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Scappoose Summerfest unlikely to happen

Event organizers say no event planned for 2016

SPOTLIGHT FILE PHOTO - A Ferris wheel ride was part of the 2015 Scappoose Summerfest carnival. Last year's event organizers say there is no festival being planned for this year, due to a lack of community attendance and involvement.After years of an annual summer festival, members of the Scappoose Boosters confirmed there is no Summerfest planned for 2016.

The annual weekend festival, formerly called the Scappoose Pow Wow, had become a tradition for many residents. Last June, the Scappoose Boosters, a club that organizes events to raise money for youth programs such as sports, put on a two-day festival at Veterans Park, complete with a carnival, parade, vendor booths, a beer garden and live music.

Boosters member Renee Pizzo confirmed Wednesday that a “combination of a lack of volunteers and lack of attendance” over the last five years led organizers to back away from planning another one.

Pizzo, one of the primary organizers of the 2015 Summerfest, said if the festival did get revived, it’s unlikely it would be a two-day event.

“We are kind of kicking around the idea of a one-day fest, but we have nothing scheduled for this year,” Pizzo said.

The festival was known to most residents as the Pow Wow festival before Scappoose Boosters members decided to rebrand the event without the Native American term in 2014.

Janet Williams, who also helped plan last year’s event, said she’d like to see the festival come back, if the Boosters could get more buy-in from the city and other community groups.

“[Mayor] Scott Burge and most of the other councilors, they really are supporting it and like it, I just think we haven’t quite figured out how to have it make money and not be a wash,” Williams said.

Scappoose Summerfest is the second of two community festivals to be discontinued in the city due to lack of volunteer help and community participation. In 2014, it was announced that the Sauerkraut Festival that fall would be the last.