PORTLAND -- "The Beat Goes On" band gave folks in Pioneer Courthouse Square a spirited preview Friday of "Louie, Louie!" a song likely to be played during Saturday’s Starlight Parade in downtown Portland. Two-hundred-thousand people are expected to line the parade route.
The musicians are also part of the 350 member “One More Time Around" band which is always a crowd favorite. They are not concerned about taking part in Portland's first big parade since the Boston bombing, but they also know there are new security measures.
“Some new rules that they're really stressing, things like making sure that we stay separate from the crowd, they're being careful about who checks into and out of Lincoln High School, which is the place we stage the band,” said Steve Tolopka.
In Northwest Portland, float building is underway for both the Starlight Parade and next Saturday's Grand Floral Parade. Security is tightened there too. On parade day, some float lovers will be kept back from areas they used to freely roam.
“They're gonna be a lot more careful in the staging area. Unfortunately people who had tickets to the coliseum used to be able to come out and wander around. Now you have to be a reason to be in the staging area. You have to tagged, ticketed, labeled,” said Kendra Comerford who is in charge of float building.
Downtown, along the parade route, visitors will see for the first time in recent memory bomb sniffing dogs and their handlers.
“One of the things people might see are the dogs and dog handlers walking the route. Especially along the max lines,” said Portland Police spokesman Pete Simpson. “We have no specific threats. We have no specific concerns, but we do want people to feel safe."
Many people who planned to attend the parade said they are not worried.
“Looking forward to having a good time. Just gonna go out and relax and have a good time,” said Patty Higham.
The parade starts at 8:30pm.