by: PHIL HAWKINS - Cosecha Mestiza dancers dance with a scarf during a performance at this years Fiesta Mexicana event. With its three year contract with the city expiring at the end of the year, the Woodburn Area Chamber of Commerce will continue to manage the Woodburn Fiesta Mexicana, its board of directors announced last week.

The chamber had been mulling over the decision as it has just broken even over the last three years. Concerns of spotty attendance and high entertainment costs have been outweighed with increased sponsorships this year, according to the chamber.

“We’ve had three years’ experience running this event,” said Don Judson, executive director. “Now with key people in place for overall coordination, sponsor solicitation, entertainment and vendors, among others, and a solid base of sponsors, we feel comfortable going forward with this signature Woodburn event.”

The chamber will now get on with the business of hiring a new executive director to replace Judson, who is retiring at the end of the year.

Key questions remain whether overall coordinator of the fiesta will be among the duties of the new director, or reassigned to the Woodburn Area Tourism agency, which is an arm of the chamber.

Regardless, the fiesta will continue in Woodburn.

“Promoting the Woodburn area is a central responsibility of our chamber,” said Bob Rhoades, president of the chamber board of directors. “Organizing an event that attracts thousands to Woodburn certainly fits into our mission.”

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