RIDGEFIELD, Wash. – Who says you can’t go home?
Seventy years in business calls for celebrating and reflecting on one’s roots, and U-Haul was able to do both over Fourth of July weekend in the city where it originated in 1945 at the Carty family ranch.
Residents from all over Clark County gathered to celebrate America’s independence by taking part in Ridgefield’s July 4 festival steeped in more than 100 years of tradition. An estimated 5,000 spectators donning red, white and blue lined Pioneer Avenue to watch this year’s parade, which focused on American landmarks.
U-Haul was front and center, too.
There were bands, dancers, classic cars and likenesses of the Statue of Liberty and Mt. Rushmore in the parade, along with a U-Haul truck featuring the classic SuperGraphic for the Evergreen state: Ridgefield, Washington – Birthplace of U-Haul.
Dan Flatten, marketing company president (MCP) of U-Haul Company of Eastern Oregon, and his team jumped on board as soon as they heard that U-Haul would be participating.
From start to finish, it was a job well done. U-Haul Team Members from the corporate towers in Phoenix, Kar-Go Decal, Portland RERS (Shop 180) and everyone else involved helped make it possible for U-Haul to become part of the longstanding Ridgefield Fourth of July celebration.
Joining Flatten for the parade were his wife, Anna, and their daughter, Rylee.
“I was honored to participate in this year’s Ridgefield Fourth of July parade, and to represent U-Haul Company’s celebration of our 70th anniversary,” Flatten said.
Also there from U-Haul Company of Eastern Oregon were field relief manager Stephen Althaus, reservation manager Christina Torres, and their daughters, Amelia and Soledad; marketing company storage manager Robert Meade, and his wife, Linda; and general manager for U-Haul Moving and Storage of Hazel Dell, Brett Grover, his wife, Omni, and their sons, Kylan and Emmitt.
Team U-Haul, dressed in 70th anniversary gear, passed out American flags to spectators along the route. The flags were a hit, and the team quickly went through all 3,000.
“As we walked the parade route handing out American flags, I felt an overwhelming sense of pride from the community, not only in our country, but in U-Haul as well,” Flatten declared.
John and Lori Yarger, U-Haul Team Members from Shop 180, took great photographs of U-Haul participants, other Ridgefield parade entries and spectators long the route.
“Ridgefield is not just a town – it is a community of nearly 6,000 men, women and children pulling together to live the American dream the best way they know how,” Yarger said. “Family is important to U-Haul and to Ridgefield. To watch U-Haul and this community celebrate our independence … it fills one with pride to know we are a part of this rich history.”
Did you attend the Fourth of July Parade in Ridgefield or another town? Please tell us about your experience or holiday tradition in the comment box below.