VANCOUVER — In support of area students and in celebration of the region’s historical diversity, the National Park Service, Evergreen School District, and Vancouver School District are proud to present the annual Children’s Culture Parade at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site on Fri., May 19.
The Children’s Culture Parade begins at 10:15 a.m. just north of Pearson Air Museum (1115 East 5th Street, Vancouver) 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 into the national park’s reconstructed Fort Vancouver (1001 East 5th Street, Vancouver).
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 Tim Leavitt, Superintendent Fortmann, and school district leaders will lead the parade through Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, one of 417 units of the National Park System.
Once the students enter the reconstructed fort, 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 a.m. inside the reconstructed fort. The entry fee will be waived for the event, which is scheduled to conclude at 11:45 a.m.
“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.”
The community is encouraged to line the parade route and cheer on the parade participants. Ideal viewing areas are along the Park Road or the pathway leading from East 5th Street into the reconstructed fort.
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 Boulevard and on East 5th Street. 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 a.m. to 11:40 a.m.
Information provided by Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.