By Kathleen Ellyn
Wallowa County Chieftain
It was a scorcher for the 2017 6th Annual Summerfest (formerly Bowlby Bash) Celebration in downtown Enterprise with temperatures near 100 degrees, but the crowd was out and the kids were having fun.
Water features appeared on the courthouse lawn, and there was plenty of lemonade and shade for adults along the street.
New this year was added at the historic Main Street church that now houses Abundant Life Assembly of God. A visiting group set up a pioneer and Civil War-era display, offering games, costumes and photos, and a black powder demonstration. A black powder rifle (just powder, no ball) was also volunteered as a starter pistol for the Downhill Race.
The much-anticipated races resulted in an upset as the new “Siebe Streaker,” piloted by Parker Siebe, 12, of Enterprise, defeated the fastest car in the derby for years — the Main Street Motors/Stengel “Flash,” piloted this year by junior driver Noah Dougall.
In the early eliminations, Dougall went up against experienced racer Isabella Brann, 11, in the “Okay Theater Roadster” Speedster and won with a time of 34:43. Then, Siebe ran against veteran racer Nathan Lamb Eaves, 10, in Eaves’ second out with his new “No. 8” Speedster and won that race with a time of 35:43. Dougall and Siebe then ran the final Junior Speedster elimination during which Dougall’s faster machine suffered steering difficulties, allowing Seibe to take the lead and the Junior Speedster win.
It was an upset that benefited adult division speedster racer Jorge Augilar Jr. in his Steve’s Auto Repair Texaco Station-sponsored “Bandito.”
Maybe the addition of the sponsorship of Baggins Wagen Donuts helped make the difference, but whatever, it was Augilar was not looking gift horses in the mouth and earned his first Speedster win with a blazing first run of 25 seconds against race organizer Michael “Carrot Man” Berry’s new “Dandy Mobile.” Augilar followed that with a race against Junior winner Parker Siebe for the Overall Speedster Derby Champion.
The ever-popular creative division saw two entries as the originator of the race, Ron Osterloh of La Grande, brought a new entry in the form of a recliner on wheels along with the entire “Man Cave/Time Machine” accouterments of bookshelf, hat rack and more. Osterloh’s machine was built for comfort, not for speed and stopped halfway down the hill, relying on volunteer kid-power to make the finish.
It was a crowd-pleasing entry, but the Creative win went to perennial favorite Dave Carpenter of Enterprise.
Carpenter retooled bits and pieces of machines from the past years for a new entry called either “Burn” or “Balloon Man” (depending on the story you heard throughout the day). Dressed in a tie-dye union suit that matched his tower of colorful balloons, Carpenter entertained the crowd with wild driving on his elongated tricycle before running off the road just before the finish. The vehicle was too tall to fit under the finish banner, but veering off the road was mostly for show.
Parker Siebe also stacked his wins this year, adding the People’s Choice Award after votes were tallied.