Summer is finally here.

And with summer comes all the summer festivals, all the happenings at places big and small around Eastern Oregon. I especially like the small stuff.

Last weekend I got to go to Weston's Pioneer Days - and the newspaper paid me for it since I took lots of pictures of all the cute kids watching and participating in the parade and interviewed the parade coordinators and firefighters who made breakfast for much of the town. On the way to Weston, I stopped off in Athena to take photos of the Lads and Lassies Cancer Walk and talk to people involved in that first-time fundraiser.

Even if you're not from the town, the town and the people welcome you as if it was your home.

For some places, like Adams Day earlier in the spring, it might be one of the only festivals happening all year. It might be one of the only time kids and families crowd to the curbs of Main Street, hopping for joy in anticipation of seeing the fire truck drive by as part of the parade - or hopping in anticipation of all the candy they can rake up during the parade.

Other reporters might find these festivals quaint or domestic. I find them heartwarming. It's nice to know that it doesn't take lots of money or lots of technology to have old-fashioned fun, and kids still enjoy it.

So here's to summer. Get ready for the festivals.

- Samantha Bates

Weekenders are lighthearted comments on recent events provided by East Oregonian reporters and editors. They represent the views of the authors and are not necessarily those of the East Oregonian or its editorial board..

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