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Grant gives boost to Molalla's Rodeo Walk of Fame

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PEGGY SAVAGE - Jim Taylor, a TEAM Molalla board member, setting a Rodeo Walk of Fame plaque  in a Main Street sidewalk last year with help from a city employee.
Molalla Area Chamber of Commerce received $12,000 in funding to expand the Rodeo Walk of Fame, thanks to a Clackamas County tourism grant.

The Rodeo Walk of Fame builds on Molalla’s rodeo heritage and the reputation of the Molalla Buckeroo. The city of Molalla has helped incorporate the Walk of Fame bronze plaques in downtown street improvements.

“These funds will greatly improve the attraction with a larger inventory of castings attributable to members of the Rodeo Walk of Fame,” said Chamber Director Grant Sharp. “This is a development grant to help enhance our project. Our goal is to make this a tourist destination for Molalla.”

PIONEER FILE PHOTO - Grant SharpClackamas County Tourism Development Council (TDC) announced that countywide, $250,000 in Tourism Development Grants had been awarded for this fiscal year. The TDC oversees the county’s 6 percent lodging tax program branded as Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory.

“We congratulate this year’s recipients of our Development Grant awards,” said Chair Erickson. “It is through the partnerships we have developed within our local communities that has really enhanced Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory as a destination for visitors worldwide. These investments will further enhance our tourism infrastructure throughout the county and improve the economic vitality for all of our citizens.”

Sharp said the Molalla Area Chamber of Commerce requested a grant to accelerate the bronze castings for the Rodeo Walk of Fame. The castings depict the accomplishments of a number of national rodeo stars.

“The rodeo connection to Molalla and Clackamas County is historic but yet current,” Sharp said. “The Molalla Buckeroo, one of the largest rodeos in the nation, annually often ranks in the top ten for the number of contestant entries, and it ranks very high on fan based identification,” he said. “Mention Molalla and the next word is Buckeroo. The cross connection of business, equine activities, and agricultural tourism, make this a natural for promotion and public relations programming.”

The major portion of Molalla Avenue in the downtown core is being prepared with spaces to contain plaques honoring famous rodeo notables, he said. Earlier, the chamber had already received a different grant from the TDC for promotion and fund raising for the Walk and is applying those funds now.

Sharp said using the upcoming sidewalk space that will eventually be available once the street reconstruction project on Molalla Avenue is completed, should make Walk of Fame’s unique venue “world renowned,” he said.