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Pioneer Picnic kicks off this weekend in Brownsville
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Pioneer Picnic kicks off this weekend in Brownsville

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Pioneer Picnic Reverse Parade

Marilyn and David Mackey greet people passing by their decorated house during the Pioneer Picnic reverse parade in Brownsville in 2020. 

The annual Linn County Pioneer Picnic in Brownsville is back and, as always, happening on Father’s Day weekend. The event boasts that it’s “the oldest annual continuous celebration in Oregon,” and it will provide folks with a trip back in time to the homesteading era of Oregon’s founding.

While it’s a more stripped-down celebration than in previous years thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s still a full weekend of fun to be had in the historic town of Brownsville.

The event schedule is:

Friday, June 18

Opening Ceremony: The opening ceremony will be held on the stage at Pioneer Park and the Pioneer Picnic Queen will be crowned from the court of 10 young women who have been selected ahead of time. The reigning queen will preside over the rest of the celebrations, and the crown gets placed on the deserving head at 7 p.m.

Kiddie Shoebox Parade: Participating children will decorate a shoebox that goes with the theme of “Homesteading Oregon.” Shoeboxes should be dropped off at the American Legion building before 11 a.m. and noon on Friday. They will be judged later that day and they will remain on display until Saturday at 4:45 p.m.

Raffle Drawing: All prizes will be in the form of a gift card that’s mailed to the winners. Folks who purchased a ticket ahead of time are entered to win and the updates of the results will be put on the Pioneer Picnic Facebook page.

Saturday, June 19

Brownsville Chamber Breakfast: A breakfast of pancakes, eggs, sausage patties and coffee or orange juice is being served up by the local chamber. All proceeds go to support future community events put on by the Brownsville Chamber of Commerce. Cost is $8 per plate for adults and $5 for a children's plate.

Passport Tour: Stop by the Napa Auto Parts store to pick up the map of Brownsville that acts as an interactive game and an official program for all the events happening during this weekend-long celebration. Participating businesses will have a hidden wagon wheel somewhere inside their store or restaurant. Those who find enough of the wheels will be entered into a raffle for prizes.

Porch Parade: The annual parade has been re-envisioned due to the pandemic. Instead of floats and vehicles driving down a stretch of road, the floats will instead be on the porches and yards of participating households. The public will then walk or drive around to take in each creative display. That’s held on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sunday, June 20

Community Church Service: The entire community turns out for an outdoor service at the Baptist church on Seven Mile Lane on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. The public is asked to bring their own chairs and blankets.

Dam Run: There’s a 5K (3.1 mile) and 10K (6.2 mile) option for those looking to join in an make a donation to the Central Linn school track fund this year. Folks must register between 7-7:45 a.m. and the marathon starts at 8 a.m.

Troy Shinn covers healthcare, natural resources and the Linn County government. He can be reached at 541-812-6114 or troy.shinn@lee.net. He can be found on Twitter at @troydshinn. 

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