BROWNSVILLE — Tracey Manning of Brownsville talked to six of her grandchildren and spread beach towels on the curb along Main Street on Friday afternoon, just before the start of the Linn County Pioneer Picnic Kiddie Parade.

“You have to be right up here if you want to get your candy,” Manning explained.

Her grandchildren are usually in the parade, but due to summer camps, such as a girls basketball camp at Oregon State, they weren’t prepared enough this year. So three generations of her family came to cheer for friends.

“It’s fun to watch the kids, because we know a lot of them,” said Christy Manning, Tracey Manning’s daughter-in-law.

Then there’s the nostalgia factor for the adults.

“I used to ride my bike in the parade, with streamers. It’s all about the popsicle at the end,” said Brandy Gaskey of Shedd, Tracey Manning’s daughter.

Family members said that they like the Pioneer Picnic Grand Parade, as well, but the Kiddie Parade is short and sweet. The event, which included youth cheerleaders, kids on bikes, children dressed as pioneers and more, took about 10 minutes or so.

For many residents, the annual Kiddie Parade is a family tradition.

Cathy Ader grew up in Brownsville, and participated as a Brownie and Girl Scout. Then her children took part in the event. Then her grandchildren.

On Friday, four of her great grandchildren won the sweepstakes award for their small wagon floats, which depicted Kirks Ferry in miniature and the Brown & Blakely Store, the first shop in the Brownsville area.

The children, who are from Creswell and Springfield, also dressed as the Brownsville pioneers who ran the ferry and store.

“I love parades,” Ader said. “Growing up with it, this is a small town, so it’s a big deal.”

Ader and her family will be participating in the Grand Parade, which starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Their floats for that event will have a similar theme, only they’ll be much larger.

Kyle Odegard can be reached at, 541-812-6077 or via Twitter @KyleOdegard.


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