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A brief history of the Summer Celebration

by: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Jane Reid holds up a poster for the 2004 Estacada Summer Celebration alongside the 2013 poster. The Summer Celebration has been bringing free arts and music activities and entertainment to Estacada for more than a decade.Jane Reid, longtime coordinator of the Estacada Summer Celebration, gave the Estacada News a brief history of the event.

During the painting of the “Ginseng Story” mural in 1999, Reid and Katinka Bryk got to talking about how great it would be to have a celebration where people could watch the progress of the mural-in-a-weekend project.

Inspired by the mural painting, the two put on the first Summer Celebration across the street from Wong’s King Restaurant.

Reid recalls with a laugh that they didn’t have a stage back then.

After that first year, the Summer Celebration received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

With the funding, the celebration was a huge three-day event.

After several years, the grant went away and Summer Celebration leaders had to figure out what to do with a smaller budget.

For a few years they partnered with the Estacada Ministerial Alliance, which focused on the music aspect of the celebration.

Now the event lasts just two days, but many of the traditions remain.

This year’s Summer Celebration will occur during the restoration of “The Cycle of Wood” mural on the east wall at 213 S.E. Main St.

The mural originally was designed in 1996 by Joe Cotter. Its restoration will be led by Koehlia Bush.

“I’m so glad it’s being restored. I kind of think of it as a gateway to our community for anyone coming into town that way. And it tells our history,” Reid said of the mural, which depicts Estacada’s relationship with the timber industry.

The Summer Celebration still coordinates with the Skip-a-Week Quilt Club’s annual quilt show.

“A lot of things have remained the same. We really focus on having kids experience art. We think that’s really important,” Reid said.

One of the goals of the Summer Celebration has been to bring people downtown to experience art and music.

“We really want to reach our community. We really want to find things that appeal to everyone,” Reid said.

She emphasized that the event is designed to be fun for everyone, not just people who are already artists.

Reid said that she always looks forward to the last few musical acts of the Summer Celebration.

“Everyone’s dancing ... They’re usually these clear gorgeous nights. You can just feel everyone is happy,” she said.

These days much of the Summer Celebration’s funding comes from the silent art auction and vendor donations.

“That’s our only way to make money for the celebration because everything else is free and we really want to keep it that way,” Reid said.

She noted that the Summer Celebration is able to occur year after year thanks to grants from the Regional Arts & Culture Council, Clackamas County Cultural Coalition, Estacada Community Foundation, donations from PGE, Reliance Connects, Northwest Technologies, the Weston Family, Eagle Foundry and large and small donations from businesses and individuals.

Most of the funding goes to the musicians, venue and tables, chairs, tents and other items.

Reid noted that the Summer Celebration has been run by a small group of people for many years.

She hopes to get some new blood to volunteer next year in order to lighten the burden on longtime coordinators and keep traditions going and start new ones.

If you are interested in volunteering for next year’s Summer Celebration, contact Jane Reid at 503-630-4013 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

For more information on the Summer Celebration, check out the Summer Celebration insert in this week’s Estacada News.




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