Community readies for Oregon Jamboree IX

The Oregon Jamboree and the Sweet Home School District are working hand-in-glove in 2001 to reduce impact on the high school playing field caused by the community’s massive fund-raising musical festival that kicks off Friday evening.

The event ninth annual event climaxes on Sunday and features country music stars Lorrie Morgan, Kenny Rogers and Lee Ann Womack, among many others. Proceeds from the Jamboree are earmarked for local economic development programs.

“Our goal is to work together to prevent as much damage to the field as possible,” said Peter LaPonte, event coordinator.

The Sweet Home Economic Development Group, Inc. and School District 55 have hired a consultant from Oregon State University to provide guidance in dealing with field issues.

“We’ve added a plywood road behind the stage this year,” LaPonte said. “We have moved entries so that major traffic won’t fall on any of the playing field.”

LaPonte said SHEDG and the School District also went together to purchase a used top dressing machine that will place sand on the field in needed areas and enhance overall turf health.

Although LaPonte said this year’s talent lineup is solid, ticket sales are down a little over previous years.

“It’s not bad, maybe down about $10,000 or so, but it’s still early,” LaPonte said.

One clear indicator is that Kenny Rogers is the main attraction when it comes to one-day ticket sales. LaPonte said the veteran musician/actor is generating considerable fan interest.

Jamboree fans will enjoy a new 16 X 24 raised dance floor constructed by the building trades class at SHHS under the guidance of instructor Benny Dahlenburg.

“We will have a couple dance demonstrations over the weekend,” LaPonte said. “On Sunday, we’ll also have a street performer who is fantastic. He rides a unicycle, plays music and dresses like a cowboy.”

The True Value Country Showdown returns to the 2001 Jamboree.

Music lovers should also notice an improvement in the sound quality of the show.

LaPonte said a new sound system is being used that will provide a broader range of quality sound throughout the entire arena. The speakers will also be positioned so they won’t obstruct patron’s views of the stage.

LaPonte said he expects Saturday to be the biggest day for the event and anticipates more than 7,000 patrons.

“A lot depends on the weather,” LaPonte said. “If the weather is on the cool side, people will show up early. If it’s 90 degrees, they’ll show up later.”

Jamboree volunteers plan to take the pulse of the event via an economic indicator survey of some 400 patrons.

LaPonte said the survey will gauge how much income is generated locally by the event, and how it is spent.

“We’ll have a two-page form that we’ll ask patrons to fill out,” LaPonte said. “It will look at people’s spending habits.”

The Oregon Jamboree 2001 schedule of performers:

Friday, August 3rd

Gates open: 3:00 p.m.

Johnny Law & The Rebels: 4:15 p.m.

The Kingsmen: 5:45 p.m.

Marty Stuart: 7:30 p.m.

Asleep At The Wheel: 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, August 4

Gates open: 11:00 a.m.

True Value Country Showdown Oregon State Finals: 12:00 p.m.

Traci Lynn & The Rubes: 1:30 p.m.

Sons of the Desert: 2:45 p.m.

Lila McCann: 4:30 p.m.

Tracy Byrd: 6:30 p.m.

Kenny Rogers: 8:30 p.m.

Sunday, August 5

Gates open: 12:00 p.m.

Double Trouble: 1:00 p.m.

Amy Clawson: 2:30 p.m.

Berry, Boggus and Dean: 4:15 p.m.

Lee Ann Womack: 6:15 p.m.


Gate prices are:

VIP 3 day pass: $185.

Gen. Admission, 3 day pass: $95.

Gen. Admission, 1 day pass: $55.

Tickets are also available from Safeway/Fastixx Ticket Centers and online at

Local supervisory team members include: Nicki Rasmussen, economic impact study; Kimi Dixon, front gate; Todd Gestrin, administrative assistant; Pam Thompson, scrip sales; Linda Holley, ticket takers; Mary Koch, front gate; Patty Gourley, site director; Joyce Ohnesorge, SHEDG liaison; Shirley Austin, sales and volunteer director; Linda Morrelli, secretary; Ken Collins, production director; Penny Leland, security director; Gary Rasmussen, administrative director; Troy Hopper, stage hands; Debra Maskal, runners; Joy Germain, group tickets; Gail Gregory, merchandise; Roxanne Beach, merchandise; Lee Vaughn, security assistant supervisor; Andrea Meyers, mounted security; Rob Poirier, security supervisor; Judy Markert, clean team; Pat Bergevin, site set up; Elmer Riemer, concessions; Larry Johnson, concessions; Troy Cockrell, signs; Coreen Melcher, beer garden; Jerry Guthrie, communications; Barry Fuller, camping; Bill Markert, camping assistant; Tom Albert, site co-supervisor; Joann Albert, information booth; Lynn Gagner, sponsor hospitality; Vicki DeLong, volunteer hospitality; Bob Sullivan, site; Shawna Carillo, volunteer co-supervisor; Kristal Eddington, volunteer co-supervisor.

“I’d like to encourage folks in Sweet Home to be good hosts to all the visitors who will be coming to town this weekend,” LaPonte said. “We expect 16,000 to 18,000 people total.”