by: Garth Guibord, Elephant ears are an annual favorite at the Mountain Festival, as shown by these children during the parade Thursday night.

It's no secret that Sandy is going through a lot of changes as it approaches its 100th birthday in 2013. But even though hundreds of new apartments and houses may spring up and farmland may turn into businesses, there's one thing you can always count on to virtually stay the same: The Sandy Mountain Festival, now in its 34th year.

Sandy residents are accustomed to welcoming their neighbors from around the Portland area and elsewhere to enjoy this celebration of all things mountain - the food, friends, talent and sense of community that makes Sandy unique.

Every year, the first weekend after Independence Day means there will be an exciting parade on the highway, a bunch of people selling things in the woods at Meinig Park and an overall buzz in the community.

Festival fun kicks off at 7 p.m. Thursday with the annual Sandy Mountain Festival parade. Grab your chairs, friends and family and join thousands of other people along Pioneer Boulevard between Bluff Road and Wolf Drive to enjoy this year's theme, 'Lookin' for Adventure.' Look for The Sandy Post's special parade entry.

From 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Meinig Park will be alive with activity as artisans from across the street and around the country come to share their handicraft wares and local community groups sell delicious food of many nationalities and flavors.

You can almost bet on the fact that again, the line for the cinnamon-ly delicious elephant ears will stretch across the park. Sandy Fire, as always, will open up its engine bay after the parade to anyone who wants to get up close and personal with fire trucks. Kiwanis member D.J. Anderson will, once again, loudly broadcast the delicious traits of the 'world-famous Kiwana-bar.' The Mountain Man again will spin clay while telling tales of 'Old Sandy,' and children will come alive when Valentine's Performing Pigs come to town again, this time performing on the newly renovated Birdcage Theater.

There's so much going on that we had to put all the information into its own publication. For the best information on the Sandy Mountain Festival, read the special Mountain Festival guide included in this week's Sandy Post. There you will learn more about the individual events, performers, vendors and dining opportunities.

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