Just a day after the state dropped COVID restrictions, La Pine’s Frontier Days got off to a flying start.
After being canceled last year during the pandemic, events for the whole family drew quite a crowd for a time of togetherness and fun.
Ann Gawith, the President of the La Pine Frontier Days Association, said last summer was the first time in over 40 years they had not held the event.
“It’s actually been an event in the La Pine area for over 100 years,” she said. “It was always a tradition…they’d all come together over the Fourth of July weekend, and so this was just built from that.”
This year’s four-day event includes the annual parade on Saturday morning, lawnmower races, and a chainsaw carving contest.
Thursday saw a delicious activity to kick off the festivities: the apple pie contest.
The three judges took their roles very seriously, assessing all aspects of the tasty treats.
“We look at appearance, we look at the crust, we look at the filling, we have a personal reaction to the pie, and then we rate those in points one to 25,” said judge Teri Myers.
Vendors filled the event space off Sixth Street in La Pine, some of whom had been attending for years.
Lisa Booher, owner of Supreme Elephant Ears and Funnel Cakes, has been coming to Frontier Days since 2005.
She said it was difficult to have a pause in business and fellowship last summer.
“We missed not seeing our fellow vendors, we see each other every summer, and we missed that,” Booher said.
Children’s events include a fishing pond, where rods and bait are provided for kids to catch live fish.
Sisters Juniper and Tove were visiting from out of town Thursday and tried out the fishing pond for themselves.
“I really liked fishing when we went there, and I caught six fish,” Juniper said.
Gawith hopes the event leaves everyone with a fuzzy feeling about La Pine.
“This is the biggest thing that probably happens in La Pine all year long,” she said.