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Memories of Watching the Merrykhana Parade

In 1964 when I was ten years old, I watched the Merrykhana Parade with my parents on the westside. The Portland Buckaroos Hockey team had won the Lester Patrick Cup of the old western Hockey League, and they were in the parade on a float with the Cup in the center of it, decorated with greenery (ferns, laurels, arborvitae and camellias) up to their chests. Someone also got a keg of beer on the float, too, and they appeared to imbibe quite a bit of it along the parade route. I recall the temperature was about 75 degrees that evening as the Buckaroos proceeded to relieve themselves in the greenery of the float. By the time they passed by my family and me, they were all waving at the crowd with both hands while steam was pouring out of the greenery.

Portland was a lot more casual in those days...

In another Merrykahana Parade two or three years later, Canada Dry soda put a camel in the parade with their logo on it. The parade was over the Broadway Bridge that year, and when the camel saw the water it kicked its handler (who was walking with it) aside, ran back the whole length of the parade route and ended up in Emanuel Hospital's parking lot.

I was at the last Merrykhana Parade in 1972, which got it cancelled until 1976 [a new night parade -- the Starlight Parade -- started in 1976]. It was an open riot with beer bottles and firecrackers being thrown into the parade. I actually saw transom windows on office buildings being turned sideways and garbage cans full of water poured on the people watching the parade. A lot of letters to the editor in The Oregonian and Oregon Journal got the parade stopped.

~Doug Neville



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I' m currently blogging for the sake of a (impoverished) living instead of someone else... but I like it. You' ve inspired me to coop up doing it, and look to doing it on account of myself a moment