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by: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Event organizers estimate that the 2013 Fourth of July celebration and Timber Festival drew 15,000 people to the Estacada area.The 2013 Estacada Fourth of July festivities brought 15,000 people to town. Rooms in the area were booked, restaurants packed and big names such as Peterson CAT rallied to support the Timber Festival.

“Estacada as a whole, that’s the biggest event we have all year,” said Sean Drinkwine, president of Estacada Area Community Events. “Being a nonprofit, it all comes from the community and goes back to the people.”

But the celebration is losing its home of the past four years — the festival grounds on Southeast Eagle Creek Road north of the Estacada Public Library.

Developer Mike Park had donated use of the land for the celebration, but the land is no longer available.

“Mike Park has been dynamite,” said Dan Skoog, Estacada Area Community Events board member. “We want to thank Mike for stepping up, and someone else can step up (now). Estacada’s always stepped up, and we’d like to keep the Fourth of July.”

Skoog added that he’d use Park as a “landlord reference” for anyone interested in donating the use of land for the new Fourth festival home.

Drinkwine and Skoog said they have to have all of the Fourth and Timber Festival equipment moved by the end of the year — about the same time they’ll need to have secured a new festival location in order for the festivities to go on next year.

“It’ll affect the entire community if it doesn’t happen. The businesses... they won’t have that extra shot in the arm,” Skoog said. “If we can’t find another place, Estacada will take the hit for Fourth of July; that’s the reality.”

Nearly everything is in place for the celebration to go on next year — except a new home.

“We’ve got all the sponsors waiting in the wings and ready to go,” Skoog said.

He said the equipment is “very portable” and will be easy to set up in a new area.

“We’re good to start up anywhere we have a place to,” Drinkwine said.

Drinkwine said anyone who donates the use of his or her land for the festival will be able to deduct the value of renting or leasing that land from his or her taxes.

Forty to 50 acres would be ideal.

Drinkwine and Skoog don’t care if the new festival site is in Estacada, Eagle Creek or as far out as Springwater as long as it has access to a road.

There even could be some added benefits if the new festival grounds are outside of the Estacada city limits. Vendors wouldn’t have to purchase a city business license to have a booth at the festival, for instance. This could attract vendors who would have shied away from that expense.

Finding a new Fourth festival location is the main endeavor of the Estacada Area Community Events members for the remainder of the year.

Drinkwine made clear that they hope to keep the Fourth of July/Timber Festival as the central event, but they’d like to have other events as well. An Oktoberfest, for example.

Drinkwine hinted that one event could support the Estacada Chamber of Commerce and another could raise funds for the Estacada Area Food Bank, and so on.

It would be a shame if the Fourth festival didn’t go on next year, but Estacada Area Community Events certainly would find ways to keep busy.

“Estacada Area (Community) Events is not going anywhere,” Skoog promised.

Drinkwine and Skoog are not giving up hope on finding a new home for the Fourth though.

“Estacada as a whole is very patriotic,” Drinkwine said.

“We want to put a positive spin on it. Estacada has always stepped up,” Skoog said.

Save the Fourth!

If you are interested in donating the use of your land for the 2014 Estacada Fourth of July Festival, call Estacada Area Community Events at 503-630-3909.

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