Sportsman’s Holiday Court readies to take on season of activities

Scott Swanson

Seven young women make up this year’s Sportsman’s Holiday Court as the annual community celebration, scheduled for July 8-11, nears.

Members of the court are high school juniors Paige Chafin, Serenity Dehart, Kami Hart, Jess Maynard, Emma McCubbins, Molly McKillop and Haley Nunez.

The court is larger than normal, as it was last year, because of the unpredictability of current life, said Cassie Richie, who is chairing the Chamber of Commerce’s Court Committee.

“We decided to take on a few extras this year just because of COVID and the craziness of school schedules, the extended sports season, etc.,” Richie said. “I thought it would be better to have a few extras because if we are down a girl or two, we will still have a good amount of representation.”

Four court members, Maynard, McCubbins, McKillop and Nunez, were present at the Lebanon Strawberry Festival shortcake feed on Saturday, the only event Lebanon is holding this year, due to the pandemic. They handed out cards to people who drove through in cars to get shortcake handed out by Lebanon Strawberry Court members.

“We’re trying to support the surrounding towns’ festivals in these crazy times,” Richie said, adding that they will also attempt to participate in Brownsville’s Pioneer Picnic breakfast, which is the only event that will be held for that festival.

In contrast, this year’s Sportsman’s Holiday will be more ambitious than in recent years. The event starts on Thursday, July 8, with a SHARC Showdown talent contest and Queen’s Coronation.

On Friday, July 9, the chamber will hold its Cut the Gut cruise night, which will be followed by a Chips ‘n’ Splinters variety show featuring local personalities. Events for Saturday, July 10, include an Elks Breakfast, the parade, Artisan Alley, Loggers Olympics and the traditional fireworks show.

A raft tug ‘o’ war is planned for Sunday afternoon. Details on all these events will be reported prior to the festival.

Richie said the court members will be heavily involved in the festival activities.

Additionally, she said, she is working on getting them involved in the Oregon Jamboree and is interested in any other local events.

“We’re totally open if other events are going on in the community this year,” she said. “If someone wants to invite us to come make an appearance, I’m happy.”

One in which they are already scheduled to appear will be the Sweet Home Sweet Ride Car Show on Saturday, June 26, on the field below Sweet Home Junior High.

They will also be active in chamber events, including an appearance at the Coffee With Colleagues held Tuesday morning, June 8, at The Point restaurant.

“I think we have a really good group of girls,” Richie said. “They all seem to get along really well.”

The court program has a presenting sponsor this year, for the first time, she noted: the Larsen Family Foundation.

“We are still looking for sponsors for the individual princesses,” she said. “If anybody would like to help us out, the money goes to their crown, sash and apparel, and half goes to scholarships. We really want to get some good scholarships going.”

The committee directing the program is providing chaperones who will accompany the girls on their outings, Richie said, noting that Krissie Mathers was with them in Lebanon on Saturday and Nichole Devlin will also be helping out.

“I’m really excited about it,” she said.