Even the threat of historically high temperatures didn’t keep the spectators or participants away from the Fourth of July festivities last weekend.
Thousands of people took to the streets throughout the county to enjoy parades, carnivals, festivals, barbecues — and of course, fireworks.
It takes a lot of people to make this event happen, from the volunteers who plan all year to the members of the Monmouth Independence Rotary Club — sponsors each year of the grand parade.
It’s surprising the more you pause and look around. You see the nearly 100 Polk County Emergency Response Team volunteers on corners directing spectators and managing crowds.
So many people worked all day in the heat of the weekend so that others could celebrate.
First responders were out in force, with many faces from Dallas, Monmouth and Independence police departments as well as from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office all around Monmouth and Independence — where the population at least doubles during the Fourth of July weekend.
It was great to see deputies and Dallas officers helping out their neighbors with patrols, setting up or directing traffic — whatever was needed to keep the public safe and secure while having a good time. We know many first responders would rather have a holiday with their families, and appreciate the sacrifice they and their families make.
We think some who work in our local government offices could take some notes from how well our law enforcement and first responder agencies work together.
As the dust settles on the Fourth of July weekend festivities, the momentum is really picking up for Dallas’ Summerfest. In between that, Cycle Oregon will be visiting the Monmouth-Independence area. Summer in Polk County is definitely at full throttle.
As you plan your vacations and events, remember the volunteers that make it happen. Say thank you and be respectful.
Better yet, ask them how you can help. Getting involved in organizing or executing these events is a great way to not only help your community, but seeing the satisfaction of everyone enjoying your hard work is priceless.
There is always need of volunteers for these events — and year-round.
The best part is: more hands make for light work.
To find ideas of where to volunteer, check our website and search volunteer listings at www.polkio.com, or the websites for the cities of Dallas, Independence or Monmouth.