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Celebrating our history, heritage

Summer is a celebration all by itself: nicer weather, visits from family and friends and the fun outdoor activities that accompany them. Local folks have additional reasons to celebrate right now because of the upcoming festivities in Milwaukie, Oregon City and Gladstone.

First up is this Friday and Saturday, July 22 and 23, when the Dogwood City of the West rolls out the red carpet for the annual Milwaukie Daze. Events kick off Friday night at 7 p.m. with carnival rides at the waterfront, activities for kids at Waldorf Field, including a petting zoo, and a free movie at the same place at 10 p.m.

On Saturday there's a benefit waffle feed beginning at 7 a.m. and the 9K for K9 walks starting at 9:30 a.m., followed by the downtown Milwaukie Daze Parade at 10:30 a.m. Saturday afternoon features the carnival rides, a beer tent, arts and crafts, live music, poetry readings at the Ledding Library, jet boat rides and a PT boat tour, capped off by the annual fireworks display. Visit www.milwaukiedaze.com for the schedule or call 503-654-2493. (Details are also available on page A6 and A20 of this issue.)

Next up is the annual First City Celebration on Saturday, July 30, in Oregon City. As the state's first official city, first capital of the Oregon Territory and first city west of the Rockies to have a newspaper (the Oregon Spectator), Oregon City has many special distinctions to celebrate.

From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on July 30, Main Street will be alive with people enjoying arts and crafts, music and refreshments (including a wine and beer garden on 8th Street). There will be a family activities area in Liberty Plaza, along with artists displaying and selling their work. This past year's First City Celebration drew more than 3,000 people, so this year's event could be even better.

Oregon City is also noting ongoing rehabilitation of the historic 88-year-old Arch Bridge spanning the Willamette between the First City and West Linn. Work continues right now with hydroblasting of the bridge's concrete coating. The two-year repair job is about at the halfway point, with a celebration to reopen the bridge to traffic scheduled for sometime next year.

Then comes the annual Chautauqua Festival in Gladstone from Friday through Sunday, Aug. 5-7, which this year will also celebrate that historic city's centennial. The Chautauqua movement began in the late 1890s and was designed to bring theater, concerts and lectures to the relatively rough-and-tumble western territories (meaning a bit of eastern civilizing influence). The first Gladstone Chautauqua was held in July 1894 in Gladstone Park.

This year's celebration will be held in Max Patterson City Park and will feature a parade at 10 a.m. Saturday, along with a chili cook-off, live music, a street dance, fire engine tours, a beer garden, senior day, library book sale, bingo, food booths, a talent show, 10K and 5K walk/run/race, arts and crafts, a farmers market and historic tours and displays.

For more on the Gladstone festival, call 503-656-5225, opt. 1, ext. 4, or visit www.ci.gladstone.or.us or chautauqua-festival.netbiz.com/index.php/contact.

(The Clackamas Review and Oregon City News will be covering these important summer events, so stay tuned. We will feature a special Chautauqua Festival and Gladstone Centennial celebration section in both papers on Wednesday, July 27.)