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North Plains Chamber yields event rights

After a confusing season in which two garlic festivals dueled for supremacy in 2013, the North Plains Chamber of Commerce membership last week awarded ownership of the Elephant Garlic Festival to the city for 2014.

In October, city officials asked the chamber to donate the Elephant Garlic Festival’s property rights to the city so the city could use the properties as needed. The city could not move forward with plans for a 2014 festival until this issue was decided.

The Elephant Garlic Festival has been operated by the chamber of commerce since it began as “North Plains Days” in 1989. As the event evolved, “North Plains Days” was renamed Elephant Garlic Festival in 1998 as part of an effort to expand the draw of visitors. Over the years, the event has grown substantially, and in 2011 the festival won the “2011 Essence of Washington County” award.

It has been rated the “Tenth Best Garlic Festival” in the world by Travel Magazine.

An agreement between the chamber and the city will be prepared to identify the properties and for the chamber to relinquish all rights to the property. City officials plan to contract with the North Plains Event Association to operate the Elephant Garlic Festival, with the city retaining ownership.

“We wish the North Plains Event Association continued success in operating the Elephant Garlic Festival, which raises funds for many community groups and brings visitors to local businesses,” said Russ Sheldon, president of the chamber.

The chamber will participate in the festival in some way, but that will need to be decided by the chamber when the city has its plans in place.




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