A pet parade, skate park reopening, mac and cheese cookoff, harvest hoedown and a potato history event are all packed into the same day

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - The annual Pet Parade and Fair is just one of the five events taking place in Crook County on a busy Saturday.

Though it is not unusual for a community to have special events on weekends, this coming Saturday is a rare one.

On one day, Crook County residents can attend as many as five separate events planned throughout the community, all with different attractions, themes and goals.

The options come early, with the first opportunity provided in Powell Butte for anyone with an interest in the small community and its potato history.

The first-ever Spudtacular event starts at 9 a.m. and will continue until 4 p.m. The event is an annual fundraiser for the Powell Butte Community Center, 8404 SW Reif Road, and includes a baked potato bar, and there will be vendor booths, a silent auction, and a number of contest for adults and younger participants.

In addition, Ken McCulloch, a local Powell Butte resident, will provide music from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and David Hale, from the Bowman Museum, has written a small manuscript on the history of the Powell Butte potato industry. He will be presenting his research at the event that afternoon at the community center.

Not too long after Spudtacular kicks off, For the Children, a local child abuse prevention nonprofit, is hosting its annual pet parade and fair in Prineville.

Children of all ages are invited to bring their leashed or constrained pets, ranging from dogs and cats, to horses, chickens and more. Stuffed animals are welcome as well.

Sign up begins at 9:30 a.m. and the parade begins at 10 a.m. at the Ericksons Thriftway parking lot and goes down Fourth Street, ending at Stryker Park.

A Kid Celebration Fair will be held at the park immediately following the parade and continue until noon. The event, in partnership between Crook County Health Department and For the Children, is intended to celebrate kids and to encourage positive adult and kid interaction. The fair will feature several adult and kid team competitions such as cornhole, ladder golf, egg races, three-legged races and water balloon toss. Other activities at the fair include face painting, lawn bowling and other crafts.

Not far from Stryker Park, Crook County Parks and Recreation District will reopen its community skate park to the public. The grand reopening event, scheduled from noon to 2 p.m., will lead off with a Chamber of Commerce-led ribbon cutting and then skaters and other visitors alike will be treated to a demonstration on the new park courtesy of professional skaters.

After that, "everybody can get out there and play," said CCPRD Executive Director Duane Garner, adding that people can help themselves to burgers, hot dogs and ice cream, all of which will be provided free of charge.

As the afternoon transitions to the evening, two events will entertain residents at the Crook County Fairgrounds.

The Grate Mac'n'Cheese Tease, a macaroni and cheese cook-off, will be held from 5-7 p.m. at the fairgrounds pavilion.

The event is organized by the Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce. In search of a new local event, Executive Director Kim Daniels has turned to Prineville restaurants and other organizations that are interested in a friendly mac and cheese-cooking competition. Several have accepted the challenge.

The fairgrounds-hosted Harvest Hoedown will follow from 7-10 p.m. The event will feature a beer garden, live music by Countryfied, dancing, food and more.

The idea behind the partnership is to help the fairgrounds leaders and the Chamber to grow their respective events.

Cost to enter the events is $5 or free for children 12 and younger.

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