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Hop Fest gears up for 40th celebration this Saturday

Hubbard Fire District puts on the community event, featuring a parade, horseshoe tournament and more


by: WOODBURN INDEPENDENT - The 2012 Hubbard Hop Festival parade included a variety of entries, including these dancers. This year's parade, which will be July 20 at 10 a.m., is themed 'Celebrating our Veterans,' with entries being judged based on that theme.Hop Festival is a labor of love for dozens of volunteers in Hubbard, and this year’s 40th annual celebration is no different.

The event, which is put on by the Hubbard Fire District, will feature a fun run, parade, beer garden, children’s games, a safety fair, a horseshoe tournament, vendors and live music.

The parade’s theme this year is “Celebrating our Veterans” and, as a result, many local veterans will be serving as grand marshal.

“We want to recognize all of them,” said Fire Chief Bill Hansen.

He said that anyone, veteran or not, is encouraged to sign up for the parade, which starts at 10 a.m. and loops around Third, J and Fifth streets. Registration for the parade begins at 9 a.m. at the corner of Third Street and Moonbeam Court. Anyone can sign up and is encouraged to enter with the theme in mind.

“We’ll have theme-based awards,” Hansen said.

After the parade, events in Rivenes Park open up, including the beer garden, kids play area, the safety fair and vendors representing numerous nonprofits.

The beer garden will feature four different domestic and microbrew offerings, as well as wine and wine coolers. This venue is family friendly until 6 p.m., when only those aged 21 and over are allowed with a cover charge.

To go along with the day’s theme of celebrating veterans, all tips in the beer garden will be donated to the Hubbard Park Improvement Committee for maintenance of the Marion E. Carl Veterans Memorial.

The kids area will feature an air castle and slide, face painting by Lotta the Clown, balloon animals by Ladybug the Clown and games with featured prizes.

This year’s safety fair will run all day and includes presentations from the Hubbard and Woodburn fire districts as well as Oregon Emergency Management.

Kids can also take part in organized games that begin at 1 p.m.

At noon is the historic horseshoe tournament, organized by longtime resident Terry Cuff, who figures out the bracket of 32 players.

by: WOODBURN INDEPENDENT - The horseshoe tournament at the Hubbard Hop Festival has been around for years and is one of the biggest draws to the event.Registration for the horseshoe tournament begins at 11 a.m. after the parade in the horseshoe pit. The cost is $10 and slots fill up fast.

“I really encourage people to sign up as close to 11 o’clock if they want to play because it does fill up pretty fast,” said Cuff, who’s been chairing the tournament for more than 10 years.

The event has increased in popularity over the years, he said, with all 32 places filling up within the first 20 minutes or so.

The bracket is determined by everyone picking their name out of a hat or bucket. The tournament is double elimination, meaning you have to lose twice to leave the competition. So if a player loses once, they can still come back and win the tournament.

“I’ve seen that happen,” Cuff said.

While adult men make up the highest number of competitors, children and women are also welcome.

“We’re trying to encourage younger people to play because most think it’s an old person game,” Cuff said. “But when they play, they do have fun.”

Trophies go to the top three competitors, with the winner also getting a “2013 horseshoe champion” hat.

“That’s really worth more because whoever gets it has bragging rights around Hubbard,” Cuff said.

Although it can get competitive, with the tournament lasting all afternoon and sometimes into the evening, it’s all in the name of raising money for the fire district.

“Every year we have fun, and that’s the main thing,” Cuff said.

During the day and into the night, live music will entertain festival-goers, starting with a barbershop quartet, which will stroll around the park to provide musical accompaniment to festivities. From noon to 1 p.m., the Marion County Citizens Band will perform. Core 1100, a rock band based in Dallas, will take the stage from 5 to 7 p.m. and Abandon Stage, a rock cover band from Portland, will perform from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Additionally, nonprofit vendors will be selling food all day, from German sausage to elephant ears. No two booths will sell the same fare.

by: WOODBURN INDEPENDENT - Volunteers with nonprofit vendor Chaps & Petticoats prepare elephant ears to sell at the festival held in Hubbard's Rivenes Park.“Nobody ever does the same thing,” said Steven McDermott, assistant fire chief. “They all sat down and agreed what each one wanted to do.”

Organizations that will benefit from this include St. Agnes Mission Church and ROBES (Russian Old Believer Enhancement Services).

“It benefits the community as much as us,” McDermott said. “This is a celebration of everyone in the community. We could grow it but we chose to keep it small and community-oriented, not commercializing it.”

Additionally, this is really the only fundraiser Hubbard Fire does all year.

“It all goes back to the community,” McDermott said. “We’ve supported sports teams, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the Hubbard Police Department’s K-9 program. Whatever it is, it stays in the community for the most part, and if not, then it’s still going to a good cause. This event ensures the viability of our organization and what we do.”