> Dust off your dancing shoes -- Jefferson County's signature event, the 14th Annual Collage of Culture presented by Yarrow, will take center stage next weekend, May 18 and 19 at the Jefferson County Fair Complex in Madras.
Headlining this year's event is country mega-band Diamond Rio, which will perform hits such as "Beautiful Mess," "One More Day," and "Unbelievable," beginning at 7 p.m. May 19.
"The lineup that we have in place reflects the true essence of the Collage of Culture, which celebrates the diversity of our area," said Holli Van Wert, executive director for the Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. "Performances, art and food offerings will showcase all the rich cultures that make our community unique."
On Friday night, An Evening of Food, Art and Music will get under way at 6 p.m., with a spaghetti dinner. Countryfied, a four-piece country band, will provide music and entertainment after dinner, from 7 to 9 p.m.
Patrons can enjoy the return of the Art Walk in the Maccie Conroy Building throughout the evening. Friday night's activities are sponsored by Phil's Ace Hardware, Radio Shack, Mail Copies and More, R.L. Allen Group, Check Express and Willow Canyon Properties.
Cost for the dinner and dance is $10 per person. Attendees must be at least 21 years of age. Tickets are on sale at the Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, 274 S.W. Fourth St., 475-2350.
At 5:30 a.m. Saturday, May 19, hot-air balloons will take off from the fairgrounds. The balloon launch is sponsored by Mid-Oregon Credit Union, and will include the Noah's Ark Balloon, sponsored by Parr Lumber, and the Cluster Balloon, sponsored by REMAX Hometown Realty.
Parachuting teddy bears carrying gift certificates from Collage of Culture sponsors will be dropped by helicopter over the fair complex. The bears are sponsored by Century 21, the Delita Cordes Team, the city of Madras, Norton Cattle Co. and Portland General Electric.
At 7 a.m. the Elk's Club all-you-can-eat breakfast will take place in the picnic pavilion area near the kitchen. Cost is $5.
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. musicians and dancers will perform on the main stage and dance stage on the north side of the fairgrounds.
Musical performances will range from blues to jazz and from Camp Caldera African Drummers to the Madras High School Choir.
The variety of dance performances will include the Warm Springs Wasco Dancers, and High Desert Dancers, as well as Irish and Celtic dancers.
The dance stage is sponsored by the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Nation.
The Kids Activity Center, sponsored by Les Schwab Tire Center and Mountain View Hospital District, will open at 10 a.m.
Art exhibits will include the School Arts and Digital Storytelling, sponsored by Columbia River Bank, Fine Arts with Willamette Vineyards, and other arts and crafts.
Wings Over Central Oregon will return with its Live Birds of Prey exhibits and demonstrations, beginning at 10 a.m.
Food vendors, featuring a wide range of foods, will open their stands at 10 a.m. The vendors are sponsored by Jefferson County.
The Central Oregon Bass Club will put on a Bass Masters Kids Casting Clinic and Competition, beginning at 11 a.m.
The Teen Center, sponsored by Bright Wood Corp., opens at noon.
The Western Railroad, sponsored by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railways, will be running from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., assisting people to and from their vehicles.
Title sponsors for the Collage of Culture presented by Yarrow include: Horizon Broadcasting Group, The Madras Pioneer, Gruner Chevrolet, Community First Bank and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation.
More information can be found at www.collageofculture.com.