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Woodburn Community Connections Day & Kids Fest! unfolded in the Downtown Plaza Saturday.

PMG PHOTO: JUSTIN MUCH - There were plenty of options to hit up at the 'Community Connection Day & Kids Fest!' held in the Downtown Woodburn Plaza Saturday, Aug. 13.The venues change, but the event remains popular wherever it pops up.

This year the Woodburn area's 6th annual "Community Connection Day & Kids Fest!" went downtown, bringing thousands of visitors to the Woodburn Downtown Plaza on Saturday, Aug. 13.

Last year it was held at Legion Park, which is in the middle of a makeover this summer, but it will be available to host Fiesta Mexicana this coming weekend, Aug. 20-21. In previous years the Community Connection had been held at Centennial Park and Safeway.

"We chose the plaza because Legion Park is still under construction, but we are hoping to return there next year," Connection organizer Ewart Brown said.

"I am exceptionally satisfied and pleased; everything went very well. I am still waiting to ask all of my team members what they thought."

Brown said the 2021 event saw about 4,000 people come through and about 500 received meals. He anticipated those numbers to be about equal for the 2022 event.PMG PHOTO: JUSTIN MUCH - T-shirts went fast  at the 'Community Connection Day & Kids Fest!' held in the Downtown Woodburn Plaza Saturday, Aug. 13.

"The crowd came through well and they were very orderly," he said.

Brown uses the acronym RECC to portray the event: Recreation, Education, Celebration and Connection. Exhibitors are encouraged to have something kids can actively take part in, which ranged from spinning the wheel for goodies to throwing a football at a target. People are also able to learn and get information about something they did not previously know.

The event celebrated a three-generation family and a Safeway worker who has spent 44 years at the store, Nancy (Nan) Oatney.

"Everybody who goes to Safeway knows her as Nan," Brown said. "Safeway officials were there to recognize her with a plaque and flowers. We also gave her a plaque. It pays to stay or to serve faithfully wherever you are hired. So we celebrated longevity as an employee."PMG PHOTO: JUSTIN MUCH - Many lessons and goodies to be had  at the 'Community Connection Day & Kids Fest!' held in the Downtown Woodburn Plaza Saturday, Aug. 13.

Other features included music from a barbershop quartet and local band Billy and the Rockets. The Woodburn High School cheerleading squad was also on hand, rallying the youngsters and performing a spirited dance routine.

Safeway was among the event donors, as was Walmart, Big-5 Sporting Goods, Al's, local restaurants and a host of others.

"You could fill a whole newspaper with the full report of how many people helped make this happen," Brown enthused.

Another yearly feature was giving away backpacks in advance of the school year. Brown said they gave away almost all of the 1,400 they had, and the remaining ones will find their way into students' hands on an as-needed basis.

PMG PHOTO: JUSTIN MUCH - Woodburn School District was among the many entities on hand  at the 'Community Connection Day & Kids Fest!' held in the Downtown Woodburn Plaza Saturday, Aug. 13.


To view an online photo gallery of Woodburn's Community Connection & Kids Fest!, visit

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