A Viking ship, its red sails unfurled in the moonlight, drifted down Bend’s enchanted mirror pond before massed thousands Saturday night to win for Redmond first place in the fourth annual river pageant. Eight girls, clad in silver helmets and red dresses, rowed the make-believe ship, which, like the Viking boats of old, came out of the north to conquer. The mirrored oars of the fair crew flashed before a crown apparently enthralled by a water fete second to none ever presented in the northwest.
“Red Sails in the Sunset” was the name of the prize winning float, designed by Dr. Hal W. Rogers of Redmond. Its position was No. 4 among the caravels that majestically drifted through the massive, illuminated arch as Queen Ruth I, Miss Ruth McDermott of the Lions Club, and her four princesses, Margaret Johns, Ruth Sande, Telia Ann Houk and Annie Bilodeau, reviewed the colorful pageant from their court at the top of the arch.
Seated at the stern of the Redmond entry, timing the strokes of the oars whose bits of mirrors caught and reflected moon and river lights alike, was Maxine Cunning, with Marie and Marjorie Tetherow, Phyllis Means, Geraldine Burgess, Dorothy Croghan, June Wood, Pauline Talley and Doris Dorn pulling the Viking oars.
A replica of the new Oregon capitol, entry of the Bend fire department, won second place in the 1936 pageant and the Brooks-Scanlon Four-L float, a huge illuminated birthday cake with “1776-1936” emblazoned in red on its side, won third place.
Judges were Paul Hampson, Mrs. Frank R. Prince and Myra B. Lyons, all residents of Bend.
The crowd that viewed the pageant was the largest since the inauguration of the colorful water fetes here and, with the exception of the Pendleton Roundups, was probably the largest group to attend a civic event in the Eastern Oregon country. Many residents of nearby states and scores of tourists were among those present, with Frederic Marsh, moving picture star from Hollywood, included in the guests of honor. In the huge crowd also was state Senator Allan A. Bynon of Portland, critic of the plans selected for Oregon’s new capitol. There was spontaneous applause when the replica of the capitol moved through the arch.
Instead of the pioneer designed for the new capitol building, the Bend firemen used their mirror pond trophy of last year to top the dome of their replica. The entry was designed by Claude Wanichek of the volunteer fire department, with Everett Wiles and R.R. Brentano as other members of his committee.
The pageant was started at deep dusk, with the full moon well over the pines of Drake Park and the Three Sisters still visible against the western skyline. The announcer was W.E. Searcy.
Source: Bend Bulletin ©1936