Lords Acre Day returns to Powell Butte this Saturday

by: CENTRAL OREGONIAN - During the Lord's Acre Day event, people can enjoy a hot cup of coffee to start their morning

As far back as the 1950s, Clay Penhollow can remember Lord’s Acre Day, an annual Powell Butte fixture, catching people's attention.

“I have had a few people . . . that were headed to town that wondered, ‘What’s this?’” the event treasurer recalls.

This year marks the 67th Lord’s Acre event, and it still draws a large crowd and catches people’s eye from the highway. Penhollow estimates anywhere from 1,200 to 2,500 visitors show up each year, depending on the weather.

This Saturday, Lord’s Acre Day, sponsored by Powell Butte Community Church, will again feature many events and attractions that people have enjoyed throughout the years. The slate of events will take place at the church, the nearby Powell Butte Community Charter School and the grounds in between, and serves as a fundraiser for the church and its ongoing mission work and projects.

The day will kick off with a 5K and 10K walking/running race, with registration starting bright and early at 7:30 a.m., and racing at 9 a.m.

Once the race starts, early-comers can enjoy a slice of pie or some hot coffee.

As the morning progresses, visitors will find a variety of ways to spend their time.

“The country store opens at 10 a.m.,” Penhollow said. “It has crafts, baked goods, cinnamon rolls, pies, candy, and snacks.”

Beginning at the same time, in the school, people can purchase a variety of meats from beef and pork to what Penhollow called “their famous breakfast sausages.”

A half-hour later, people can head over to the church’s worship center for a free concert. The always well-attended pit barbecue will follow. The opening ceremony starts at 11:30 a.m., with roast beef, lamb, and ham and other side dishes served at noon.

After the meal, at 1:30 p.m., people can venture over to an auction held school gym where people can bid on hand-tied quilts and a variety of other donated items.

Through the years, Penhollow has noticed a shift in how people participate in Lord's Acre Day.

“I think people used to come and kind of participate in everything,” he said. “Now, we find with the race, some people come just for that. Some people just come for the barbecue. Others just come to get sausages and come home.”

At the same time, he has found that others will make a day of it and “have a piece of pie, wait for lunch, and stay for the auction.”

“It’s just a variety,” Penhollow said.

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