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Chamber of Commerce won't organize Miners Jubilee in future
By Joshua Dillen
One of Baker City’s biggest and longest-lived celebrations is possibly in peril.
On Thursday evening, while about 250 local residents attended a special City Council meeting at the high school to hear the city’s strategies about the crypto crisis, an entirely different situation was being addressed elsewhere.
About 15 people met at the Chamber of Commerce to discuss the fate of future Miners Jubilee events.
The Chamber is no longer going to organize the parade, design the Jubilee buttons, organize and manage vendors in Geiser-Pollman Park, or handle the printing and design of the Miners Jubilee programs.
Debi Bainter, executive director of the Chamber talked about the reason for the meeting.
“I’m trying to find some people, organizations, businesses that may want a portion of Miners Jubilee,” she said, “so that it can continue to move forward, either in its entirety or a portion thereof.”
Local prospector and mineral surveyor, Brian Bolin, attended the meeting and said he’s passionate about finding a way to keep the Jubilee organized.
“I see we really can’t let Jubilee go — we have too much invested in it,” Bolin said, “My interest in this is I volunteer a lot in with this community.”
Bainter said the beer garden,the bull and bronc riding, the quilt show and other events that are not organized by the Chamber are still independent.
Dawn Coles, a Baker City historic design review commissioner who also works with Baker City Bronc and Bull Riding Association, said the beer garden and the bronc and bull riding events will happen on the third weekend of July next year.
“We have approval from the city police,” Coles said.
One idea that was well received at the meeting was to approach local service clubs to see if they are willing to take over the tasks that the Chamber is no longer going to perform.
The Lions, Rotary, Kiwanis and Soroptimist were talked about as potential organizations that might be interested in helping.
Lynette Perry, who is a Soroptimist member, brought up the possible solution and the fact that it would provide a large pool of volunteers.
“Most of the money that service clubs raise goes right back into our community,” said Perry, who works as the advertising manager at the Baker City Herald. “I think it’s a win-win situation and I think a doable situation.”
Perry said she would contact the clubs and let them present the idea at their meetings next month. This would allow the members of the clubs to vote on whether they might participate.
There was a consensus among all present at Thursday’s meeting that they will meet on Sept. 18 at 6 p.m. at the Sunridge.
Rhonda Hillman, director of sales and marketing at the Sunridge, said the group could use a meeting room at the motel.
The purpose of the Sept. 18 meeting will be to examine the possibility of forming a committee to address how to replace the Chamber and the Miners Jubilee functions it will no longer perform.