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Festivals add to our quality of life

East County will be walking, parading and showing Highland pride next week with a handful of local events planned for the weekend of July 16.

The Gresham Art Walk will turn 10 this year, while SummerFest brings a parade to downtown Troutdale again on Saturday, July 16. Added to that will be the Highland Games, which brings Scottish culture and sports to Mt. Hood Community College.

Hopefully you will attend one of these diverse events and invite some of your neighbors and friends along.

Community festivals not only provide for a great quality of life for local residents, they also offer a tremendous marketing opportunity to showcase the community.

This year's festivals showcase the people of our community by displaying the tenacity and deep commitments of East County residents. Just watch and see this week as top-notch events spring up in historic downtown Gresham, along the Historic Columbia River Highway and at Mt. Hood, all courtesy of dedicated volunteers and organizers.

With all the visitors drawn to our spectacular area, we should use this opportunity to let folks know our hospitality, service and generosity are part of our daily lives, not just during local summer events.

These events require a huge amount of local support from volunteers and local businesses.

Overall, it takes a total community effort - both public and private - to make these great events happen.

Which is why treating festival guests to a great time is so important. The volunteers who donated so much of their time to these events have done a fabulous job.

Now, let's party.