The throngs of people strolling through Geiser-Pollman Park helped to tell the story.
The crowds that lined downtown sidewalks for Baker City’s first parade in nearly two years added their own hefty chapter Saturday morning, July 17.
So did the rodeo fans who gathered in the grandstand and bleachers at the Fairgrounds two straight nights to watch riders try to stay aboard the undulating spines of broncs and bulls.
The tale in total was one that spoke of a community eager to enjoy one of the traditions they lost to 2020 and the pandemic.
This year’s Miners Jubilee was a huge success, said Shelly Cutler, executive director of the Baker County Chamber of Commerce, which puts on the event.
That success was especially sweet after a year when Cutler had the unenviable task of announcing that Miners Jubilee 2020 was canceled.
“I knew it was going to be huge cause we can all finally gather again, but I had no idea it was going to be that big,” Cutler said on Monday morning, July 19. “I couldn’t have been happier.”
This year’s Jubilee brought “record-breaking crowds” and far surpassed attendance from the previous four events, Cutler said.
She said three food vendors at the park sold out of everything and had to restock rapidly to feed the hungry hordes. First-time vendors were shocked at how much they sold, Cutler said, and they told her they plan to return in 2022.
There is room for improvement, Cutler said. Visitors complained about the lack of parking and restrooms, although the same number of resources sufficed in previous years. This year, however, proved to be a whole different beast.
Saturday’s parade, which was almost canceled due to a lack of entries, ended up with 48, many of which had multiple vehicles. Copious quantities of candy were tossed and, almost as quickly, claimed.
“I can’t tell you how grateful and how thankful I am to our community for coming out,” Cutler said. “Without them we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.”