Bowlby Bash street fair returns Saturday

Katy Nesbitt/Go! staff
Ginger Berry of Wild Carrot in Enterprise is ready for the Bowlby Bash Soap Box Derby on Saturday.
Katy Nesbitt/Go! staff Ginger Berry of Wild Carrot in Enterprise is ready for the Bowlby Bash Soap Box Derby on Saturday.

Katy Nesbitt/Go! staff
Ginger Berry of Wild Carrot in Enterprise is ready for the Bowlby Bash Soap Box Derby on Saturday.

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Bowlby Bash

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in Enterprise; Soap box derby entrants ride down Main Street at 1 p.m. with the race set to begin at 2 p.m. at Main and Fifth streets

Cost: Free

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ENTERPRISE —  Bowlby Bash, Enterprise’s annual summertime street fair, returns Saturday with food, music, shopping and the ever-popular soap box derby.

Enterprise’s Main Street will be closed to car traffic for a day filled with sidewalk shopping, visits to local merchants’ stores, street vendors and artists displaying their work.

Local restaurants and food booths will have a variety of dishes for sale. Artists will be on hand showing off their trade and wares. For the kids, there will be sidewalk chalk art and games. Music by local musicians will be staged throughout the day.

There will be demonstrations from the early pioneering days along with tours of the Wallowa County Courthouse and downtown walking tours.

The 101-year-old Enterprise Public Library at 101 N.E. First St. will be open for tours and shelter during the heat of the day.

Between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., a silent auction will be held at the Odd Fellows Hall at 107 N.E. First St. Proceeds will benefit the Meals on Wheels program.

Bringing excitement to the day, the Bowlby Bash Soap Box Derby is rolling toward its fifth year down Main Street on Saturday.

Carol Bartlow, manager of the Wallowa County Farmers Market, said the market is joining Bowlby Bash this year on East Main Street next to the Wallowa County Courthouse.

She said all of the regular vendors will be there selling produce, soap, canned goods, fruit, kettle korn, felted gifts and birdhouses.

Michael Berry, this year’s soap box derby organizer, said there’s a lot of interest in the derby and more sponsors.

“It looks like it’s going to be a great event,” Berry said.

Derby cars fall into three categories — creative, speed and or two-wheeled.

The show and shine for all of the cars entered will be on display by the Wallowa County Courthouse gazebo from 10 a.m. to noon. The derby cars will parade down Main Street at 1 p.m., and the race starts at 2 p.m. at Main and Fifth streets.

“I’m really excited for this year’s races. We’ve got some great entries,” Berry said.

Berry and his wife, Jody, own Wild Carrot Herbals, a retail shop on Main Street. He said he is entering a speedy carrot designed by local artist Steve Arment.

Getting the hang of organizing the derby, Berry said he anticipates some grudge matches from some of the seasoned racers, like Mayor Steve Lear showcasing his new street rod.

“I have a 1900 public works turbocharged aerodynamically superior vehicle. I’m going to race anybody who dares challenge me, even Ron Osterloh,” Lear said.

Osterloh is the original Bowlby Bash soap box derby organizer who helps organize and will race on Saturday.

Lear said his restaurant, Lear’s Main Street Pub and Grill, will serve sidewalk fare and beverages during the day.

Bowlby Bash was the brainchild of Enterprise’s downtown merchants, city council and Greater Enterprise Main Streets to celebrate the city’s architectural history.

Many of Enterprise’s historic buildings were built with Bowlby stone, like the Enterprise Mercantile and Milling Co., the Bowlby Building, the Funk Building, the Burnaugh Building, the Litch Building, the Wallowa County Chieftain building, the Enterprise Hotel, The Bookloft, Favorite Finds on Main and J’s Place.

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