No Parade, No Problem: Canby Celebrates Fourth in Style

It was not a “quiet night” by any stretch, but the emergency calls were much lighter than had been anticipated as Canby observed a Fourth of July holiday with no city-sponsored celebration or parade — but with plenty of fireworks.

With no Canby Fire-sanctioned fireworks show or other community events, first responders were on duty in higher numbers and on high alert, expecting there to be a huge increase in the numbers of, um, un-sanctioned aerial displays throughout the area.

And there definitely was that, as booms rattled the urban and rural areas until well into the night. But Canby Fire reported Sunday that there were few serious issues.

Isaiah Pemberton, age 8, still had plenty of fun on the Fourth of July in Canby. Photo courtesy Carol-Jean Williams Pemberton.

The largest call was a 400-square-foot outbuilding that burned at a residence on North Manzanita Street shortly after 2:30 a.m. Division Chief Matt English told the Canby Now Podcast it was fully involved when crews arrived on scene, and a trailer, shed and common fence on a neighboring property were also damaged in the blaze.

Though the cause is still under investigation, it does not appear to have been fireworks-related, English said.

An accidental cardboard fire that was started by improper disposal of fireworks burned in a Dumpster at The Orchards apartment complex on South Pine, he added — damage estimated at $500 — but no injuries or other serious issues on a night when emergency officials had feared the worst.

When asked, by text, what he thought when he heard the booms going off all over town Saturday night, he didn’t hesitate: “Sounded like the Fourth of July 😃.”

On the CNP‘s Facebook page, residents shared videos of dazzling aerial fireworks shows in north and south Canby.

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“Thank you, Canbyites, for a spectacular show,” said resident Theresa Redford on Facebook. “I never imagined being told we had to hunker down and everything is canceled would lead to the best pyrotechnics show ever!”

Such pyrotechnics, which are illegal in Oregon, clearly hadn’t been purchased at local fireworks stands — but they all sold out anyway. That included the Canby Music Boosters’ tent on Highway 99E, whose treasurer, Rebecca Wright, reported that they were completely out of inventory by mid-afternoon Saturday.

Aerial fireworks displays dazzled residents across the Canby area. Photo courtesy Katherine Larsen Budiao.

“Sold out!” she said on Facebook. “Best. Year. Ever. Thank you, Canby!”

It was also the best weekend ever for a special, red-white-and-blue-themed iteration of the Canby Farmers’ Market, which reported record attendance on a day that — in normal years — they wouldn’t have been open at all, because of the parade route and competition from Canby’s Independence Day Celebration in nearby Wait Park.

“I didn’t have a counter yesterday,” organizer Alexis Purcell said, explaining why she didn’t have an estimate on attendance. “But I know vendors did VERY well.”

In the middle of it, the greatest entry in the history of Independence Day parades made a dramatic reappearance, as local resident Julie Bello again donned the family’s bald eagle costume and hopped on the back of the beflagged motorcycle driven by her husband, Alex.

“We just decided to do a one-vehicle parade,” she said.

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