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Banner series depicts six elements of Woodburn, including agriculture, history

LINDSAY KEEFER - Newly designed posters have been hung in the Downtown Plaza of Woodburn, depicting six elements of Woodburn: agriculture, Russian culture, Hispanic heritage, Hispanic festivals, historic downtown and the historic locomotive.A marketing and branding plan for a city as unique as Woodburn takes a unique approach.

"Woodburn lacked that festive look, at least in the winter months," Jamie Johnk, economic development director, said. "We have hanging flower baskets but they are only seasonal, the paint on the windows only lasts so long. Stock banners don't fit us. Our community is so vibrant and diverse, it needs something unique. We thought, 'Let's embrace Woodburn and be who we are.'"

Johnk's department, which now includes a tourism advisory committee, teamed up with Yes Graphics in downtown Woodburn to create a vibrant color palette for banners that have gone up in the Downtown Plaza and will soon go up along Front Street.

These banners depict six elements of what makes Woodburn unique: A large red tulip represents agriculture, an Aztec-style sun and a pinata are two designs that represent the Hispanic culture, cuisine and celebrations of Woodburn, a matryoshka stacking doll represents the Russian culture, and an illustration of historic Front Street as well as one of the historic train and water tower represent the history of the town.

"That history piece with the train is how Woodburn got on the map," Recreation Services Manager Jesse Cuomo said. "It's significant because of the efforts of Jesse Settlemier (Woodburn's first mayor) to get the train to come through here. If it hadn't been for the railroad, we wouldn't be here, the agriculture wouldn't be here."

The banners were put up in the Downtown Plaza in time for the Taste of Woodburn event planned for June 2 and 3, an event that will be a debut of sorts for the branding efforts.

At the event, interested participants can obtain a food passport, which divides local restaurants by regions of Mexico their cuisine represents. Non-Mexican cuisine is also included. When participants visit those restaurants, they collect stamps in their passports, along the way turning them in at City Hall to acquire keychains, magnets and T-shirts. They will also be entered into a yet-to-be-determined grand prize.

While these prizes will have the six elements of Woodburn depicted on them, this will be just the beginning for this color palette. The Recreation and Parks Department brochures, as well as banners for the Woodburn Public Library and Woodburn Aquatic Center will likely soon borrow from that color theme.

"They'll have that pop of color that ties in everything," Cuomo said. "This went from let's do this for our downtown to why can't we do this as our brand. We won't make them exact but similar so those who see it recognize the style. People will see this and say, hey, these colors are Woodburn, they're bright and they're powerful."

Learn more about Taste of Woodburn at www.travelwoodburn.com.

Lindsay Keefer can be reached at 503-765-1193 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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