News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Flags wave in Tollgate Village parade

On the morning of July 4, the road in Tollgate was awash with red, white, and blue everywhere — from VFW flag-bearer Earl Schroeder leading the parade in his shorts and straw hat, to others’ hats, shirts, bicycle helmets, face masks, and dozens of flags. Dogs of every size and breed were festooned in colorful scarves and ruffs in the spirit of the day.

When Tollgate resident John Barkley’s 1957 Chevy nostalgia race car roared to life, sporting a patriotic red, white, and blue paint job, the assembled Villagers at Tollgate whooped and hollered as the inaugural Independence Day parade began. The sun shone brightly on parade participants and spectators as neighbors in Tollgate celebrated their very first Tollgate Village event, aimed at building relationships and community. The next community event will be a concert on the commons for Tollgate residents only.

Some 75 residents participated either as paraders, organizers, or spectators. Every ice cream treat was given out, having been generously donated by a local resident. All public safety recommendations were carefully followed to observe safe social distancing.

Tollgate Village team leaders Chris Laing and Jane Killefer were delighted with the turnout.

“It was a hit!” said Laing. “Thanks, everyone. I felt it was safe and fun and folks really enjoyed the opportunity to meet one another afterwards and honor the holiday.”

Killefer added, “Even with masks and extra social distancing, it was great to see people connecting and sharing the fun. Plus, the ice cream bars were a hit.”

The Tollgate Village is a membership organization founded as part of the Sisters Villages to encourage creating, maintaining, and deepening the sense of community that makes Sisters such a special place. The Villages are an Action Team of Age Friendly Sisters Country. If other neighborhoods are interested in forming their own, they can contact Laing through [email protected]


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