Cloudy weather didn't stop visitors from all over Western Oregon from enjoying Aurora's annual walk

HERALD PHOTO: CAROL ROSEN - Brandon and Grace Driessen came down to Aurora with their sleepy daughter looking for antiques. The couple is from Camas, Wash. and was 'having a great time on their walk.'While it wasn't the most beautiful day, Oregon skies were cloudy on Dec. 1, that didn't stop people from visiting Aurora to take part in the Wine and Chocolate Walk. It also didn't stop people buying antiques, Christmas presents and food from the various shops along the walk.

The Walk is a great way for Aurora residents to meet their neighbors and it also promises ticket buyers a way to save $18 on the things they buy. Those coupons are also good until April, said Susan Blank, treasurer of the Aurora Colony Visitors Association.

Most of the people the Herald bumped into hailed from up and down the Interstate 5 corridor as well as Washington State. Although shopkeepers assured people that shoppers came from Aurora too.

Jean Zinn and Sharon Anton were having a great time. "We really liked it," Anton said. They added to people from Camus, Washington, Beaverton, Eugene, Corvallis, Cle Elum, Washington and other cities from the two states.

There were people there from Canby and Wilsonville too. Martha Stewart is a member of the fifth generation of her family in Canby. She and friends Cathy Erland, also from Canby, and Kathi Lewis from Charbonneau/Wilsonville "were drinking just enough and enjoying the chocolates, antiques and the new stores.

There also was Christmas with the Schoolmaster, a series of little vignettes about the year 1878. The tour through the museum was seen through the eyes of the schoolmaster, who was about to retire, just when the colony's way of life was changing.

The tour happened after dark and was led with lanterns and candles. The dramas took visitors through the schoolroom, the Steinbach log cabin, the tool shed, the wash house and the Kraus House. Among the actors were Steve Freid, who played George Steinbach, who was upset the school was getting a female teacher, and his daughter Catherine, played by 12-year old Amelia Gianella who played the violin like a professional.

HERALD PHOTO: CAROL ROSEN - Garry and Charlotte Painter from Sandy, Ore. ran into family members from Salem. 'We came last year and loved it, so we came back and it's still fun,' Charlotte said.

The tour was a first for the town, said Luana Hill, a board member of the Old Aurora Colony Museum. It seems they had more people than expected. Tour groups were larger than expected.

All in all, it was a great time, said the many people interviewed, a lot of fun, some wine and some wonderful chocolates!

Carol Rosen
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