Eugene Celebration

Festival of Eugene Wraps Up

festival of eugene picEUGENE, Ore. — The Festival of Eugene wrapped up Saturday and thousands of people attended the first-year event at Skinner Butte Park.

Organizers say having a free event like this for the community to enjoy is important to Eugene’s culture, and with the Eugene Celebration being cancelled earlier this summer, the idea for the festival was sparked.

“I was going to do something that was small, and as the interest got greater and greater, we ended up doing something quite large,” says festival producer Krysta Albert.

The event brought out nearly 5,000 people, along with 60 vendors including artists, non-profits and businesses.

The festival’s goal was to raise $14,000. They were just short of about $1,500 at last check but organizers say they’re confident they’ll get there with the help of donations during the festival.

Festival of Eugene Starts Friday

6-13 festival of eugeneEUGENE, Ore. — The Festival of Eugene is happening this weekend at Skinner Butte Park. Organizers moved it to the park after previous negotiations fell through to have it near the 5th Street Market.

Event organizers say they’re piecing together the final plans. They said they planned the festival because Eugene needs a special event like this.

“I think Eugene has a very unusual and eclectic culture. There’s a culture here and a subculture here and one of them in relation to the arts. I think it’s worth celebrating Eugene because Eugene has so much talent,” said Krysta Albert, Festival of Eugene producer.

Twenty four bands will perform at the festival on Friday and Saturday.

Festival of Eugene Lowers Booth Fees and Eases City Requirements

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The Festival of Eugene is a not-for-any-profit event that features local artistisans and crafters in a music festival. Booth fees have been made much more affordable to the average vendor at just $100 and no insurance requirement.

In previous weeks, we were under the impression crafters and artisans needed to provide their own insurance. This made the vendor booths not affordable. Now, with that being waived, vendors can participate in our event as it is more affordable and all-inclusive!

What kind of vendor are we looking for? If you have a talent or sell an item you feel passionate about, we want you to be there! The jury process is simple, your items must be unique and in good condition and quality. That is the only requirement to participate.

Spots are filling up so we are looking for you to join us in this fun, FREE and funky event! Come and listen to some of Eugene’s finest talents, visit the shops and eat at our local restaurants in the 5th Street Market area August 22nd and 23rd

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So Long Celebration, Hello Festival Of Eugene?

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You just can’t keep Eugene down.

Downtown is growing. Gone is much of the blight, the open pits, the vacant lots, and the remnants of the appallingly bad idea to turn it into a vehicle less mall.  Now beautiful new developments like LCC’s amazing new structure occupies what once used to be the main stage area for the Eugene Celebration.  It seems downtown growth has managed to displace the long running annual event.

Originally created in 1983 by the City of Eugene, it was handed over to external management in 1998. Kesey Enterprises, originally contracted by the now defunct Downtown Events Management, Inc., and now the owners of the Eugene Celebration brand, announced the cancellation of this years events with a promise to return in 2015.

This was such a disappointment to Krysta Albert, local wedding event planner (Imagine! Events) and entrepreneur, that she decided to propose an alternative: Festival Of Eugene.

FOEWithin a day of revealing her idea, “Festival Of Eugene” began to gain not only tremendous momentum, but an array of skilled local professionals intent on helping bring it to reality.

EDN asked Krysta to explain the vision for Festival Of Eugene:

“There’s a new fun, funky and free festival in town and it’s called the Festival of Eugene! This kid and family-friendly event is all about celebrating the cultural diversity and the varied talents of Eugene.

There will be live music on theatrical performances, dance performances, juggling, balloon dresses and more. This event is being produced by Imagine! Events in coalition with Baker Entertainment owned by Jaime Baker.

The biggest news is, It is a totally free event. This is a not-for profit, grass roots event. Aside from hard dollar costs for permits, etc., all the stages, equipment, staffing, performances, etc are being donated by those individuals and businesses wanting to have a festival to really celebrate Eugeneans, and to create a community event for the community and by the community! In effort to support businesses in the area of the event the beer and food sales be primarily provided by the restaurants and bars in the footprint of the festival. The Large Event permit is under review by the city.”

One of the growing complaints about the Eugene Celebration was the high cost of gaining access to the event.  Albert believes that being more inclusive will be a key to Festival Eugene’s success.

If all goes according to plan, Festival of Eugene will take place August 22, 23 and 24th.  Event coordinators are looking at one block of Pearl Street along 5th. Avenue to Willamette and one block north of 5th Avenue on Willamette and one block south of 5th Avenue on Willamette for the events location.

