LEBANON — Paul Aziz is throwing a party next weekend for every mayor in the state, and the rest of the mid-valley is invited, too.
The Lebanon mayor, currently in his third term, has been attending the annual Oregon Mayors Conference ever since his election. His favorite part of each convention has been visiting a new city and learning about its community and the type of amenities it offers. Two years ago, he began the process to bring the conference to Lebanon for the first time.
"I thought it would be great to have Lebanon the showcase because we're doing so much positive stuff in our town," he said.
The conference will run Thursday, July 27, through Saturday, July 29, including a community "Mayors Night" from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, July 28, in the downtown area.
Lebanon applied to the Oregon Mayors Association, which is run by the League of Oregon Cities, to hold the conference. Aziz said the application involved essentially putting together a promotional package, talking about all the things Lebanon could feature.
He focused on the city's 2040 plan, its Best Western Boulder Falls hotel conference availability, the College of Osteopathic Medicine and several new businesses. He also proposed ideas for things to do, including the Friday night "Mayors on Main Street" community event with a free concert, car show, Art and Wine walk and various special offerings.
"All that just came together and they accepted it," he said.
Aziz said he's expecting some 80 mayors from around the state to visit Lebanon for the conference. Costs are being covered by tourism dollars and sponsorships, particularly from Linn-Co Federal Credit Union and from Republic Services.
Friday's concert and car show take place on Main Street between Vine and Oak streets. They are free and open to the public, although vendors and Wine Walk merchants may charge for their offerings, Aziz said. He suggested bringing chairs for the concert, which will start at 6 p.m.
Aziz has attended mayoral conferences in Lincoln City, Cottage Grove, Pendleton and Corvallis and said he's very excited to play host this year.
"It's an honor, really, to be able to show off what our community has done," he said.