A fixture in the local high school athletics scene will be honored in this year’s 74th annual Kiddle Capers Parade, which will continue its role as the traditional kick-off for the Clackamas County Fair next week.
The parade of youngsters, which will wind its way through downtown Canby toward the fairgrounds starting at 10 a.m. Tuesday, August 16, comes with an added bonus for participating kids, parents and guardians: a ticket for free admission to the fair, good on opening day as supplies last.
This year’s grand marshals for the Kiddie Capers Parade will be the school bus drivers of the Canby School District. Kiwanians say they want to show appreciation for their work transporting our students safely to school and activities.
And, a special appreciation award will go to longtime athletics bus driver Jim Barr, affectionately known as “Jimbo” by the students, for his attention to each student, cheering on the many teams he has transported over the years and being a positive light in their lives.
Barr will receive a plaque in appreciation for his service to the community.
“Our vision is that Kiwanis will be a positive influence in communities worldwide — so that one day, all children will wake up in communities that believe in them, nurture them and provide the support they need to thrive,” said Kiwanis President Angela Baker.
“We feel that Jim is a shining example of positive influence on the youth in Canby, making our community a place where children can thrive.”
Jim and Sue Barr graduated from Clackamas High School and operated a successful landscaping business in Wilsonville and Washington state before moving to Canby. Jim was, um, volunteered for the new gig 11 years ago by his loving wife.
“Sue was driving a school bus in Canby and signed me up,” Jim recalled.
That’s not to say he wasn’t interested in the job.
“I wanted to be a bus driver because I saw it as a chance to impact people’s lives,” he said. “More than ever, kids today need encouragement, a familiar face and an additional person in their lives to talk to. Just someone to be there for them.”
While Jim’s presence behind the wheel is a critical component of Canby athletics; for many students, the most memorable role he plays is that of enthusiastic fan.
“When I was young, my parents rarely could come to my games and activities,” he explained. “As a parent of three, I was determined to be a support at their activities by attending and cheering on our kids and their friends whenever possible.
“As a bus driver, I rediscovered the joy of cheering on kids of all ages in their activities. Getting to know coaches and students and parents has brought me full circle. I hope the kids, parents and coaches know what a privilege and blessing it is for me to be a small part of their lives. I believe I have the best job around and intend to be busy at it for years to come. Go Cougs!”
Free registration for the Kiddie Capers Parade begins at 8 a.m. behind Knight Elementary School, located at NW 5th Avenue and North Fir Street. Judging of costumed and decorated entries begins at 9 a.m.
Once the parade takes off at 10 a.m., it takes a half-hour to an hour to wind its way through downtown Canby and enter the Locust Street gate of the fairgrounds.
“We are excited for the community to think like a kid to create costumes and decorate a bike or wagon, or put together a float, and join the fun,” Baker said. “We especially like to see entries with the fair’s theme, which is ‘See the Old and the New in 2022.'”
Canby Kiwanis will hold a free bike decorating workshop in the covered area of Knight School from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, August 15. Bikes can be locked in the gym overnight once they are decorated and picked up in time for the judging.
Canby Kiwanis will award cash prizes and ribbons to winners in the walking, biking, wheeled and animal categories. Winners in the float and marching group categories will receive ribbons.
Helmets are required when riding bikes, trikes, scooters and similar conveyances in the parade. No motorized go-karts, motorbikes or similar vehicles are allowed. All animals must be leashed, harnessed, or on halters.
Political campaigning is not permitted, although current officeholders may participate as representatives of their governmental office.
Canby Kiwanis encourages participants — especially large groups like preschools and dance studios — to fill out their registration forms in advance. Every participant must have a responsible adult sign a waiver, and adult participants must also register.
For more information, visit canbykiwanis.org.
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