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Festival Of Eugene is running a GoFundMe fundraiser to pay for the permit and startup costs for the event. | http://www.gofundme.com/Festival-of-Eugene

Yesterday Kesey Enterprises announced that there will still be a Eugene Celebration Parade, and a concert at the Cuthbert Amphitheater on August 23. The concert is scheduled to feature Hell’s Bells, Zepparella and Foreverland. Organizers will also award the winners of the parade at the concert. Tickets will be $5.

According to Kesey Enterprises, the event was made possible through generous support from Lane Community College, the city of Eugene and a volunteer committee.

This combined with Festival of Eugene should make for quite a weekend.

 

Eugene Celebration Parade Back On

eug celebration FOR MONITOREUGENE, Ore. — Not all is lost when it comes to the Eugene Celebration.

Kesey Enterprises says there will be a parade and concert on August 23. It decided to reinstate the events following overwhelming public input and encouragement.

The Parade details will be made available on June 23. The concert will be held at Cuthbert Amphitheater and will feature Hell’s Bells, Zepparella and Foreverland. Organizers will also award the winners of the parade.

The concert will cost $5. Kesey Enterprises says the event is made possible through generous support from Lane Community College, the city of Eugene and a volunteer steering committee.

Community Proposes Downtown Festival

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EUGENE, Ore. — After organizers decided to cancel the Eugene Celebration this year, community members are stepping up to give the city of Eugene a chance to still have some fun.

Organizers say Eugene deserves to showcase it’s unique artists, entertainers and local business.

The organizers say a lot of people expressed disappointment following the cancellation of the Eugene Celebration.

The new proposal is called the Festival of Eugene.

It would span four city blocks, from Pearl Street and 5th Avenue stretching over to Willamette Street.

It would feature live music, performances and vendors.

Organizers say the festival would be a diverse mix of entertainment.

“You would have that contortionist, or that hula hoop girl, or an acoustic guitar player or someone playing flute really we’re talking about a large area with an incredible amount of different visual eccentricities going on all at once,” said Co-Event Coordinator, Krysta Albert.

Albert says it would be a free event on August 22nd and 23rd with the possibility of extending it to the 24th.

She says people are already waiving fees for set up and sound stages so the community can have the event.

This isn’t set in stone yet.

Right now organizers are still waiting to get the full green light from the city.

They plan to meet with Eugene Police Monday to work out some safety logistics.

Tickets and Tragedies: The News Week in Review

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We live in confusing times. Every day we encounter events that bring joy, humor, tragedy, and heartbreak. Sometimes those events are welcomed. Other times they make us want to curl into the fetal position and wish the world would just disappear. This week was no exception to the rule. We are reminded once again how much hope and strength is needed and to not take even the small things for granted.

Small things like who we are and where we live. For most, those things seem small. But for some, like Miss Oregon, where one lives can make all the difference. “Rachel Berry will not be able to compete in the Miss America pageant next year. She was selected as Miss Oregon last month. Pageant director Dana Phillips says Berry couldn’t prove she’d lived in Oregon for six months before competing in the Miss Willamette Valley pageant in April.” [1]

Some might say knowing where you live is basic education. But even education these days is up in the air, as a new bill in Oregon pushes to give more independence to universities. “The first draft of a bill to give some universities more independence from the statewide university system would prohibit them from raising in-state undergraduate tuition more than 5 percent a year. The legislation, which is in a very early stage, has been drafted in response to demands by some universities for more autonomy over their own operations. The debate was intensified when former University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere was fired in part for charting his own course in conflict with the statewide board.” [2]

For many, former President Richard Lariverve’s firing came as a surprise. Another surprise this week, though, came to residents of Lane County, when the McDonald Theatre announced the following on their Facebook page: “SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Secret show just announced for comedian DAVE CHAPPELLE at McDonald Theatre THIS SUNDAY AT 9pm!!” [3]

It was no surprise, on the other hand, that the Chappelle surprise show sold out. “Tickets went on sale at 6 p.m. Friday and all 750 at $50 each were gone within a half-hour, McDonald owner Kit Kesey said Friday night. ‘This is the quickest we’ve ever sold a show out,’ he said.” [4]

The Chappelle show was not the only event to sell out. “Mount St. Helens has become one of the most popular destinations for hikers in Washington state…Every $22 permit to climb Mount St. Helens is sold out through mid-September.” [5]

Not every event, though, sells out that quickly. The Eugene Celebration, for example, just opened up their sales and has not sold out yet. “A look ahead to next month, tickets for the 30th annual Eugene Celebration are on sale now. You can buy them at TicketsWest, the UO Bookstore and other locations. They cost $10 in advance for all three days or $15 at the gate. Kids 12 and younger get in free. Proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity. Eugene Celebration is August 24-26.” [6]

Residents of Lane County are familiar with the Celebration’s happenings, with live bands and arts and, of course, the yearly display of public nudity. But, while there is always the usual display of public nudity at the Celebration, this nudity does not present itself as political speech, unlike a man who stripped naked at the Portland airport to protest TSA requirements.

