Pateros Chamber discusses changes, improvements at town events

There could be Friday night dragon boat races at the 2009 Apple Pie Jamboree, and maybe booths featuring local restaurants too, or maybe local restaurants will be encouraged to offer Friday night specials. Those are among the suggestions being kicked around by the Apple Pie Jamboree Committee and discussed at the general meeting of the Pateros Chamber of Commerce Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Apple Pie Jamboree 2008 drew a good crowd that included 11 teams of dragon boat races; each team had between 15 and 20 people. The Tacoma Dragon Boat Association, who helped put on the races, has already asked about coming back next year, adding some games on Friday night and possibly having two courses, 250 meters and 500 meters, on Saturday. Races would start about noon Saturday so that participants and dragon boats could be in the parade, said Joni Parks, the local organizers.

Jamboree chair Tracy Miller said committee members were looking for ways and means to get people into the park on Friday night, and featuring food booths from local businesses, "a taste of Pateros," was one possibility. Pateros Super Stop manager Judy Asmussen said it would be difficult for some businesses to move their operation; Miller said in that case they might offer in-store specials instead.

Asmussen said one out of town participant in the parade said it was the "biggest parade for the smallest town he'd ever seen." Miller said a successful parade was due to the hard work of Steve and Roberta Nieuwenhuis, their family and the Pateros Dollars for Scholars chapter. They did the work and made it easy for the participants, Asmussen said.

Chamber members discussed the all-town yard sale, and decided to ask the people who actually put on yard sales for their feedback before deciding on changes, if any.

The yard sale was moved to August to coincide with the Pateros Hydro Classic; about 20 people registered this year, said Joey Bruno, who was half the team who put the map together. But she didn't know if the hydro races had benefited the yard sales. Carolyn Byrd, who's in real estate and had the office open, said people came in and asked her what was going on. It was the hottest weekend of the year, which probably impacted attendance, said Brenda White

The number of yard sales has been declining for the past few years. Rebecca Meadows said the decision to move from June to August was based in part on increasing gas prices and the fact that while people might come to town for 45 or 50 yard sales, they wouldn't come for 20 or 25. In that case it made sense to combine it with another event. Asmussen said she wanted to talk to the people who actually held yard sales, and bring the information back to the September meeting.

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