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Rainbow Family to gather near Seneca

By East Oregonian

Published on June 15, 2017 4:56PM

Last changed on June 15, 2017 5:37PM

AP Photo/Rick BowmerA man who identified himself as Glowing Feather walks along a trail in the Rainbow Family encampment Tuesday, July 1, 2014, in the Uinta National Forest, Utah. About 4,000 members of a counterculture group known as the Rainbow Family poured into the woods about 60 miles east of Salt Lake City for an annual festival that culminates in a four-day celebration.

AP Photo/Rick BowmerA man who identified himself as Glowing Feather walks along a trail in the Rainbow Family encampment Tuesday, July 1, 2014, in the Uinta National Forest, Utah. About 4,000 members of a counterculture group known as the Rainbow Family poured into the woods about 60 miles east of Salt Lake City for an annual festival that culminates in a four-day celebration.

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The 2017 annual Rainbow gathering will be held on the Malheur National Forest about 20 miles outside of Seneca, the U.S. Forest Service announced Thursday.

The location will be at Flagtail Meadow, off Forest Service Road 24 and east of the South Fork John Day River.

The gathering, organized by The Rainbow Family of Living Light and open to everyone, could draw anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 people.

Participants are already beginning to arrive and officials expect attendance to peak during the week of July 1-7, according to a release by the U.S. Forest Service.

The Rainbow Family is a loose-knit group of people without leadership or organization who participate in a national gathering once a year. Attendees come from across the country. Since 1972, the event has taken place on a different national forest during a two-week period surrounding the Fourth of July holiday. Last year it was held in Vermont.

“We are working closely with the local community to raise awareness about the event and plan accordingly before the majority of participants arrive,” said Ryan Nehl, Agency Administrator and Malheur National Forest Deputy Forest Supervisor. “Ensuring public safety, minimizing impacts to local communities, and protecting natural resources will be our top priorities.”

An event of this size can have significant impacts on local communities, natural resources, traffic and visitors. Local businesses can expect to see large numbers of Rainbow Family participants along routes to the site.

This is a breaking news story. For updates, check back at www.eastoregonian.com.



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