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Waterfront Blues Production and Fuller Events have assumed all oversight and management of huge annual Fourth of July festival.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP FILE PHOTO - Thousands of people have gathered during the Fourth of July weekend for the annual Waterfront Blues Festival. For the first time in more than 20 years, the Oregon Food Bank won't be a part of the event this year.There has been a shakeup with the Waterfront Blues Festival, as Oregon Food Bank has bowed out as owner and operator.

But, the core team that built the festival in 1988 will remain.

Oregon Food Bank has produced the festival and and received a portion of the net proceeds as beneficiary to the tune of more than $10 million and 20 million pounds of food. It wants to concentrate its financial resources and staff energies on its core mission of eliminating hunger.

"Our foremost responsibility is fighting hunger," says Susannah Morgan, CEO of Oregon Food Bank, which serves more than 700,000 people in Oregon and Clark County, Washington.

Waterfront Blues Production and Fuller Events have assumed all oversight and management of the festival, which only two years ago required admission for the first time, rather than donation. The team includes Peter Dammann, longtime festival artistic director and performer. Fuller Events has been involved in the festival for many years as well.

Planning for the 2018 festival is well underway. Ticket sales and an artist preview will be announced in mid-February via a new festival website. The 2018 festival will take place July 4 through July 7 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland. Oregon Food Bank will remain a beneficiary of the event.

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