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Family, friends reconnect at annual Cascade Days

August 19, 2018

CONCRETE — When Ernie Parker and the rest of the Concrete High School Class of 1978 took to their purple and gold float Saturday for the Cascade Days parade, they didn’t expect to have to evade water balloons.

From the rooftop of a downtown building, two men began bombarding the float with water balloons. Parker, 58, of Lyman fingered them as Billy Goforth and Dave Atwood, two family friends.

“I didn’t know. I was speaking with Dave’s wife yesterday and she said ‘we going to throw balloons, right?’” Parker said.

But he said he didn’t expect them to go through with it.

“I think it was upperclassmen. Like, from the ’60s,” said Jill Jones, 58, of Concrete.

Cascade Days is an annual weekend of events for upper Skagit County residents to celebrate history and reconnect with their community.

Downtown Concrete was filled Saturday with adults and kids eager to watch the parade and join in on community activities.

“It means everything. It brings people out into the community,” said 33-year-old Joshua Maureaux of Concrete.

Moranda Waddington, 32, of Concrete said without community events like Cascade Days, she wouldn’t be able to catch up with old friends like Maureaux. They had not seen each other since high school.

“You get to see people, even if it’s for just a few minutes,” Waddington said. “That’s one of the reasons why small-town get-togethers are so important.”

Aero Skagit, the Concrete High School cheerleaders and football team, the Skagit County Sheriff’s Department, the Carvalho family and Community Bible Church all constructed floats for this year’s parade.

A new flag for the City of Concrete was also unveiled. It was designed by 18-year-old Becky Azure of Concrete, who also sang the national anthem before the parade.

As the fair wrapped up, classic cars began parking on Main Street for the classic car show. A rainbow of Impalas and Chevrolets flooded the streets.

Husband and wife Jerry Kaufman, 79, and Jeri Kaufman, 75, of Burlington danced their way through nearly the whole parade. Classic cars waited to pass as the two danced to doo-wop tunes in the street.

Jerry said they have been dancing for many years and that his first words to Jeri was him asking her to dance.

“My theory is: you listen to the music and you dance to the music,” Jerry said. “It’s that simple.”

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