We happily welcome the hustle and bustle more than ever as we enter the summer of 2021

It is shaping up to be another busy summer here at the community newspaper. Like most years, activity in Crook County starts picking up steam around the time of high school graduation and doesn't really let up until Labor Day Weekend when the last hurrah of summer events closes out the season.

For us on the Central Oregonian staff, it means lots of extra hours taking pictures, writing stories centered around special events and doing our best to maintain a continual presence in the community and cover all the excitement. It keeps us hopping and often means working evenings and weekends to make sure we get it in the paper.

And we welcome the hustle and bustle more than ever as we enter the summer of 2021, because even though it is a lot of work, it is far better than what happened in 2020. That summer, of course, became the summer of cancelations as COVID-19 tightened its grip on our community and the rest of the world. Very few events survived – the Crooked River Roundup rodeo and races got canceled, so did the Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration that is typically held in Ochoco Creek Park. The Crook County Fair was held but it was dramatically different, with a lot of the vendors and exhibits moved off the fairgrounds to keep crowds small.

This year, thankfully, things look a lot closer to normal. With COVID seemingly retreating as vaccination rates increase, Crook County High School was able to hold a traditional graduation ceremony. The Crooked River Roundup is moving headlong into Reride 75 with people in the grandstands for both the rodeo and races. The Roundup Parade returns to its prominent Third Street location, and the street party and cattle drive are scheduled to kick off Roundup Week.

It feels safe to assume that Fourth of July will look a lot like it usually does in Prineville, with the big park extravaganza and Independence Day parade. Details are not yet disclosed regarding what else might return to celebrate the Fourth, but expecting more doesn't feel like such an exercise in futility. And finally, it seems quite likely that the 2021 Crook County Fair will again take place at its familiar fairgrounds home. Kudos to fair leaders for making things work last year with much of the fair moved off site, but it will be great to see the whole event back where it belongs.

So, bring on the busy bustle of the summer. It will be great to see our favorite events highlight our Crook County summer. It will be great to write about them and shoot photos of everyone having a great time. See you out there.

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