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SWEET HOME — Even before the last song was sung at the 26th Oregon Jamboree Sunday evening, organizers tempted the 13,000 patrons with a morsel of information about the 2019 event.

Among the acts already under contract is Brothers Osborne. Brothers John and T.J. Osborne grew up in Maryland, but are making the country music folks in Nashville stand up and take notice with six singles, including “Stay a Little Longer,” which reached No. 2 on the Country Airplay charter in 2016.

“We don’t have all of the numbers in yet, but we had an awesome weekend,” festival director Robert Shamek said Monday morning as the festival’s tear-down crew went to work. “We were probably at 12,000 to 13,000 people most days. We had great weather. Sunday got a little warm and humid, but overall, we had very nice weather.”

The maximum capacity for the venue behind Sweet Home High School is about 15,000.

In recent years the Jamboree has sweltered with temperatures in the mid- to high-90s. This year, the event was blessed with daily high temperatures in the mid-80s and cool nights, which usually help merchandise sales, Shamek said.

“We have a new merchandise vendor and people really liked the way items were displayed on racks and shelves, like in a regular store,” Shamek said. “They could pick up the merchandise and get a feel for it. Before, everything was behind a counter.”

Shamek said he was especially pleased with a Thursday opening night party that was free to anyone who wanted to come.

“We had lots and lots of Sweet Home people there and several campers,” Shamek said. “People had a great time.”

The Thursday event was a fundraiser for the Sweet Home School District arts programs.

Shamek said the two beer gardens inside the main Jamboree venue did well, and the open container area at Sankey Park was especially popular.

“We teamed up with Deschutes Brewery this year and that went over very well,” Shamek said. “They sponsored the Deschutes Brewery Park Stage in Sankey Park and beer was sold in cans there. The entire park was fenced off and we had our security and alcohol monitors, as well as OLCC roaming the park. It was very well received.”

Shamek said the band Cloverdayle was popular on both the main stage and in Sankey Park.

“They are very popular with people around here,” Shamek said. “Brewers Grade and Locash were also very popular.”

This year’s headline acts were Brett Eldredge on Friday, Clint Black on Saturday and Brantley Gilbert on Sunday.

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Another popular feature of this year’s event was ornament making for the Capitol Christmas Tree, sponsored by the Sweet Home Ranger District. The Capitol Christmas Tree will soon be selected on the Sweet Home Ranger District, as well as smaller trees to be used throughout the Capitol Mall.

In all, 10,000 large ornaments are needed to decorate all of the trees and about 2,000 are still needed. Ornament-making sessions were held Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Sankey Park.

Shamek said there didn’t appear to be any major problems over the four-day event.

“I talked with Police Chief (Jeff) Lynn and he said it was really mellow,” Shamek said.

Eight of the nearly 1,000 Jamboree volunteers have been with the festival since day one. They are: Vicki DeLong, Peggy Emmert, Larry Johnson, Marge Lillich, Coreen Melcher, Daryl Nothiger and Donna Poirier, all of Sweet Home, and Debbie Jensen of Brownsville.

Five volunteers were recognized for 25 years service: Shirley Austin and Deborah Maskal, Brownsville; Gail Gregory, Sweet Home; and Curtis and Peggy Schwarze of Coos Bay. 

“I’ve enjoyed (almost) every minute of the 25 years volunteering for the Jamboree. I’m proud to have been a part of seeing it grow to the premier event that it’s become,” Austin said. “I’m proud of Sweet Home and the amazing and loyal volunteers who step up year after year to make it happen. And I get to be appreciated by not just the patrons but the artist reps too for the job we do, and this year was no exception. Makes me want to just keep volunteering, so I’m sure I’ll be back next year.”

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Contact Linn County reporter Alex Paul at 541-812-6114.

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