Celebrate Hillsboro offers music, food, fun - and 'that special vibe'
There have been a lot of iterations of Celebrate Hillsboro over the last 13 years.
So says Iris Ringer, the woman in charge of the event that's been around since 2005 and just keeps getting bigger and better, thanks to the dedication of a growing band of devotees to the downtown area and, by extension, the residents of the wider community.
"It started out in 2005 as 'A Civic Celebration' — a grand opening for the Hillsboro Civic Center building," said Ringer, special events supervisor for the Hillsboro Parks and Recreation Department.
This year the celebration will take place on Main Street from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 15.
At one time, Ringer noted, the event spanned two days. Other years, it has boasted competitions to get Hillsboro a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most people simultaneously playing air guitar, Yo-Yoing, wearing Groucho Marx hats and playing kazoos.
"It's definitely had some tweaks," said Ringer. "The last six or seven years it's been really solid."
Just what is Celebrate Hillsboro all about? Mostly, it's about fun — and a certain something Ringer calls "that special vibe" — perhaps most apparent among Millennials moving to Hillsboro.
"The average age in Hillsboro is 32," noted Ringer. "They're young, fresh and fun."
Last year Celebrate Hillsboro drew about 12,000 people, and this year Ringer expects a similar crowd. With 20 businesses opening up shop in the downtown area over the last two years and the city's population swelling each month, it's possible even more folks will show up to see what's new.
Expect a variety of vendors, music galore and activities designed with children and youth in mind. Four distinct "villages" — sustainability, arts and culture, health and wellness and community — are in the works, and two separate entertainment stages will cater to tastes from age three to 93.
The family stage will star magicians and jugglers, while the Main Street stage will feature jazz and world music, among other genres.
STEAM Street will host the Hillsboro School District's 22-foot STEAM trailer, and visitors can walk through exhibits featuring science, technology, engineering, art and math. A "new and improved" Museum of Curious Things, a traveling collection of oddities and curiosities from around the world, will complement STEAM Street, said Ringer.
As if that isn't enough, Insomnia Coffee, Decadent Creations and Perks of Art will add samples, wares and kids' activities to the mix. And, three waste stations will be placed at strategic locations to encourage event-goers to recycle and dispose of their garbage responsibly.
For more information, visit the event Facebook page at facebook.com/CelebrateHillsboro/.