The National Park Service and the Evergreen and Vancouver School Districts will celebrate our region’s diverse cultural heritage at the 12th annual Children’s Culture Parade at Fort Vancouver on Friday, May 19. The parade begins at 10:15 a.m. at the Pearson Air Museum (1115 E. Fifth St.) and will continue north on E. Reserve St., turning west on Evergreen Blvd. and finally turning south to follow the Park Road across E. Fifth St. straight into Fort Vancouver’s reconstructed fur trade-era stockade. There is no admission fee—it is being waived for this event—and the public is encouraged to attend. Ideal viewing areas are along the Park Road or the pathway leading from East 5th St. into the reconstructed fort.
The parade will include school marching bands and over 1,500 third-grade students celebrating the community’s diversity. Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt, Park Superintendent Tracy Fortmann, and other school district leaders will lead the parade throughout Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. Once the students enter the reconstructed stockade, National Park Service volunteers will greet visitors wearing 1840s traditional 1840s clothing, highlighting Vancouver’s diverse past. A ten-piece group from the Vancouver Community Concert Band 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 event will conclude at 11:45 a.m.
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 St. Additional parking is also available at the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center and at the reconstructed fort’s parking lot. However, for parade route safety, both of these parking lots will be closed to incoming and outgoing vehicular traffic from 9 to 11:40 a.m.
For more information, visit www.nps.gov/fova/index.htm.
Above image: courtesy of Vancouver Public Schools