6/24 EDITORIAL

Enjoy you summer here in Polk County

Enjoy you summer here in Polk County

Granted, the weather hasn't been cooperating fully during the past week or two, but summer officially arrived June 21. The arrival of summer also signifies the start of a season of nonstop fun and activities right here in Polk County.

Not that anyone needs an excuse to enjoy summer, but Polk County's communities are gearing up for the summer celebration season in a big way.

It seems that each and every week from now through late September will bring with it some form of affordable family fun close to home. What better way to soak up the warmth, sunshine and long days that summer brings than to relax and unwind by attending one of the many local events that fill the calendar during the next few months.

The annual Western Days celebration, July 2-5 in Independence and Monmouth, signifies the unofficial start to summer fun in the region. The four-day community event celebrates the Fourth of July with a popular parade, arts festival, live music, and, of course, fireworks -- two displays, one on July 3 and another on July 4, for twice the pyrotechnic fun.

That same weekend -- July 3-4, to be specific -- Falls City rolls out the red carpet for its Fourth of July celebration. Live music and fireworks are planned July 3, and a parade and carnival fundraiser are set for July 4.

Organizers are busy making final plans for Summerfest July 23-26 in downtown Dallas, where the community's annual celebration will be themed "Happy 150th Birthday, Oregon" as part of the state's sesquicentennial.

Things then shift to Rickreall and the fairgrounds for the always popular Polk County Fair, which runs Aug. 6-9.

The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde hosts its annual Competition Powwow Aug. 14-16.

And the fun doesn't end until Polk County's unofficial end-of-summer celebration, the Independence Hop & Heritage Festival, Sept. 24-26.

In between, there are plenty of smaller events scheduled throughout the region. And let's not forgot the series of summer concerts our three largest communities host in July and August: the Dave Anderson Memorial Concert Series gets the ball rolling at Main Street Park in Monmouth July 8; the Sounds of Summer Concert Series in Dallas begins July 9; and the Independence Riverview Park Amphitheater Summer Concert Series starts July 10.

These events help instill pride in our communities and make Polk County special to many of its residents. With the sluggish economy keeping many families close to home this summer, why not enjoy the affordable family-oriented entertainment being offered right here in our own backyard?

Polk County offers plenty of fun entertainment options all summer long. It's time to starting enjoying what our region has to offer.

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