MONMOUTH/INDEPENDENCE -- Coordinators of Western Days don't seem worried that July 4 falling midweek this year will have much of an impact on the annual event's turnout.
This year's edition will simply add an extra day of festivities in Independence, beginning on on Saturday, July 1 and ending on July 4, a Tuesday. There will be fireworks displays on Hukly 2 and July 4 at the amphitheater in Riverview Park. Both shows will start at 10 p.m.
"It's a little awkward, but it's not the first time it has happened," said Keith Aldrich, co-chair of the Western Days comission and a planner for the past 20 years.
"By starting on the first of July, we get our booths and vendors up and running early, and people a chance to see what's out there."
Keith Aldrich and his wife, Dee, head an 11-member commission which oversees a $30,000 event budget and the 75 community volunteers who make Western Days happen.
Aldrich said he expects this year's celebration to run smoothly, with more than 20,000 attending over the four days.
The grand parade is scheduled for noon on July 4. As usual, it will start near the Western Oregon University campus, wind through downtown Monmouth and into Independence via Monmouth Street.
The July 4 Monmouth Children's Parade begins at 11:15 a.m. at Western. The commission eliminated the Independence Children's Parade because of a lack of participation last year, possibly due to the main parade's presence through the entire length of the town.
Aldrich said the only real planning problem regarding the event this year has been security.
The committee normally contracts with the Independence Police Department to handle most of the crowd and traffic cpntrol during the evening fireworks shows.
With the agency currently low on staffing, the organizers will be forced to hire more security guards, Aldrich said.
For more information on participation in the July 4 parade, call Pam Williams at 503-838-1716. For a schedule of events: www.westerndays.net.