The Final Stroll
By Oregon wine Press Staff
After more than a decade of giving back to the communities of Yamhill and Carlton, Carlton’s Walk in the Park is strolling off into the sunset; the popular event will not be hosted in 2014.
“Carlton’s Walk in the Park has done so much for Carlton and Yamhill,” stated Ken Wright, the mastermind behind the highly attended event. “It is simply time for us to focus our efforts on something new.
“We have received tremendous support for local businesses and individuals,” added Wright. “Companies such as Jim Doran Subaru, Rivenwood Vineyard, Davison Winery Supply, Laughlin Cartrell and McMenamins have been supporters of our event since its inception.”
The celebration generated more than 250 volunteers annually from the local community and beyond and was a large contributor to the increased foot traffic in Carlton and beyond.
“Before Carlton’s Walk in the Park began, there were numerous empty storefronts, and many businesses were struggling to capitalize on the booming summer tourist traffic,” noted Carole Stevens, Carlton business owner and Walk in the Park participant. “There is no doubt in my mind that the event helped to increase the economic viability of businesses in Carlton and Yamhill, and brought new and returning visitors to our town.”
Throughout the event’s long run, Carlton’s Walk in the Park was responsible for bringing thousands of people to Yamhill County seeking local food and wine and purchasing art and jewelry from some of the region’s best artisan producers. Wildly popular bands, including March Fourth, Joni Harms, Curtis Salgado and Aaron Meyer, entertained guests while energizing the community and helping revitalize Wennerberg Park.
Though the event has ended, the spirit of Walk in the Park will influence the community for years to come. The Oregon Community Foundation was recently granted $20,000 to the event’s foundation, assisting the city in building a permanent pavilion in Wennerberg Park.
“I think we can all be proud of the mark Carlton’s Walk in the Park has left on the community, local businesses and attendees,” Wright noted. “Although the event has come to an end, this is just the beginning of new things to come from our Great Little Town.”