Tuesday, July 5, 2011

There is just something about...

...celebrating July 4th in your hometown. In the 22+ years I have lived in Clatskanie, I have missed only one July 4th celebration. That was last year when I was in Uganda and I celebrated America's independence on a tropical island with a group of other Americans by roasting marshmallows indoors over a big charcoal stove and making our own "fireworks" with confetti poppers. : )

After missing this big holiday in my hometown, this year's Heritage Days celebration seemed all the more special. It was absolutely perfect weather - bright sunshine and blue skies. And I finally got a chance to darken my well-faded Ugandan tan. : )

 Grand Marshals - Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising - the band that put Clatskanie on the "musical map"

"Twelve More Miles to Clatskanie" was the theme for Clatskanie's annual round-up of festivities - the biggest thing that happens here with a full slate of activities that extend over multiple days. The BIG day - July 4th - includes the annual parade, logging show, barbecue, fireworks and more. The 2011 theme was taken from a song by the same name, produced by the band Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising. The tune garnered the most votes in an international Internet-based City Love songwriting contest. Yes, Clatskanie was voted the most-loved city in the universe as it beat out odes written in tribute to much larger cities like Paris, Sydney, Los Angeles and others around the world.

When you cross the Lewis & Clark Bridge spanning Oregon and Washington and prepare to head west - you have only twelve more miles to Clatskanie. It was 8000 miles for me to come home for these three months - and I am enjoying every minute of it. I love this one-stoplight town, nestled in tree-clad hills, where people know your name and your story. It is a cherished place where peace, family, friends, beauty, faith and history are embraced and upheld.

So, I thought I would give you a small glimpse of what makes Clatskanie so special.

Our lovely mayor - Diane Pohl - who is also a Christian, riding in the parade.

"Twelve More Smiles to Clatskanie" - a clever twist on the celebration's theme.

We have everything from horses, to clowns, to classic cars, tractors, walking sandwiches, to Sasquatch in Clatskanie's parade.

Couldn't resist not posting this one "12 More Piles to Clatskanie" - the elected and lucky "pooper-scooper" following the horses. :)
Love those John Deere tractors!

A local church always does a great job of putting the focus back on our Founding Father - God - who established this great nation.

Couldn't have said it much better. : )

Our local emergency vehicles - sirens and all - mark the end of the parade.

After a full day of the parade, logging show, chicken barbecue, live music, games and contests, catching up with friends and neighbors, and more, then comes the grand finale - a great fireworks show. These photos and videos were taken from our deck - where we have a great view of the colorful and spectacular display.

Hope y'all had a blessed and celebration-filled July 4th! 
May God continue to bless America!

P.S. You can get a free download of "Twelve More Miles to Clatskanie" at http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_396891.


  1. That fireworks picture is gorgeous! I usually give up on firework pictures, because I can never get them to turn out well.

    Glad you got to celebrate the fourth in the USA!

  2. Thank you, Mikaela! I have a "fireworks" setting on my camera, so didn't do much but put that one on. :) I hope your family had a good 4th, too.

  3. I hadn't heard about that song--that's really fascinating! There's just something about being in your own hometown celebrating the freedom God has given us that is really special!

  4. Lauren, you can Google the song title to hear it. I am not a big fan of bluegrass music, but I like that Clatskanie has its own song. :) Yes, there is something quite special about celebrating our God-given freedoms in a place and with people you love and cherish. :)

  5. Hello Ruthie ~

    Your blog showed up on my "google alerts" and I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading it and seeing your photographs.

    Any of your readers who would like a free download of "Twelve More Miles to Clatskanie" can get one at http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_3968911

  6. Thank you, Kathy, I am glad you enjoyed the post. I tacked on a note about the free download at the end of the post. :)