Make the McKenzie Connection!

Float earns red ribbon

Boat & dragon entry

Parade floatBy Pete Petty

SISTERS: Volunteers from the McKenzie Community Track and the Chainsaw Art Festival teamed up to participate in the Sisters Rodeo Parade last Saturday and in doing so, made quite an impression on the parade judges. Their entry, a float featuring a vintage wooden drift boat with a carved dragon fishing on the river, took 2nd place honors in the judging. The intention of the group was to give the community track and our excellent facilities area-wide exposure, to promote the upcoming McKenzie River Chainsaw Art Festival and to support events in neighboring communities. “It was fun and I do love a parade,” said one of the float decorators, Connie Huff. She also wanted to thank CAF committee member, Marilyn Cross for her hard work in making this successful. The red ribbon will be proudly displayed in the AMJ Building trophy case.

The drift boat and the winged dragon wood carving were both donated to the McKenzie Community Track and Field to support the upcoming Chainsaw Art Festival being held at the track’s festival grounds in Blue River in August. The festival is a fund raising event for the nonprofit organization that provides this world class track and field facility for school and community use. The wooden drift boat was made by the late Keith Steele at Leaburg in 1976. The boat and the trailer were donated by Friend of the Track, Walter Vanderhorst. Tickets for a chance to win the boat are now being sold and will be available up until the drawing at the conclusion of the Chainsaw Art Festival on Sunday, August 17th. The number of tickets being sold will be limited to 750.

The carved wooden dragon is the creation of Ken Ballenger, one of the chainsaw artists who participated in last year’s festival and was donated to the CAF committee to promote this year’s festival. Mr. Ballenger, from the state of Washington, is one of several of last year’s artists returning for this year’s event, including Bob King, a very popular and well known artist with local roots in Reedsport, OR.

You can find more inform-ation about the festival and purchase a raffle ticket for the Keith Steele wooden drift boat on the track website, />

Image above: An entry by the McKenzie Community Track and the Chainsaw Art Festival took second place at last week’s Sisters Rodeo Parade.


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