Beefed-up Sportsman’s Holiday to start with Coronation on Thursday

Sean C. Morgan

Of The New Era

Sportsman’s Holiday will be a busier and bigger weekend than usual, with new activities planned throughout the annual community festival, Thursday through Sunday.

“We’re blending the old with the new,” said Chamber Manager Mackenzie Thomas. “So fun – it’s going to be the most fun.”

It’s been awhile, but stick horses are back for “kids of all ages,” she said, and a beefed-up Kidzone carnival is back on the agenda, while old favorites, including Chips ’n’ Splinters and the Logger Olympics, return.

Entertainment has been added to the schedule, with a free concert by Trevor Tagle on Friday afternoon and a free movie in the park that night.

Sportsman’s Holiday kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the River of Life Fellowship, 1658 Long St., with the Sportsman’s Holiday queen’s coronation. Dinner will follow at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15.

Cut the Gut has been back for a few years, and it will follow the dinner, beginning at 8 p.m. Vehicles of any kind – as long as they’re street legal – are invited to Cut the Gut from Cedar Shack to A&W.

The Kidzone starts at 11 a.m. and runs to 7 p.m. on Friday and from 1 to 8 p.m. on Saturday at the Sweet Home Events Center, 4001 Long St.

Princess Perfection of Corvallis will provide face painting, and children will be able to participate in crafts and art, Thomas said. The idea for the Kidzone is to provide more Sportsman’s Holiday activities outside the Logger Olympics “and more stuff for families to do.”

Tagle will perform a free concert from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday at the Events Center while the Kidzone and vendors will be open.

A Kiddie Parade, with the youngest of Sweet Home’s people, is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Friday at the intersection of 18th and Long streets.

Chips ’n’ Splinters starts at 7 p.m. on Friday in the Sweet Home High School Auditorium, 1641 Long St. This year, audience members will try to guess “the singer behind the mask” in keeping with the theme, “Mardi Gras: Let the Good Times Roll.”

The city will host Movies in the Park with a presentation of “Wreck it Ralph 2: Ralph Wrecks the Internet” in Sankey Park, 877 14th Ave., at 8:30 p.m. on Friday.

Joining the Sportsman’s Holiday lineup this year is the Cascade K-9 Jamboree, featuring “Dogtown Festival, Sweet Home,” beginning a two-day schedule Saturday at the north end of Husky Field, below Sweet Home Junior High, 880 22nd Ave.

Gates open at 9 a.m. on July 13, with the final event scheduled at 5:30 p.m., and 10 a.m., with the final event scheduled for 5 p.m., on July 14. Camping is available.

The Dogtown Festival is a production of Meadowsview Productions, operated by Mike Allen. The Dogtown Festival will feature Xtreme Air Wave events, Xtreme Air RapidDisc, Xtreme Drags and Xtreme Hi-Jump. The event will also feature brain games and events for local dogs and presentations with area canine units.

This is the second annual Cascade K-9 Jamboree, which is used as a fund-raising event for Gemma, Sweet Home Police Department’s drug detection dog. Organizers moved the event from September to Sportsman’s Holiday to help boost involvement and bolster the Sportsman’s Holiday schedule.

Gemma was nominated for grand marshal, and the Sportsman’s Holiday committee selected the Belgian Malinois to lead The Famous Sportsman’s Holiday Grand Parade this year. With 44 entries, the parade begins at 11 a.m. and will be visible downtown on Long and Main streets. Trophies are wood discs etched and provided by Magnum Metalworks.

The Logger Olympics follow at 1 p.m. Loggers compete with each other in various events, from obstacle pole bucking and pole climbing to choker setting and the Working Logger Relay.

The Kidzone gets a little bigger Saturday, Thomas said. Opening at 1 p.m., “people can hang out all day if they want.”

Stick Horse Races start at the Events Center at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. A watermelon eating contest begins there at 2 p.m., and Nelia Taraski of Sweet Home will give a live standup clean comedy performance at 4 p.m.

Steve Magnolia of Sweet Home will provide a Zydeco Dance Party, featuring a blend of blues with indigenous music styles originating in Louisiana.

“The chamber is just kind of serving as an opportunity for partnership,” Thomas said. “We’ve had a lot of people step up to sponsor it.”

It’s a lot of events pulled together by a lot of people, she said, and marketed as the whole Sportsman’s Holiday event.

Chamber staff and the committee are mainly trying to coordinate with everyone else “and bring back the idea that everybody’s doing their own events,” Thomas said. “We’re just the facilitators. The opportunity to be a platform for people to use their own gifts is astounding.”

Without the Sportsman’s Holiday committee, none of it would be possible, Thomas said. The committee includes chamber President George Medellin, Shyla Malloy, Karla Hogan, Krissy Mather, Micki Hagle, Jamie Eriksen, Shirley Austin, Shasta Krake, Jan Hufford and Tia Johnston.

The title sponsor for Sportsman’s Holiday is Country Financial, Thomas said. Other sponsors are Krake Home Sales, Murphy Veneer, Heritage Northwest, Hub City Graphics, Magnum Metalworks, Gregory Home Team, Sweet Home Funeral Chapel, Gillott Home Team, Pacific Crest Property Inspections, Thriftway and Cedar Shack.

For more information about Sportsman’s Holiday, call the Chamber of Commerce at (541) 367-6186.