Thursday, May 23, 2013
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
Saturday marked the first time balloons were able to successfully lift off from the Independence airport during the Hop Fest.
October 03, 2012
INDEPENDENCE -- Melissa Hurst said when she learned there would be a parade of pets at the Hop & Heritage Festival, she felt it was the perfect opportunity to showcase the face of her reptile rescue business, Donkey the iguana.
He didn't come alone.
Main Street was brimming with activity Saturday; here the Independence-based Wagon Wheelers perform a square dance.
Hurst and her son, Joey Lumby, also carted along a pouch full of fancy rats and two dachshunds in costume.
When the first Hop & Heritage Festival Critter Parade kicked off Saturday morning, there was no less than 20 dogs, big and small, Hurst's menagerie and even a few chickens.
The block-long procession drew plenty of smiles and laughs from onlookers and participants. And only once did a doggy bag have to be employed.
"I've always liked how they set the Hop Fest up," Hurst said. "And for us to have Donkey with us in a parade makes it exciting."
A few thousand people flocked to Independence on a balmy fall weekend to engage in pie eating contests, square dance, enjoy live music, pig out on a plethora of festival cuisine, and, for a few, sample a brew or two. After all, what's a hop festival without beer?
Erin Grant, 9, of Portland hangs out in her father John's Pacific Roadster Shelby Cobra replica Saturday.
"I think this year they've done a better job advertising it and there's more people drawn to it," said Rachel Carpenter, whose son, husband and two dogs took part in the Critter Parade. "Our little guy likes anything with wheels, so we're going to hit up the lawn mower races and tractor pull."
Noon on Saturday was punctuated by the deep-throated rumble of about 200 Shelby Cobras and Mustangs and other classic cars. The souped-up vehicles lined the bottom of the park and drew hundreds of onlookers.
What could pique their attention further? A loudspeaker announcement: "Can the parking crew please put the Wienermobile near the boat launch?"
As soon as the engine of Oscar Mayer's 30-foot-long frankfurter on wheels was turned off, it was bombarded by kids and even jaded hot rod enthusiasts who wanted to get a closer look.
Randy Marshall of Wamic, right, leads Gary Tucker of Beaverton down the straight in a lawn mower race Saturday afternoon.
Michele Castle, a Monmouth resident, came with her kids and grandkids. Despite living in Monmouth for the last eight years, she only recently learned of the Hop Fest's existence.
"I love it," Castle said. "I like the small-town feel. I'm not even a car person, but I like the Americana of it. Any festival like this, I'll come to.
"My grandson Lane was really crazy to get one of those wiener whistles," she added.