The 51st Fiesta Mexicana has come and gone, and life in Woodburn is back to normal.

This year was different than in years past, with a truncated two-day festival instead of the three-day event of yore, a variation on the popular soccer tournament and an earlier parade time in conjunction with the rescheduled queen’s coronation.

Whenever there are changes to any event that is dearly beloved, there will always be individuals who seem to see only the negative things associated with those changes.

We have received telephone calls, visits and comments on our Facebook page bemoaning how far Fiesta has fallen and desiring to go back to “the old days.”

Certainly, the Woodburn Area Chamber of Commerce, which is in charge of the event, has worked tirelessly to make sure this Woodburn tradition never goes away. Yet, they seem to have a lack of community volunteers.

Why are Woodburn residents so quick to jump on the accusatory and negative bandwagon, instead of rolling up their sleeves and helping to make a difference?

Some changes couldn’t have been helped. Take, for example, the soccer tournament. A local volunteer, Eve Castro, was left with barely more than a week to plan an event after a larger conglomerate pulled out of Fiesta to join a tournament in Salem instead. When we announced the change on our Facebook page, a torrent of negative comments were posted, with people lamenting that Castro was in charge and that now there’s no reason to go to Fiesta.

Couldn’t these same folks have gotten on the phone and asked Castro how they could help?

Fiesta organizers have a vision to make Fiesta Woodburn’s Oktoberfest or St. Paul Rodeo. But what they have and what we in Woodburn lack are volunteers. Sure, we have some dedicated individuals, but it’s not to the point where the entire town shuts down to put on an event.

Why can’t we all band together and show some pride in our town? Why do we just point fingers and blame people for ruining what we once thought was a great festival??The only way to ensure a festival is great is to get involved.

So do something. If you think there is a problem, be part of the solution. Don’t wait until plans are in full swing for the 52nd annual event, but do it now. Let’s make Fiesta an event we can all continue to be proud of!

Contract Publishing

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