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Contact: Bobby Gutierrez, Park Ranger, 360-953-1905
The Children's Cultural Parade begins at 10:15 am at the national park's Pearson Air Museum (1115 E. Fifth Street, Vancouver, WA 98661) and continues north on E. Reserve Street, turning west on Evergreen Boulevard, and finally turning south to follow the Park Road across E. Fifth Street straight into the national park's reconstructed fur trade-era stockade (1001 E. Fifth Street, Vancouver, WA 98661).
The parade will include school marching bands and over 1,600 third grade students celebrating the community's diversity. "These school children have worked hard for months of classroom instruction and studied cultures from around the globe while rediscovering their family's and their community's cultural heritage," said Tracy Fortmann, Superintendent.
City of Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt, Superintendent Fortmann, and other school district leaders will lead the parade throughout Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, one of 401 units of the National Park System.
Once the students enter the reconstructed stockade, National Park Service volunteers will greet visitors wearing 1840's traditional clothing, highlighting Vancouver's diverse past. A ten-piece group from the Vancouver Community Concert Band, under the direction of Dr. Jim Rourk, will provide music inside the reconstructed stockade. The entire procession will rest on the lawn in front of the reconstructed Chief Factor's House to hear music and brief remarks from the mayor, superintendent, dignitaries, and featured students.
The public is strongly encouraged to join the students, mayor and 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.
"We encourage families, friends, and supporters to bring chairs and cheer on the kids of our community," said Bobby Gutierrez, Park Ranger. "An ideal viewing area is anywhere along the Park Road or the pathway leading from E. Fifth Street into the reconstructed stockade."
Students, spectators, and all members of the public are also invited to visit Pearson Air Museum, now free of charge and open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.