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CRESWELL – With the assembly of a new Creswell Chamber Board in April, the first call to action was to secure a location to host the annual Fourth of July Celebration fireworks show.
That call was answered by Daniel Basaraba, part of the ownership group that is renovating the former Super 8 motel and who recently closed on the purchase of the old Bald Knob mill site. He offered the grounds as a launching pad, so to speak.
Basaraba said he made the offer to the Chamber after reading in The Chronicle that there might not be a fireworks display from its usual location on Creswell School District property. “I know how important the Fourth of July is to Creswell,” he said.
Bobby Langley, the new chamber president, said it was lucky to have received that call. He relocated to Creswell over a year ago from Tennessee, after his wife accepted a position at the University of Oregon. Langley said he read The Chronicle article a couple of months ago about the Chamber struggling and wanted to get involved.
“I’ve not spent time on a chamber board or actively working for a chamber but in previous lifetimes I’ve attended chamber luncheons and functions. I certainly understand the importance of the chamber and the role it plays in the community, so I wanted to make sure that it didn’t go away, that it was too important to let it go,” Langley said.
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While he hasn’t witnessed a July Fourth celebration in Creswell yet, he’s heard all about the airplanes at the airport, the pancake breakfast at the park, and the big fireworks display at the school from his neighbors.
“In the year since I’ve been here, the talk of the Fourth of July, and the excitement around it – or lack thereof last year – certainly made it something that I wanted to focus on. I wanted us to give everything we had to try to make it happen,” Langley said.
The school district never officially gave the Chamber a formal “no,” though the Chamber “ran out of time exploring that option because we were up against a deadline with the fireworks display contract,” he said.
It’s been a group effort by some people that are quite frankly, “pretty new to Creswell, just stepping up and trying to make things happen for the community,” Langley said.
Other Chamber board members include Jason Stubbs, principal broker at Oregon Insurance Company and Creswell High School alum; Daniel Merrill, Insurance Agent at New York Life Insurance, who moved to Creswell in December; Brandy McPherson, accounting manager at Avenue5 Residential, who moved to Creswell in Fall 2020; Raina Napper, past president; Elena Connelly, loan partner at Guild Mortgage Company and longtime Creswell resident; Sara Cox, office manager at Camas Swale Medical Clinic; Sandy O’Brien; and Cassie Stoner.
Next up on the Chamber’s list is to establish viewing areas for the fireworks and parking areas. He suggested that the TJ’s Restaurant parking lot, downtown Creswell, the Tractor Supply parking lot and Garden Lake Park would be good viewing locations.
Permits were signed off by the South Lane County Fire & Rescue fire marshal Danny Solesbee.
The fireworks event will take place on private property so the City has very little involvement, city manager Michelle Amberg said, noting that the City has pledged support for the Chamber’s fireworks endeavours.
Basaraba said he is not a part of the TJ’s Restaurant “patriot parade.” The Chamber event is not affiliated with the parade or other events at TJ’s either, Langley said.