The Teddy Bear Parade made a triumphant return to Historic Downtown Gresham for its 40th anniversary on Saturday, September 24, 2022. Due to COVID, the Soroptimists had no choice but to cancel the 2020 and 2021 Teddy Bear parades. Soroptimist International of Gresham (SIG) was thrilled to see spectators who had waited 3 years for this treasured community event. Families lined the parade route to cheer on 67 entries with 1,500 marchers on a beautiful autumn day. The festive atmosphere was contagious as schools, marching bands, children’s groups, equestrians, community service organizations, local businesses and the always popular Gresham Fire and Police departments joined the procession through the streets. SiG’s 2022 Live Your Dream program winners appeared with their families riding a vintage trolley.
Gresham’s ‘annual’ Teddy Bear Parade has been produced by the Soroptimists International of Gresham since the early 90’s. Founded in 1982 as a community “friendraiser”, this beloved East County institution now funds the Soroptimist International Dream programs. The Live Your Dream and Dream It, Be It programs support women and girls as they strive to achieve their career goals & realize the empowerment of financial independence. One of SIG’s Life Members, Peggy Johansen, chairs the committee that organizes the parade. Every SIG member and dozens of other volunteers make the parade possible. Parade sponsors make SIG’s Dream Programs possible. SIG has bestowed over $90,000 in Live Your Dream Awards in the past 10 years and worked with dozens of teen girls in the Dream It, Be It program. Thank you to our sponsors and every SIG member and volunteer for making the 2022 Teddy Bear Parade a huge success.
Photos are courtesy of sponsor Pamplin Media’s Chris Keizur. If you missed the parade you still have a chance to see it virtually. Thanks to one of SIG’s sponsors, MetroEast Media, the Teddy Bear Parade is broadcast live with repeated later broadcasts for many years. Please see the broadcast schedule below:
You can see a replay of the parade anytime courtesy of MetroEast Media’s YouTube page: 2022 Gresham Teddy Bear Parade – YouTube