As Pendleton Underground Tours come to life Saturday, the Pendleton Downtown Association wants to ensure that surface streets will be lively as well.
On the same day the underground tours conducts its annual re-enactment of old Pendleton, the association will put on its Downtown Comes Alive event to promote shopping and patronage.
After the Downtown Holiday Stroll brought more than 900 people to Main Street in December, the association board wanted to create a follow-up event.
“We wanted to find ways to get people downtown and show community pride,” said Molly Turner, the association’s executive director.
The resulting event was Downtown Comes Alive, which features similar events and promotion but without the icy weather and yuletide theme. It will run from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Shortly after the event kicks off, the Pendleton Lions will parade down Main Street at 10 a.m.
The Main Street Cowboys will bring their calliope to the downtown area while actors performing as period characters from Blue Mountain Community College theatre program will stroll through the area throughout the day.
A beer garden with cocktails from Oregon Grain Growers Brand Distillery will be featured at the Great Pacific Wine & Coffee Co.
This is in addition to the two dozen downtown businesses and organizations offering special sales and events, including the ReRide Resale Western Store and Boutique, Hamley SteakHouse, New York Richie’s, Pendleton Coffee Bean & Bistro, the Children’s Museum of Eastern Oregon, Bella Cosa and the Pendleton Center for the Arts.
In addition to cocktails at Great Pacific, the Oregon Grain Growers distillery at 511 S.E. Court Ave. is hosting a “Mix it Up!” fundraiser for the Oregon East Symphony.
The event will include unique cocktails inspired by the symphony musicians, hors d’oeuvres and a Dutch auction. Tickets are sold at the door.
Turner said the association is already planning bring back the holiday stroll for 2017, and if Downtown Comes Alive is successful, these types of association-sponsored events could become regular mainstays multiple times per year.