Weather fails to dampen Collage

Organizers say 10,000 people came through the festival gates

by: Photo By Troy Foster - Starship frontman Mickey Thomas

General Editor
   May 21, 2003 — Neither wind, nor sleet, nor darkened clouds kept the Collage of Culture from drawing some 10,000 people to celebrate its 10th anniversary Friday and Saturday in Madras.
   Saturday began with a beautiful clear sky and the launch of 16 hot air balloons, all of which drifted north toward Gateway. Sunny weather held through opening ceremonies and morning dance performances, but cold wind and clouds soon blew in, even bringing a downpour of hail during the Educated Parrots act at 12:30 p.m.
   "Unfortunately, we missed on the weather by about 12 hours," said Chamber of Commerce Director Parrish Van Wert, remarking on the fact that the following day was clear and sunny. "But all-in-all it was a very successful 10th-year event and we're looking forward to planning the 11th year," he added.
   He said the 10,000 attendance was somewhat lower than usual, guessing "the weather kept them back."
   The Saturday evening Starship concert drew a large crowd, along with the raffle drawing for a 2001 Geo Tracker.
   Madras resident Brenda Davis was the lucky winner of the Tracker, and said she had bought five of the 1,000 available raffle tickets.
   "I was very surprised," said Davis, who was helping at a Collage booth. "My daughter Kacie was standing beside me holding the tickets, and when they called the number she said `Mom, that's you!'"
   Davis' husband Steve and son Jesse were home changing irrigation pipe when Brenda called them on her cell phone to relay the good news.
   Her 19-year-old son's first reaction was `Good, I can drive it to (college) next year.' And Jesse was the one who got to drive the sporty red Tracker home.
   Van Wert reported that "This was the smoothest event we've held. A crisis-free scenario." Other than a small problem with getting power to everyone, there were no other mishaps and no arrests to put a damper on the event, he said, noting with so many people there's always a chance someone will get rowdy.
   Looking to next year, Van Wert said, "We're always open for input to try to make every event better the next year. If anyone has ideas for ways to make the Collage work more efficiently, or work better call us with your ideas (475-2350)," Van Wert invited.