“A man arrested after he stripped naked at Portland International Airport (PDX) was found not guilty of public indecency at a trial Wednesday. John Brennan, a frequent-flying businessman from Portland, set off an explosives wand in April and stripped naked to show Transportation Security Administration screeners he was not carrying a bomb…A judge found Brennan not guilty of public indecency on the grounds that he stripped naked as a form of protest, which is protected speech.”  [7]

While Brennan getting naked in front of the TSA is certainly an event, it is probably not an event people will buy tickets for any time soon. The same goes for the absurdist act — artistic or otherwise — of shooting one’s own TV while drinking.

Police in Salem, Ore., say a man who had been entertaining himself and his dog with a laser scope on his gun finally pointed it at his TV and pulled the trigger — forgetting the gun was loaded. Police spokesman Steve Birr tells KATU-TV the bullet went through a wall into an adjacent home where five people were present. No one was hurt but one of them called police late Saturday night. Police say the man apparently had been drinking.” [8]

While that Salem man’s neighbors were fortunately unharmed, the brother-in-law of a Eugene spiritual healer was not so lucky. “A spiritual healer from Eugene was sentenced to prison on Friday for using a baseball bat to fatally bludgeon his brother-in-law in the victim’s Reno, Nev., home in April 2010. Timothy Wayne Morgan, 27, could serve up to 33 years in a Nevada state prison in connection with the death of Eric Dee Preimesberger.” [9]

The state of Oregon could use its own healer, though admittedly not one armed with a baseball bat, now that Governor Kitzhaber has declared a state of emergency due to wildfires in Oregon. “Gov. John Kitzhaber has declared a state of emergency in response to wildfires that have burned more than 1,100 square miles in southeastern Oregon. Kitzhaber signed an executive order Tuesday directing state agencies to assist affected landowners and seek federal disaster assistance.” [10]

The most significant emergency this week, though, has been the hearbreaking shooting in Colorado during the opening of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Rises film. The event has transfixed the attention of this nation. “The 2012 Aurora shooting happened on July 20, 2012, when a gunman opened fire during the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in a Cinemark movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 people and injuring 58 others. The suspected gunman, later identified as James Eagan Holmes and believed to be acting alone, entered the theater dressed in protective clothing, set off smoke or gas canisters, then shot the audience with multiple firearms. The attack was the largest ever mass shooting in the United States in terms of casualties.” [11]

The lives of so many people have been changed forever, and their pain has echoed around the country. Nolan, the director of Dark Knight Rises, issued a statement on the tragedy: “The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families.” [12]

May the dead rest in peace, and may the living continue to heal and find strength.

August 1 – Morning Headlines

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Morning Headlines

Headlines

  • Former Ducks star Joey Harrington hit while riding bike
    Former University of Oregon Ducks star quarterback Joey Harrington was struck by a SUV while he rode his bike on Sunday evening, a Portland Police spokesman said.
  • How the Eugene Emeralds eked out a playoff spot
    The Eugene Emeralds’ playoff hopes hinged upon one game. Win, and they capitalize on their Northwest League-record 14-game win streak from earlier in the season and book their ticket to the postseason. Lose while the Vancouver Canadians win, and their …

 

Tim Chuey Weather:

It seems like we’ve heard this one before. We have more sun and warming, followed by more clouds and cooling, then back again.

high pressure ridge (“Arch” shape) has brought back the sunshine and is warming us up again. A low pressure trough (“U” shape) will move through and a weak cold front already moved through for another round of clouds and slight cooling. Another cold front will come through by mid week. It seems like this seesaw temperature pattern will last a little while longer, but the cooling won’t be by very much before temperatures start to rise again. It will stay dry with possible thunderstorms in Douglas county mid week and maybe showers in the mountains.

Partly cloudy today, mostly clear tonight, mostly sunny Tuesday AM, partly cloudy Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday night highs 86-82 lows  48-55. Partly cloudy Thursday AM, mostly sunny in the afternoon, mostly clear Thursday night, mostly sunny Friday AM, partly cloudy Friday afternoon and evening, mostly cloudy Friday night, then partly cloudy Saturday through Sunday highs 82-85 cooling to near 80 by Sunday lows 55-52. (seasonal averages high 83 low 52)

The Pollen forecast for the Eugene/Springfield Area is for weeds and trees to be Absent, and Grass to be just barely in the Moderate category. Mold will be Moderate. The grass pollen season is pretty much over. (Provided by Allergy and Asthma Research Group)

Because weather forecasting is a combination of science, intuition, and timing there can be no absolute guarantees that individual forecasts will be 100% accurate. Nature is in a constant state of flux and sudden unexpected weather events can happen.

