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EMPIRE DISTRICT — Community members and visitors gathered over the weekend to celebrate the annual Clamboree & Art Festival at Ed Lund Park in the historic Empire District.

The festival, which was hosted by the Community Coalition of Empire (CCE), featured its traditional lineup of activities including its classic car show, historic bus tours and the highly popular, crowd pleasing hollering contest.

CCE president Joanne Moss said last year the group received some very helpful feedback from a few of its vendors and food trucks some of which it applied to this year’s celebration.

As an incentive and a way attract vendors travelling greater distances, the group decided to extend the festival to two days. It also added a new interactive pet parade Saturday to officially kick off this year’s festivities.  

“We had dogs walking their humans,” said Moss as she smiled widely. “One of our goals is to make the parade really big and so we’re hoping it continues to grow.”

For first time festival-goers, Moss recommended visiting the local Neighborhood Watch group’s booth and learning more about the programs and projects its members are working on to keep Empire safe.

“The monies we raise will go toward supporting the Neighborhood Watch programs and also to beautify the Empire area,” she said.

In addition to its host of vendors and activities, the festival also featured a number of live musical performances and bus tours which made stops at multiple historical landmarks throughout Empire.

The Hollering Place, Old Tower House and the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians Tribal Hall were among some of the stops on the tour’s route.

Husband and wife Mike and Christy Alexander, of Vancouver, Wash., were among the many groups of people who participated in the tours.

“We’ve been coming down (to Coos Bay) for 10 years now, but we’ve never explored (Empire)" said Mike. “The tour was awesome and a great way to learn more about the history here.”

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Reporter Amanda Linares can be reached at 541-266-2039 or by email at amanda.linares@theworldlink.com.

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