Showcasing downtown Woodburn
Turnout for the second Taste of Woodburn easily eclipsed the inaugural event, drawing nearly twice the number of people.
Woodburn Community Relations Manager Maricela Guerrero apprised the city council on June 24 that estimated attendance for this year's Taste of Woodburn was in the range of 3,500 to 4,000, up from 2,000 the previous year.
Based on those numbers, the economic impact of the event is estimated between roughly $237,000 and $270,000. That windfall derives from a variety of sources, such as event sales, vendors buying product to sell, extra employees hired, visiting families and fuel.
The event, which took place the first weekend in June, was orchestrated by Travel Woodburn and featured 22 vendors that included food, artisans and non-profits. There was also a diverse array of entertainment and a Show & Shine car show, which was a first this year and drew about 50 vehicles.
"This initially started out as an opportunity to get people downtown to get to experience Woodburn first hand: get to experience the food; get to experience the community; get to experience the shopping," Guerrero said. "Actually, I think it's turning into a little more than that; it actually now is more of that community-building kind of event."
Guerrero pointed out most visitors to Woodburn comprise of family visiting family. Event organizers also worked with the Woodburn Premium Outlets mall in a cross-promotional capacity, which is reportedly the second largest tourist destination within the state of Oregon next to the coast.
Guerrero described the Taste of Woodburn turnout as diverse in terms of age and ethnicity.
"There were a lot of young families. There were families (with) middle-school ages, a lot of teens out there, but we also had older families down there, which was really cool to see," she said.
Woodburn City Administrator Scott Derickson affirmed an outlet-related impact.
"I have reports that people went through the company stores and decided to come downtown to try authentic food for lunch," Derickson said. "And they were seen later downtown enjoying the music and the food after having come from the company stores. So we got to showcase our downtown community."