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Lighting a few small fireworks before the parade begins

We have developed a family tradition of attending the 4th of July parade at Taholah, a tiny town, about 25 miles north of Ocean Shores. The parade is part of the week long celebration in honor Chief Taholah and the signing of a treaty in 1855. The town, with a population of 850 people, is the seat of government for the Quinault Nation. Taholah itself is located at the “end of the road.” The road goes up the beach as far as the Quinault River and basically that is as far as you can go, you must have tribal permission to cross the Chow Chow bridge over the river, if you dare.

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Chow Chow bridge across the Quileute River

Small fireworks are allowed on the river bank and Raven and Seneca had a chance to set off smoke bombs and bottle rockets before the parade began.

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Shooting a bottle rocket

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Backing off from a smoke bomb

The parade lasts about ten minutes and you never have to worry about getting a good viewing spot. There are no marching bands or baton twirlers, but there are lots of kids and friendly banter and the big draw is CANDY. Flatbed trailers are decorated and large wooden canoes are filled with children who throw candy to spectators. Cars and vans are decorated as well and the local fire engine is always included.

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Decorated van pulls a canoe

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Giving out beaded necklaces

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Kloocjman Family Float

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Quileute warriors carry the canoe the on final leg of the parage

Included in the celebration are a salmon dinner and canoe races, and more but Seneca and Raven are eager to get home to sort their candy.
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Larger fireworks can be sold but not ignited in the area and we saw collections in boxes selling for $400. The larger explosives can be lit at Ocean Shores and the sky above the beach there was bright with colorful pin pricks of light well into the night last night. Seneca and I watched from the upstairs bedroom while Ted and Raven were at the beach watching up close.

We did ask Raven and Seneca why the 4th of July is celebrated and they could give good school book answers, but for them it was about the candy and the fireworks.