Triumphant Return Planned for Kiddie Capers Parade

After nearly two years without a major community parade — the last one on record being Light Up the Night in December 2019 — the tradition will return in fine fashion with the Canby Kiwanis Kiddie Capers Parade on Aug. 17.

The youngster-led parade has been the traditional kickoff for the Clackamas County Fair since at least 1948 — and possibly even earlier — interrupted only by Covid-19 in 2020.

Along with the fair itself, the parade is back this year, and organizers are hoping children from all over Clackamas County will participate with their families.

“Canby Kiwanis encourages kids to dress in costume and walk, or ride a decorated bike, or for families and neighborhoods to create their own decorated floats,” said parade chair Luana Hill. “It’s a sweet, old-fashioned parade.”

Children are especially encouraged to dress and decorate with this year’s fair theme in mind: “Back in the Saddle.” Kiwanis awards first, second, and third place ribbons and, in some categories, cash prizes for participants.

A picture of what is believed to be the first-ever Canby Kiddie Capers Parade, in 1934, during the Great Depression. Photo courtesy the Canby Historical Society.

All participating kiddos receive ribbons, and they and an accompanying adult will net a free ticket for entry into the fair (while supplies last). Hill told The Canby Current Kiwanis reserves 1,400 tickets each year — and usually runs out. The ticket will be good until 1 p.m. Aug. 17.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. Tuesday at the corner of Northwest 5th and North Fir in Canby — near Knight and Eccles schools. Registration is required in order to participate.

All entries should be in their category area by 9 a.m. when judging begins. The parade steps off at 10 a.m. and arrives to open the fair before 11 a.m.

A parent or guardian must sign for their child. For convenience, large groups may want to print the registration form from the Canby Kiwanis website and fill it out in advance.

Major construction is going on at Knight and Eccles elementary schools, where the parade starts. This year, the playgrounds are not accessible and registration tables will be in the street.

Jimmy Nieland and Vicki Oliver particpate in the 1954 Kiddie Caper. Photo courtesy the Canby Historical Society.

Canby Kiwanis will also be hosting its traditional bike decorating event from 3 to 5 p.m. Aug. 16 in Wait Park. Kids can bring their bikes to decorate at no cost. Kiwanis is unable to provide overnight storage this year due to the school construction project, so participants will need to take decorated bikes home overnight.

There will be lots of flowers, streamers, and fun one-of-a-kind items to make for a festive parade.

“We in Kiwanis are hoping to have our biggest turnout in years,” Hill said. “We sense a lot of enthusiasm for fun things to do with kids, and the fair always offers a great family experience.”

For more details and registration forms, visit

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