A Roar for Aurora

Annual Colony Days draws big crowd

By Jayna Noley of The Canby Herald
Originally published August 17, 2005

Aurora Colony Days drew crowds of visitors town ready to watch a parade, shop and re-open a museum at the annual event.
The parade was longer this year, and had three musical acts. Mayor Bill Carr walked the route, shaking hands with parade goers.
People had lined the route early, staking out the best spots in the shade.

Brightly decorated floats passed and other marched, waving and tossing candy to children. One float’s riders were armed with water guns, and gleefully squirted the crowd.
Before the parade, shoppers and browsers had cruised through the myriad of antiques booths offering anything from furniture to quilts to antique pottery. Local shops were also open, and enjoyed a steady crowd of shoppers.

Myles Barton, 16 months old, picks up one of many pieces of candy thrown his way during his first Aurora Colony Days parade...

Myles Barton, 16 months old, picks up one of many pieces of candy thrown his way during his first Aurora Colony Days parade...

After the parade, it was lunchtime and food vendors were kept busy supplying fresh squeezed lemonade, ice cream and burgers to hungry Colony Days visitors.
A free horse and buggy ride carried people from the city’s park, to the Anna Becke House, and to the American Legion Hall.

There was music in the park, by performers including the Power Pep Band and the North Marion High School band. The Anna Becke House was open to visitors, offering lemonade and cookies to people touring the new bed and breakfast. The public art show in the Legion Hall stayed busy, with visitors viewing a variety of art including paintings, photography and pottery crafted by professional, amateur and child artists.

The Aurora Arts Association show in the Pythian Hall also enjoyed a steady flow of visitors, viewing and purchasing items at the juried display. At 2 p.m., the Aurora Colony Museum held a ribbon-cutting for its grand re-opening after the museum’s first facelift in 40 years.

The Aurora Historical Society’s first president, Wayne Yoder, cut the ribbon following speeches by current president Brian Asher, Yoder and director Alan Guggenheim. The speakers thanked volunteers and visitors for supporting the museum, and a pair of scissors was presented on a blue pillow carried by Sydney Hutton, 11, the granddaughter of historical society volunteer Roberta Hutton.
Yoder cut the ribbon, the doors were opened, and a crowd of visitors lined up and filed inside to take in the new layout and the display’s new presentation. In the courtyard, volunteers offered cold lemonade and tea and a variety of goodies. Outside the courtyard, more volunteers held a yard sale to benefit the museum.

All day, Aurora Police Cadets directed traffic and helped people cross Highway 99E. Shoppers browsed and made purchases up to the last minute. Make an offer, Lezlie Points said to potential customers.
Points said she used to run Touch of Home, an antiques store in Canby. Now, she operates Lezlie’s Finishing Touch at area flea markets, including the Canby Saturday Market held the first Saturday of each month through October.

Laura Collier, of Oregon City, was a last-inute shopper buying an old, wooden box from Points.
“It was a lot of fun,” Collier said, “I come every year. My husband already had to load some stuff in the car for me.” She took a last look at Points’ items before moving on to bargain hunt during the last half-hour of the faire.

Points said the crowd wasn’t as big as she was expecting, and that sales were slow during her first selling experience at Colony Days. “The weather was so hot, I think it’s kept people away,” Points said. She said most of her sales were made in the morning, when other dealers were out shopping. Other antiques vendors agreed about the heat.

“It wasn’t horrible, and it wasn’t great,” said Michael Soeby. Michael and Linda Soeby are potters, who collect and sell antiques. Their items for sale included antique Oregon pottery and Native American items.

Michael said the faire’s organization was great, as was their location. “It got just a little to hot for some people,” he said. The Soebys have been in the antiques business for 20 years, and said there are three reasons to do fairs. One reason is to buy; two, to sell; and three, for the experts. Michael said often he will learn the history behind an item from a shopper.
Established shops in Aurora fared well.

An antique faire organizer and shop owner Jan Peel, said Home Again Antiques had done “pretty well.”

“We had a good day, and a good crowd,” she said. “It was an above-average crowd for a Saturday.” She said shoppers came through and browsed, then come back later and make their purchases.

At the end of the day, antiques and food vendors began closing shop and cadets helped the last groups cross the busy highway. As the crowds began to dissipate with the heat of the day, organizers prepared for Sunday’s events during a busy, Aurora Colony Days weekend.A list of winners, from the public art show and the parade, will appear in a future edition of the Canby Herald.