What's going on at Colony Days?
Aurora will once again transform itself as this year's edition of Aurora Colony Days is Aug. 11-13.
Here's what's going on:
• 1K/5K Run Walk — Saturday. The 5K walk/run starts at 7:30 a.m. at the Old Aurora Colony Museum (15018 Second St.). At 8:30 a.m., the 1K kids fun run begins at the same spot.
• Antique & Vintage Street Faire — This staple of Colony Days will be open Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in downtown Aurora. Main Street will be closed to feature vendors selling their wares. Antique appraisals by Gary McLaren of McLaren Auction Services will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost is $5 per item. Proceeds benefit Backpack Buddies.
• Celebration in the Park — Papa Smoke will deliver free musical entertainment from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday at Aurora City Park.
• Colony Parade — The annual Aurora Colony Days parade will be at 11 a.m. Saturday starting at Aurora City Park. There is no fee to join the parade. Check in at 8:30 a.m. on the Main Street side of the park. This year's theme is "Community Garden."
• Art Show & Sale — This will be held Friday through Sunday at the fellowship hall in Christ Lutheran Church. The show runs noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. An opening reception will be 5 to 7 p.m. Friday.
• Family Friendly Beer Garden — The beer garden will be held on Friday from 5 to 11 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. on Main Street behind the William Keil Building. Brats and curly fries will be available from Ebner's Custom Meats in Canby. Children can have root beer floats.
Friday, Aug. 11
• 5 to 11 p.m. — Family Friendly Beer Garden (near the Octagon Building)
• 5 to 7 p.m. — Artists' reception (Fellowship Hall at Christ Lutheran Church)
Saturday, Aug. 12
• 7 to 11 a.m. — Pancake breakfast (American Legion Hall)
• 7:30 a.m. — 5K Run/Walk (run starts at Old Aurora Colony Museum)
• 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Vintage Street Faire (downtown Aurora)
• 8:30 a.m. — 1K Fun Run (starts at Old Aurora Colony Museum)
• 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Artisan Farmers Market (downtown Aurora)
• 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Antique Appraisals at $5 per item (McLaren Auction Services)
• Noon to 5 p.m. — Free art show & sale (Fellowship Hall at Christ Lutheran Church)
• 11 a.m. — Aurora Colony Days Parade (starts at Aurora Park on Main Street)
• 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Old Aurora Colony Museum exhibits (free Saturday entry)
• Noon to 5 p.m. — Family-friendly beer garden (near the Octagon Building)
• 5:30 to 10 p.m. — Celebration in the Park (Aurora City Park amphitheater)
Sunday, Aug. 13
• Noon to 4 p.m. — Art Show & Sale (Fellowship Hall at Christ Lutheran Church
• Noon to 4 p.m. — Old Aurora Colony Museum
Parade honors business owners
On Saturday morning, along the streets, sidewalks and front yards in Aurora, there won't be a bad seat for anyone who turns out for the annual Aurora Colony Days parade.
But three of Aurora's citizens will have very special seats, indeed. Riding in style will be Arnie and Barb Mitchell as king and queen of the parade, and Karen Townsend as volunteer of the year.
The Mitchells are the owners of the Feller House Bed and Breakfast, located at the intersection of Butteville and Ehlen roads. They moved to Aurora 10 years ago to buy and remodel the Feller House property, formerly the farmhouse on a hops farm that dated to the 1860s. They had been longtime residents of Newberg, where they raised their son and daughter. Barb worked in the business office of George Fox University for many years and Arnie spent 25 years with Camp Tilikum, 15 as property manager and 10 as director.
"Owning a B&B was a fulfillment of a dream for me," said Barb. "It has been a lot of fun meeting guests from all around the world."
The couple's decade in Aurora has brought many community and volunteer engagements.
For seven years they sponsored a community garden on the Feller House property, with group work sessions, weekly potluck dinners and special events such as tomato tastings. Helping to advance the cause of B&Bs, Barb serves on the board of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild. The couple became involved with the Aurora Colony Visitors Association, for which Barb has been treasurer for the past two years.
They have led various beautification efforts in Aurora, such as regular maintenance of the wine-barrel flower planters and restoration of the "Aurora blue" memorial benches that dot the downtown business district.
Townsend is the owner of the Time After Time antiques and gift store in an 1870s-era house on Main Street. She came from Seattle to Aurora in 1981 with her husband Larry and their two young daughters. She opened her business two years later. By the end of the decade, she had begun her long and vital record of civic involvement.
Her life in Aurora has included many terms and many different leadership roles on the city planning commission, the Aurora Colony Historic Museum, the Historic Review Board and the Aurora Colony Visitors Association (and its predecessor chamber of commerce). Currently, she serves on the Historic Review Board and is marketing director for the Aurora Colony Visitors Association.
Townsend has spearheaded many Aurora projects, including its many new sidewalks and streetscape improvements, and extensive city code revisions for historic identification and protection. Her work has allowed Aurora to win many competitive state grants to fund municipal improvements and economic development projects.
The hallmark of all of Townsend's efforts has been fruitful coordination and cooperation among numerous and sometimes disparate entities, volunteer groups and interested individuals.
"We always find common ground in our mutual love for Aurora," she said.
John Berard, chair of the Colony Days parade committee, said that all three exemplify how individuals make a difference in Aurora.
"They truly are vital members of the community. They don't merely live here and make their living here -— they give thoughtfully and generously of their time, talent and probably some of their personal treasure to make Aurora a better place for all of us and our many visitors," he said. "They enjoy doing it. That's plain for anyone to see, and it's infectious."
Art association's annual show features Aurora painter
This year's featured artist for the Aurora Arts Association's annual show, in conjunction with Aurora Colony Days Aug. 11-13, is Aurora resident Matthew Eveleigh.
The show's extensive display of Eveleigh's acrylic paintings will feature his local landscapes, many depicting scenes near his home on Meridian Road.
Eveleigh said he wants his works to give the perspective that this is how it has always been and how it will always be.
"My first subjects were all taken from within a mile or two of my house," he remembered. "After a while my work began to transform my experience of living here. It began to dawn on me that being an artist was actually a way of life, of being in the world, and it wasn't confined to the times when I was actually painting."
A native of the United Kingdom who came to the U.S. 25 years ago, Eveleigh said that both of his parents had been painters and that, earlier in his life, he had been a stone carver. In fact, his own stone-carved lettering adorns walls at the Oregon Holocaust Museum and the Portland Art Museum.
Eveleigh's art has evolved from its origins in stone into landscape, and is now moving into the abstract.
"Each painting is a journey, the outcome of which can't be seen in advance," he said.
The 30th annual Aurora Arts Association Show and Sale takes place Aug. 11-13 at Christ Lutheran Church, 15029 Second Ave. (just off Liberty Street and Highway 99E). The show begins Friday with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m., then is open noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free.
To find out more about Eveleigh, check out his website at mattheweveleigh.com.