Charleston Parade

Sam Greer wears a pair of inflatable shoes as he waits Saturday with his dog Brandy for the start of the Funky Fishy Flim-Flam Parade in Charleston. The town celebrated a newly completed crosswalk and island along Cape Arago Highway with a parade and kelp cutting ceremony.

CHARLESTON — Folks marched down Boat Basin Road on Saturday wearing tropical clothing, bright, colorful leis and smiling from ear to ear as they made their way down to the new “Islands of Charleston” in the first ever “Funky Fishy Flim-Flam Parade.”

“We’re a friendly fishing town that knows how to have fun,” said Mel Campbell with the Charleston Visitor Center. “Today we did a ribbon cutting for our new islands the only way we knew how — the Charleston way.”

Margery Whitmer, from left, Linda Koepke and Connie Green sit Saturday on the single float featured in the Funky Fishy Flim-Flam Parade in Cha…

Campbell, who was joined by the Charleston Merchants Association, the Charleston Visitor Center and Furry Friends Therapy Dogs as well as dozens of community members, celebrated the town’s newest safety crosswalk with a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony.

Using washed up sea kelp and a chainsaw, the “ribbon” was cut and folks were encouraged to safely use the new crosswalk, which is surrounded by pedestrian islands, on Cape Arago Highway.

The folks in Charleston have been asking for a crosswalk for years, said Campbell. We have a lot of drivers who speed through this area and for the longest time we didn’t feel safe crossing it, she added.

In November, the Oregon Department of Transportation worked on safety improvements in Charleston with some financial assistance from the county. In addition to the crosswalk, ODOT also installed a speed reading board for its downtown area.

With the parade and ceremony completed, community members scattered around town exploring Charleston’s numerous shops and restaurants as part of the Charleston Merchants Association annual Customer Appreciation Day.

People gather Saturday at Boat Basin Road and Cape Arago Highway for the Funky Fishy Flim-Flam Parade in Charleston.

Throughout the day, a number of businesses offered visitors a variety of discounts and specials including the Charleston Marine Life Center which handed out free passes to its facility. The Charleston Sweetie Pie Band and the local Hula and Huaplii Ukulele group also performed Saturday.

“We have a lot to offer here,” said Campbell. “We’re different, we’re laid back and we know how to have a good time.”

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Reporter Amanda Linares can be reached at 541-266-2039 or by email at amanda.linares@theworldlink.com.