More locally grown and locally made products than usual were on display at Boardman’s SAGE Center Saturday during the annual Morrow County Harvest Festival.
The event drew families from all over the area to shop for produce and participate in free mule rides, games and crafts. Activities were spread between the outside of the building and indoors, where attendees could also check out the SAGE Center attractions.
Anita Meinke, from Umatilla, brought her son, 6, to the event for their first time at the SAGE Center.
“I really enjoyed the inside,” she said. “It was our first time and I was really impressed with what they have in there. It’s very educational.”
She said they also had fun riding the mule-drawn wagon, and she was glad her son had somewhere to run around outside.
“It’s a fun family event,” she said.
In addition to offering residents a family-friendly activity, the Harvest Festival was an opportunity for vendors to show off their wares and gain new customers. Nathan and Keri Heideman of Crappy View Farm and Stuff near Ione said it was their first time participating in the event. They had a table upstairs with jewelry, crafts and other items made from things found on their farm.
“It’s a good event,” Keri said. “I like that it really shows our community off and what we’re about. I think a lot of people don’t understand agriculture. It’s nice for people to see where their food comes from.”
Jolene O’Neal of Boardman has a small business selling items she crochets, paintings of her husband’s and crafts made by a friend. She goes to a few bazaars a year and last year sold more than 100 crocheted hats with a hole at the top for a ponytail or messy bun. At her booth Saturday she said she wished she had more time to go look around at other vendors’ displays.
“I like being involved in local stuff,” she said. “I know a lot of people, so it’s nice to see some familiar faces.”
She said she also wanted to support the SAGE Center, which she said was “awesome” about working with the schools when she was a teacher in Boardman. The center even let her drama students use the auditorium for performances.
Virginia and Ken Harris of Umatilla were on hand selling watercolors by Virginia and photos by Ken. Virginia said they have been to every Harvest Festival since its beginning four years ago.
She said they were impressed with how the Port of Morrow had created so many jobs for so many people, and wanted to come out and be part of a community event there.
“We like what’s happening in this community,” she said.
The free event was hosted by the SAGE Center in partnership with Boardman, Heppner and Irrigon chambers of commerce. It included fresh produce from Threemile Canyon Farms to support 4-H programs, displays by local artisans and growers, pumpkin painting, games for children, wagon rides, a photo booth and a chance to see the SAGE Center museum, which features a variety of hands-on exhibits about local agricultural and industrial operations.
Contact Jade McDowell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-564-4536.