Bykes for Tykes (copy)

DEC. 14, 2014 — South Coast Bykes for Tykes toy run was coordinated by Walt and Sandy Evans of Coos Cycle Supply in Coos Bay. This year Walt has volunteers his groups' services to help with the Bay Area Fun Festival Parade.

COOS BAY — When Coos Cycle Supply owner, Walter Evans, looks back on the Bay Area Fun Festival, he remembers taking home every prize for a float in 2004.

Though he won’t have a float in the festival this year, he is still helping out with the September 21 and 22 event.

Not only is there a parade in Coos Bay’s largest festival of the year, but the Prefontaine Memorial Run, a free run for children on Sunday, Cruz the Coos Car Show, and a mall market on Central Avenue with almost 100 vendors alongside a food court which will stay open over that weekend.

“People involved in the parade will start checking in at 10 a.m. that Saturday,” said Holly Boardman, executive director of the Coos Bay Downtown Association. “The parade starts at 1 p.m. next to the Coos Bay Post Office and winds itself through downtown Coos Bay.”

She pointed out that last year there were 50 parade participants comprised of groups from bands to political parties.

“Combined with the other events going on at the same time, we end up having a lot of people coming in from all over,” she said.

For Evans, founder of the charity event Bikes for Tykes, the Fun Festival is just another place where he likes to volunteer.

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“That float from 2004,” he remembered with a laugh. “It was a killer float.”

The theme from that year was “Come to the Shore,” which he used to fill up a 40-foot flatbed. On a blue tarp, he put a drift boat with his grandkids inside holding fishing poles. Crab pots hung down the side of the flatbed and four-and-a-half painted cardboard crabs decorated throughout.

“We built a fake dock and put down crate paper with sand,” he said. “One grandkid stood there with rain gear on digging for clams. There was also a whale’s tail coming out of the water. It was really neat.”

Evans pointed to his volunteer work as his way of being part of a community where he grew up as a poor kid and wants to use his time now to give back.

“Even though (Coos Cycle Supply) is a smaller shop, we like doing things like this,” he said. “We’re a good group that like to help out.”

For more information on the upcoming Bay Area Fun Festival, visit coosbaydowntown.org/bay-area-fun-festival.

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Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or by email at jillian.ward@theworldlink.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JE_Wardwriter.