by: WILLAMETTE FALLS HERITAGE FOUNDATION - In previous years, the locks on the Willamette River were open to Lock Fest participants. After a two-year hiatus, Lock Fest is returning in 2013, and the planning group that has been meeting at Market of Choice at 7 a.m. every Wednesday needs your help and support.

The Lock Fest team is tackling many new questions created by partnering with the 2013 Willamette Falls Festival and expanding to longer hours and two days — Oct. 5 and 6 — and we need twice as many volunteers.

The event has moved uphill from the locks, to a parking lot at the west end of the arch bridge. And unlike previous years, it’s in October.

But the group is excited to again be celebrating our 1873 Willamette Falls Navigation Canal and Locks and spotlighting the need to reopen them.

This year’s festival lacks a flotilla to bring the canal to life. The locks are closed to boaters, but they can be seen from the arch bridge or the park, and locks advocates will have a public involvement booth at the festival where you can learn more and express support for finding the canal a new owner.

“Paper and Power Tours,” sponsored by West Linn Paper Company and Portland General Electric, will again offer visitors guided walks on the mill island on a first-come, first-served basis hourly, Saturday only. Registration is at the Mill Street site, where hopefuls need to be signed up and get their tickets well before each hour.

Free self-guided tours of the locks museum will be available for fully mobile visitors both days. The museum is a federal historic site, opened in 1974 after the 100th birthday of the locks and their placement on the Nation Register of Historic Places. Volunteer helpers are needed for two-hour shifts on Saturday or Sunday (or both). If you can help, please contact Jackie Flowers, our volunteer coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This year’s festival will include the West Linn Centennial Museum; a One Willamette River locks display; antique and classic boats; a table model of the locks; an Ice Age floods display; papermaking demonstrations; geocaching; a Lake Oswego Iron Trail/Iron Furnace and Lake Oswego Preservation Society exhibit; and the Willamette United Methodist “pie ladies.” As we move into colder weather, West Linn Food Pantry barrels will be on site for donations to help with food insecurity.

Free parking will be at the West Linn High School parking lot, about two blocks above Willamette Falls Drive. A small shuttle bus with lift for less mobile visitors will run from there to Lock Fest and connections can be made to Willamette Falls Festival activities at Clackamette Park and Blue Heron across the river.

This year the planning group, led by Willamette Falls Heritage Foundation, welcomed new members from West Linn Chamber of Commerce and Rotary International. Lock Fest is only possible because of its dedicated volunteers and the help of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Portland General Electric, West Linn Paper Company, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the city of West Linn. Go to for additional information, including festival hours, site map, exhibitor list and shuttle map and schedule.

Please come and join us. Walk across the bridge, open to pedestrians Sunday morning from 6 to noon. Then pull a volunteer shift or just stroll down from the high school with a couple of cans of food. Buy the new Lock Fest T-shirt and poster. And support West Linn’s amazing transportation and manufacturing history with your presence.

Sandy Carter is the coordinator for the One Willamette River Coalition, vice president of the Willamette Falls Heritage Foundation and lives in West Linn.

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