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'First Wednesdays' continue in July, even though Independence Day is a holiday.

STAFF PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - The Forest Grove Farmers Market (pictured: rhubarb and radishes) and First Wednesdays will go on next Wednesday, even though it is July 4.The Forest Grove Farmers Market is the biggest event in town during summer's Wednesday evenings, and although other festivities may overshadow it next Wednesday, July 4, it won't be taking the day off just because it's the nation's birthday.

The market will be open as usual from 4 to 8 p.m., according to organizers. That closing time gives attendees plenty of time for fireworks — after dusk, there will be a public fireworks display at Tom McCall Upper Elementary School.

First Wednesdays are big business for local merchants in downtown Forest Grove. Businesses that participate in First Wednesdays typically offer something special to draw people off the street and into their shops or restaurants. The farmers market already serves as a draw, synergizing with First Wednesdays during the summer.

Some businesses may be closed for the Independence Day holiday. An email from Jeff King, Forest Grove's head of economic development, to businesses last week stated that while businesses that are open and participating in First Wednesdays will still be promoted by event organizers, they "will make a bigger push for the August First Wednesday."

That First Wednesday after next will fall on Aug. 1.


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