The Material Girls of Shady Cove walked away with most of the marbles at the eighth annual Spam Parade held in Shady Cove on Aug. 25. Theme of the annual parade this year was "America Gone Hog Wild."
This year’s parade featured 42 entries, tons of imagination, and some 4,000 people lining the parade route. Near the judges booth, vendors sold a variety of items, including BBQ pork buffalo wings, brisket sandwiches and, of course, Spam Burgers. No summer celebration would be complete without a watermelon and apple pie eating event, and the annual Spam recipe contest has always been a big draw.
Parade entrants came from as far as the San Francisco Bay area and from
Seattle. Event organizer Laura Harms wasn’t sure of the count, but
commented that "there sure were a lot of smiles along Highway 62" as
the parade was in progress. She was particularly happy because Spam
was up against events all around the area. Another local favorite,
Sheriff Mike Winters, was Spam Marshal for the parade, riding in the
traditional red truck reserved for parade marshals.
favorite was young Caleb Layman, whose Spam Bob, Square Pig, a float he
designed and built himself, was awarded third place. For his efforts,
he won $150, considerably more than he has seen at one time during his
Second place in the float category went to Art
Cars of Ashland, a collection of some imaginatively decorated VW bugs.
Art Cars has several local members, but also encouraged those from
California and Washington to join in the event. They won $350, perhaps
enough to pay for their gas for the trip.
dressed in a very convincing costume of Captain Spam Sparrow, complete
with mustache and beard. Capt. Sparrow entered the parade with a small
float that broke down, and had to finish on foot. That only gave her
the opportunity to demonstrate her study of the Capt. Jack Sparrow
character with the distinctive stumble. She even practiced the
mumbling routine of star of Pirates of the Carribean and had it down
perfectly by parade time. Schnabel’s performance was good for first
place and a $500 prize.
The Wild Hogettes of the Material
Girls stole the show, and the $1,000 grand prize. Riding on straw
bales, drinking white lightning from Mason Jars and wearing pig noses,
they had fun, as they do everywhere they go.
Boehm lead the parade with her Spam scepter. Riding with her were a
very stiff-looking Elvis, who must have been resurrected from the open
coffin on the float, and life-long friend Betty Day. Boehm and Day
wore identical red, white and blue dresses as Elvis crooned. Leading
the way on the float was a suspect-looking hog, that strangely
resembled a Rocky Mountain Goat, and guard chickens as part of the
Following the parade, Chaylyn Gray and her
band entertained in the beer garden while patrons enjoyed Spam Burgers,
brisket sandwiches and the newest Two Pines creation, pork buffalo
The event has become a major southern Oregon
event, growing in scope and size each year. Spam festivals span a
large geographic area, but are few in number. In addition to Shady
Cove, only two others, Hawaii and Minnesota, even exist.
Event sponsors include the Aquila Foundation, Two Pines, Avista Utilities and Grey Oaks Development and others.
As usual, now that the weekend is over, plans are already being laid for next year’s event.
By Ralph McKechnie
Of the Independent