The annual Labor Day festival celebrating Independence's frontier heritage has more often than not in recent years suffered through at least one round of rain, wind and lightning. This year was true to form.
The high winds that came in with the storm late Sunday took down some tents at the Santa-Cali-Gon Days festival on the Independence Square.
Six or seven tents came down, Chamber of Commerce board chair Cindy McClain said Monday, “and we got all of them set up this morning.”
Overall, she said, the festival went well and vendors have said they are eager to sign up to return next year.
“They have had the best Santa-Cali-Gon they’ve ever had,” McClain said.
Lois McDonald, the festival coordinator, agreed. She reported that craft and food booths, along with the Square merchants, had their highest sales in 12 to 15 years.
She said of the tents that were damaged Sunday night two couldn't be repaired. The Oregon Trail Jerky tent lost some of its merchandise as well as its tent. It was about to close up shop Monday, but people helped out and relocated their tent. The company also managed to get them an emergency supply of jerky so they had some last-day sales.
McDonald also said that the festival used a special camera to track attendance. Final numbers on attendance and revenue won't be available for several days.