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Sandy Mountain Festival Celebrates 52 Years

By Patti Jo Brooks

Sandy Mountain Festival Celebrates 52 Years

It’s Sandy Mountain Festival time again! Celebrating 52 years, the festival kicks off July 11 at 7 p.m. with the Sandy Mountain Festival Parade. Picking up again July 13 and 14 in Meinig Memorial Park, the festival is known for being one of the elite art fairs in the state of Oregon, and showcases some of the premier artists of the Pacific Northwest and around the country. Great entertainment, lively music, and food vendors serving up mouth-watering fare guarantee a fun time to be had by all!
Thursday, July 11, grab your blankets and lawn chairs and pick your favorite spot along Pioneer Blvd. to enjoy a procession of colorful floats, antique cars, animals, marching groups, decked out trucks and more. The parade starts at Bluff and Pioneer Blvd. at 7 p.m. and runs east along Pioneer ending at the disband area on Wolf Dr. Or, watch the parade from the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce’s Music Fair and Feast beer garden in the Centennial Plaza across from City Hall. The beer garden opens at 5 p.m. with food and drink available.
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow is the celebrated theme of the 2024 Sandy Mountain Festival. In keeping with the theme, Sandy’s Mountain Man Dan Stevens is this year’s honoree and Grand Marshal of the Sandy Mountain Festival Parade. “Dan has been a part of the festival since it began 52 years ago,” relates Lisa Snider, president of the Sandy Mountain Festival organization. “Dan was always in the parade with the Festival Bear, and then spent the weekend in the park speaking with visitors and sharing stories about Sandy’s early beginnings,” she adds. This special honor poignantly marks Stevens’ last year with the festival as he will be retiring from his longtime role of volunteering. The Sandy Mountain Festival organization and the community of Sandy wish to extend their sincere thanks to Dan Stevens for all of his selfless contributions over the last 52 years!
Saturday, July 13 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, July 14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sandy Mountain Festival activities resume in Meinig Memorial Park, located on Meinig Ave., just south of Pioneer Blvd. Handcrafted items from over 110 artisans will be on display for you to browse and shop amidst the sylvan setting of the park. Approximately 15 food booths, all run by local non-profit organizations, service clubs, churches, high school clubs and scouts will volunteer their efforts to provide tasty delicacies worth remembering. Among the vendors you’ll find Sandy Kiwanis doling out Ice Cream Bars, Sandy Rotary enticing with hand pies, Sandy Girls Basketball offering refreshing Sno Cones and Sandy Historical Society/Hull Foundation for the Blind selling corn on the cob. This is but a small representation, so before making a hard and fast choice, take a sweep through the park and check out all the scrumptious options from all the various food booths. For many of these local volunteer groups, participation in the Sandy Mountain Festival is their main fundraiser for the year, so your support is greatly appreciated!
Enjoy live music in the park Saturday and Sunday, July 13 and 14 performing on the Dale Nichols Front Stage, featuring a great lineup of bands and vocal talent. Bring your chairs and blankets and spend the day by the creek listening to a variety of fabulous tunes. A full lineup of children’s entertainment will also take place Saturday and Sunday at the Birdcage Theater (Theater in the Woods). Please visit the sandymountainfestival.org website for a complete list of entertainers/entertainment and times of performance for both the Dale Nichols Front Stage and the Birdcage Theater.
“We have an amazing board,” says Snider. “Without them, Sandy wouldn’t have a festival.” She further acknowledges the long hours they work to bring this festival to fruition. “All of our board members work full time jobs, volunteer with the festival and also contribute in other ways in the Sandy community,” she points out. As for Snider herself, who grew up on a ranch in Sandy, the festival has been a part of her family’s life since it first began in 1972. Having been a part of the Sandy Mountain Festival since 1983, throughout the first ten years Snider rode horses in the parade along with her friends. “My dad drove his Model A in the parade those years as well,” she adds. From 1994 to 2015 she was the equestrian coordinator and was subsequently voted onto the board as hospitality coordinator. “I was so excited,” Snider shares. “I knew most of the board members and was thrilled to serve alongside them.” This year is Snider’s first term as festival president. She’s taken the reins with confidence and has a positive outlook on the Festival’s future.
Please visit the website: sandymountainfestival.org for additional information, including pet policy, parking and transportation, handicap parking and free trolley service. Select the “About” tab and choose the corresponding heading. Interested in getting involved with the festival? Select the “Support” tab on the website and fill out the form. Someone from the festival organization will get in touch to share volunteer opportunities with you.

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