks from the mayor, superintendent, dignitaries, and featured students. Music will be provided by the Vancouver Community Concert Band, under the direction of Erin Hanson. The public is encouraged to join the students, mayor and other dignitaries at 11:00 am inside the reconstructed fort. The entry fee will be waived for the event which is scheduled to conclude at 11:45 am.
"Over 170 years ago, Fort Vancouver stood as the center of cultural diversity in the Pacific Northwest," said Fortmann, "so it is very appropriate that we continue to celebrate our diversity here, in this nationally significant place--our national park. This event best exemplifies how this national park belongs to everyone, and it's a special opportunity for each student to celebrate diversity with family, classmates, and our supportive community at one of our national treasures," Fortmann said.
The community is encouraged to line the parade route and cheer on the children from the local school districts. Ideal viewing areas are along the Park Road or the pathway leading from East Fifth Street into the reconstructed stockade.
Public parking is available within the park and surrounding areas. Due to road closures on the east entrances to the park to accommodate the parade, it is recommended that visitors enter from the northwest corner of the park on Fort Vancouver Way. Parking is available at designated parking lots on Evergreen Blvd. and on East 5th Street. Additional parking is also available at the NPS Visitor Center and at the Reconstructed Fort parking lot, however for parade route safety, both of these parking lots will be closed to incoming and outgoing vehicular traffic from 9:00 am to 11:40 am.
What: Children’s Culture Parade
Where: Parade begins at Pearson Air Museum (1501 E. 5th Street), heads north on east Reserve Street, west on Evergreen Boulevard, south on the park road, and ends at the reconstructed Fort Vancouver (1001 E. 5th Street).
When: Friday, May 11, 10:00 AM-12:00 PM