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Annual festivities include classic car show, free barbecue, farmers market and more.

COURTESY IMAGE - The seventh annual Laurel Day returns to rural Hillsboro community Aug. 14.Hundreds are expected to make the drive south of Hillsboro this weekend for the seventh annual Laurel Day celebration, Saturday, Aug. 17.

Laurel Day is about celebrating the community, said organizer Chris Kingston, an associate pastor at Laurel Community Church, which hosts the event every year.

"It is an absolutely beautiful area to be in," he said.

The event started as a way to get members of the largely rural community together, Kingston said. Laurel was settled in the 1870s and is still largely agricultural.

Check it out:

What: Laurel Day community festival

Where: Laurel Community Church, 14127 S.W. Campbell Road

When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 17

How much: Free

"We're spread out here," he said. "The average properties in Laurel are five acres or more, so you can't really run into people like you do in town. This gives people that community feeling, where we all come together and rub shoulders and hang out. People have a great time."

The event has grown over the years to include a large classic car show, a farmers market, children's games, a historic walking tour, pie baking competition, quilt show and barbecue.

"This could be a lot bigger for Laurel and the Hillsboro area," he said. "We took this small little thing and turned it into something bigger. It's morphed and ramped up. It's turned into something that's pretty exciting."

Kingston said the celebration grows each year as more and more people discover Laurel.

"The first three years were very casual," he said. "People got together to run or walk and exercise together. We had a potluck."

Kingston said as many as 100 classic vehicles will be on display at this year's car show, drawing car lovers from as far away as Sherwood.

"People will say, 'We didn't know you were out here,'" Kingston said. "Now, they do."

The four-hour event is meant to offer people a taste of rural life, Kingston said.

"It's perfect for families to have a nice couple of hours, grab a burger and still have the day to do what they want," he said.

At the end of the day, Kingston said, Laurel Day is about community. In rural areas it can be difficult to form a sense of community. Laurel Day gives everyone an opportunity to come together, he said.

"There's something different here," he said. "I think it comes down home hospitality, the friendliness, the beautiful scenery and the setting. We've really made an effort that anyone that comes out to Laurel Day is welcome."

Laurel Community Church is located at 14127 S.E. Campbell Road.



By Geoff Pursinger
Editor, Hillsboro Tribune
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