Chamber kicking off Saturday Street Faire on property purchased from SHEDG

Sean C. Morgan

The Sweet Home Chamber of Commerce will begin hosting a Saturday Street Faire this Saturday, May 7, on property it is in the process of purchasing from the Sweet Home Economic Development Group.

The two groups were tentatively scheduled to close on the deal this week at a sale price of $25,000. The property, 1525 Main St., is located between the Chamber of Commerce, 1575 Main St., and Speedee Mart, 1501 Main St.

The chamber is funding the purchase with a loan, said Chamber Director Katrina Crabtree.

“We’re really excited about it. I’m ecstatic.”

For now, the property will be used for the new Street Faire, Crabtree said. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday through Sept. 10. During the week of the Jamboree, it will be open Thursday through Sunday.

There are 10 vendors so far, Crabtree said. They’ll sell arts and crafts to “create excitement on Main Street, give people another reason to stop and shop. There’s no outlet for these people and their crafts.”

Vendors will come and go throughout the summer, Crabtree said. “It’ll be constantly changing.”

Some will be new to the area, while others will be veterans of events here in Sweet Home, she said.

This will be the first use of the property in nearly a decade.

“It’s not going to be just dead space,” Crabtree said. Long-term plans aren’t set yet. The chamber board hasn’t decided whether the chamber will “grass it” or gravel it for parking yet, but the propoerty will be used right away for the Street Faire. It may serve multiple uses.

“I’m really excited about the potential,” Crabtree said.

SHEDG purchased the property, with a house on it, for $89,144 in 2008 in early stages of completing a joint office project with the Chamber of Commerce to create a downtown hub and an anchor for commerce and tourism.

The project never materialized, and the SHEDG Board of Directors had explored rehabilitating the house and possibly selling it or finding another use.

But repairing and remodeling the house would be too expensive. Selling the house in its condition at the time left the board worrying that it might just sit and deteriorate further. The SHEDG board chose to demolish the house in 2013.

“I think this’ll work out great for the Chamber for what they want to do there,” said Wendi Melcher, the SHEDG board member who is handling the sale. “We can use what we we’re doing there to help with the new property.”

She referred to the former Knife River property that SHEDG is oreparing to receive from Linn County for use as a park and festival grounds for the Oregon Jamboree.

Melcher added that Heritage NW is handling the transaction at no charge.

For more information about the Street Faire or to participate in the Street Faire, call the chamber at (541) 367-6186.