Jubilee can have a future

Written by Baker City Herald Editorial Board August 12, 2013 08:58 am

The Baker County Chamber of Commerce has decided to end its role in organizing Miners Jubilee, but we’re confident that Baker City’s annual July event will persist.

There is a cadre of dedicated volunteers, from service clubs and other groups as well as individuals, who are capable of taking over the Chamber’s tasks, such as signing up vendors for Geiser-Pollman Park, organizing the parade and coordinating the Jubilee button design contest.

We hope too that other organizations which coordinate aspects of the community festival will continue to do so.

These include Historic Baker City Inc., which handles the duck and beaver races, the bed races and other events, the Eastern Oregon Mining Association’s popular displays and contests and the Lions Club’s breakfasts.

This evolution of Miners Jubilee could also result in changes that benefit the event as a whole.

Baker City has an active art community, including the Baker Art Guild, Crossroads Carnegie Art Center and several galleries. We’d like to see more local artists and crafters displaying their works in the park.

And we’d welcome a revival of scheduling local musicians to perform in the park during Jubilee.

Miners Jubilee has some momentum, in part because it’s become the weekend when Baker High School graduates gather for class reunions.

And although public drunkenness and other problems were unusually common during this year’s event, Police Chief Wyn Lohner has been talking with officials from the bull and bronc riding events that, although not officially part of Miners Jubilee, share the weekend and have become mainstay events.

We think this year’s rash of incidents will turn out to be an anomaly.

Ultimately, Miners Jubilee is a community celebration, and as such it can’t last without the support of the community.

We believe that support exists, and that it will show itself in the 2014 Jubilee.