Enterprise prepares for its next big ‘Bash’

<p>A large crowd of people head back to an Enterprise Main Street full of vendors following last year's Bowlby Bash Dash Derby.</p>

ENTERPRISE – The third annual Bowlby Bash, a celebration of heritage, history, and hometown fun, promises to fill Enterprise once again with vendors, children, history-lovers, music, artists and a soap box derby.

The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 14.

Named for the historic buildings constructed of locally quarried Bowlby stone, the street fair will include a 10:30 a.m. tour of the historic Wallowa County Courthouse, featuring the famous stone. The courthouse occupies a block of downtown Enterprise with a Fountain of Honor dedicated to honor military service personnel (past and present) a year ago and a gazebo, built 25 years ago by the Rotary Club to observe the 100th anniversary of Enterprise’s founding.

A walking tour of the town’s historic high points is scheduled for 11 a.m. conducted by Morgan Green (meet by the information booth) and an archival photo display is also part of the Bowlby Bash. Bash-goers will be able to find out who Enoch Bowlby was, and see the stone buildings still standing in downtown Enterprise.

The Bowlby Bash will begin at 10 a.m. with an opening ceremony at the Fountain of Honor.

The soapbox derby “show and shine” is planned from 10 to 11:30 a.m. along the street north of the gazebo, with a parade of derby cars on Main Street at noon and the derby race at 1 p.m. (see separate story on the derby). This is the second year for the derby and promises to be a melding of creativity and the “need for speed.”

According to event organizer Mary Swanson, owner of the Bookloft, 50 vendors including local artists and crafters will display, sell, and demonstrate the creation of their wares.

Food and information booths will occupy Main Street, which will be closed to vehicle traffic from the gazebo on the east end past Warde Park on the west end.

Among food choices will be popular local fast food purveyor Sammy’s BBQ and Alpenfest’s German sausages. For those who want burgers, the Greater Enterprise Main Streets (GEMS) group will have a grill operating in the street across from Gypsy Java.

Three local potters will sell their work or demonstrate their skill at the fair, and Russell Ford’s popular Moonshine Glass is planning to set up a booth. The Wallowa County Handcrafters’ Guild will have a variety of handmade items available for purchase. New this year are local artist Susan Collett from Joseph, Taylored Woods and Crafts of Adams, Ore., and Simply Scroll Saw of Imnaha. A booth sure to be popular is that of Lathrop Country Wines featuring locally made wine for tasting and purchase. For those who prefer tea, Heritage Tea will have samples and loose tea for sale. Returning favorites include Gianni’s Fine Foods, Annie’s Southfork Silverworks and Sally B. Farms.

“We have new vendors coming and more artists with handcrafted items,” said Marya Nowakowski, who is also one of the organizers.

She estimated that more than 600 people visited the Bowlby Bash last year, and hopes for an even bigger crowd this year.

Activities for children sponsored by local non-profit organization Building Healthy Families will include face painting, sidewalk chalk art, bubble wands, and other hands-on fun.

More family fun is scheduled with a three-on-three basketball tournament, which will be held on the side street between Warde Park and the historic Gotter Hotel.

Live music will add to the street fair atmosphere, and several bands will be performing throughout the day at the gazebo. The musical lineup will feature the ever-popular Homemade Jam with their traditional folk tunes at 10:15 a.m.; Heidi Mueller playing the Dulcimer at 11 a.m.; Brian Buck at noon (tentative); and Ma Fuze at 3 p.m.

For more information about the Bowlby Bash Street Fair go to www.bowlbybash.org, find Bowlby Bash on Facebook, or call Nowakowski at 541-398-0217; or Swanson at The Bookloft at 541-426-3351. Questions regarding the soapbox derby should be directed to Ron Osterloh, 541-263-0859.

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