Keep Current on the Weather: timchueyweather4u.com

Harrington suffered non-life threatening injuries Sunday.

A Conversation With The Slug Queen

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A Conversation With The Slug Queen
Kevin Baird, EDN

Jerril Nilson (Queen Slugasana) is the reigning Slug Queen of the Eugene Celebration, which is held every August in downtown Eugene. Aside from being a mother and serving on the board of directors at the Eugene Ballet Company, Jerril has been running a graphic design business from her home for the last 21 years. The flexibility of working at home has given her the freedom to pursue “silly things” like the honor of Eugene’s Slug Queen.

Queen Slugasana, Photo Courtesy Jon Meyers

KB: Is the Slug Queen something you’ve wanted to be for a long time.

JN: Yes, I became involved with the Eugene celebration  when it first started. I was in a group of  parade enthusiasts. Back in 85’ we started to be in the Eugene celebration parade and our group was known as the Rickies. We have a checkered past as a group of people from a lot of diverse backgrounds. A group of friends who enjoyed being irreverent and making fun or light of the political situation in Eugene. We did that from about 85′ til 2003 . We became the reason people wanted to go to the parade. Because people wanted to see what we would do next. Around that same time when the celebration started, they started the slug queen almost in tandem. After the Rickies stopped being active it seemed like the logical next thing to do–run for Slug Queen or run for mayor.

KB: What did  you do to be elected slug queen?

JN: I did a lot of homework. I interviewed old Slug Queens to figure out what other people had done to succeed and also to find out what they would like as a bribe. I decided to do a costume that was going to blow peoples heads off. I wanted to create something completely new from scratch. I got in touch with the Eugene ballet company.  Went over to the costume shop, got a bunch of fabric and secured the services of a young woman who is a professional costume designer. She came up with the design of the costume. The headpiece was my idea. I had my hairdresser coil all the wires; it’s telephone wire.  The costume was a big deal for me. I wanted to have something that was distinctive. The 8-foot train with the balloons was pretty hard to miss. I bribed them (the judges, which consist of the old Slug Queens and two celebrity judges) with really good food and wine and gift certificates. The way you are technically supposed to win is by voting and you get points by costume, talent and a random question. For my talent I enlisted friends from my yoga class to be my court. I borrowed a giant snail costume from the Eugene Ballet Company. The snail shell is very big and its on wheels. My friend, Ben Goodman, was my consort for the day. He wore bright-blue tights carried the snail shell. Everybody did yoga poses and a choreographed dance to “Everybody dance Now,” by C+C Music Machine.

Queen Slugasana and Her royal Court Perform at the Eugene Celebration, Photo Courtesy Jerril Nilson

 

KB: What emotions did you feel when you announced that you won?

JN: It was scary because they did say it was really close. I was just really relieved and really excited. I felt like everyone put in 110%. I didn’t feel like “O ya I did this. I won.” I felt very supported and I was glad I had so many people helping me. It felt like a real group effort. I didn’t cry because I had a lot of make-up on and it would have ruined it. I smiled  a lot.

 

KB: Since your coronation what have you done in the community?

JN: I’ve done a lot of odd things. Were obligated by the position to appear in the Eugene Celebration parade. It was a very long day and it was very fun. Then you’re just milling amongst the crowd for the rest of the day. You can’t go five feet without someone wanting to take a picture. In October I did the First Friday Art Walk. In November I posed for live drawings at the Oregon Art Alliance, so people drew me and sold their works on the spot. For the Lane County Tourism Group I met a contingent of tourism writers from Canada at the train station. I greeted them as the official cultural ambassador of Eugene. The OOzquarade Ball was at the Mcdonald Theatre in May. We had an evening of food and entertainment. We had an art auction and raffle and we raised awareness for the School Garden Project of Lane County.

 

"I smiled a lot." Photo Courtesy Roger Rix

Any final thoughts?

 JN: People have interesting conceptions of what a Slug Queen is. I was at a party the other day and someone said “I thought those were only transvestites.” There has been one transvestite and he was fabulous. You can be a guy a girl or in-between. The first Slug Queen was a man– a strait man who just happened to have a good sense of humor. We don’t call them Kings when they’re men; they’re still Queens.

I think it’s a great way to experience Eugene from the other side. That’s why I did the parades all those years. When you go into costume, when you go into disguise or people don’t know exactly who you are, you can interact with the public in a way that you can’t when you’re just yourself. That’s eye opening because you’re seeing people in a way that you don’t normally do because they are reacting to what they’re seeing, which isn’t necessarily you. It’s your costume and all your make-up. It lets you make a connection with people that you otherwise don’t have a chance to do.