After careful deliberation, the leadership of the Oregon City Chamber has made the decision to move the 18th-annual Antique Fair to the grounds of the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center this year.

Positive and negative aspects of the traditional Main Street location and the space offered at the End of the Trail were closely studied and discussed by staff and the Chamber board of directors. There were several reasons for trying this alternate location this year and we will be surveying the vendors and customers throughout the day to evaluate the success or failure of the change.

By moving the Antique Fair to the center, we are able to keep the newly refurbished streets, sidewalks and updated storefronts of Main Street clean and visible for their customers. What our Antique Fair team gains is much better control of a hectic process, requiring no street closures and providing onsite parking. With the vendor applications having been released less than a month ago, we have nearly one half of the booth spaces filled already! The biggest efforts remaining are increased publicity to our shoppers, securing food vendors and outreach.

There are a few downtown businesses that experience high traffic and sales during Antique Fair and we realize that unfortunately this move will adversely affect them. With so much progress downtown we’d like our fairgoers to be able to see and experience those improvements as well, so we are committed to helping connect our guests with downtown.

We are working on a shuttle or trolley to connect people from the interpretive center to downtown Oregon City as part of their experience on Sunday, Aug. 25. It is our hope the downtown businesses will offer specials to shoppers that we can advertise to our fairgoers.

During the past couple of years as the success of Main Street Oregon City and thus our downtown increased, so have some of the complexities of this event. At the request of downtown merchants who were open, we were leaving storefront space open so that it was clear which businesses were open amidst the antique booth spaces. This is a good thing to encourage easy access into these businesses but it also left the wrong impression with our fairgoers and antique vendors who thought those open spaces were unsold booth spaces.

This is what we hope to see accomplished from this change:

1. Downtown merchants offer a “special of the day” or perhaps a sidewalk sale during the Antique Fair so that we can market this to our Antique Fair shoppers.

2. A shuttle transports fairgoers to enhance their Oregon City experience connecting the Antique Fair to our downtown and to additional parking.

3. Cross-marketing occurs between visitors to downtown, EOTIC and the Antique Fair.

4. Antique Fair booths moved to another site allow for full viewing of the tremendous storefront improvements (in the past the booths obscured storefront viewing).

5. Antique Fair vendor booths will be full and look full.

6. No conflict evident regarding the location of such essentials as porta-potties, band, etc.

7. No street closures necessary, no pre-marking the streets, or 2:30 a.m. set-up.

8. Local restaurants, service clubs and other food vendors will set up at the center and offer a variety of food options to enhance the feeling of “fair food.”

9. Antique Fair vendors will have a simplified set-up and take-down process and reserved vendor parking within two blocks.

10. Antique Fair shoppers are drawn to the site by easy viewing off of the freeway and experience easy access and onsite parking.

11. Volunteers for the Antique Fair will be more plentiful this year as we won’t need to be on-site at the wee hour of 2:30 a.m.

The Oregon City Chamber staff appreciates your involvement in this new effort. If you have additional ideas or wish to promote your business during the Antique Fair, please contact Karin Morey at 503-656-1619 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Amber Holveck is executive director of the Oregon City Chamber of Commerce.

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