Riddle enjoyed a very successful Sawdust Jubilee event in July, celebrating our nation’s birthday. The weekend started off on Saturday with a Softball Tournament and a BBQ Cook-off, two very popular events for the fans!

A delicious breakfast was served the morning of July 4, followed closely by our crowd-pleasing parade. The Riddle Area Chamber of Commerce made presentations following the parade to members of the community, commemorating their volunteer activities throughout the past year. A dessert auction preceded the car show, booths and entertainments, culminating in exquisite fireworks after dark.

The Fourth Avenue street project is ready to wrap up. After some striping and new signage it will be complete. The new sidewalks will be greatly appreciated by the school children this winter, as this project corrected a drainage issue in the area. The four-way stop will be highlighted by new flashing signage. An added feature of these signs is they can be programed to collect information such as speed, failure to stop, etc., an important enhancement due to the proximity to the elementary school and a local daycare facility.

Our all-volunteer library is going strong. Several very successful events transpired over the summer to encourage library attendance and reading. A big thank you to Douglas County for the $4,000 donation; this is a big boost for our library. A book sale is slated for Sept. 30 through Oct. 12. The donation of gently used books would be greatly appreciated.

Two new business owners in town are working furiously, renovating existing buildings to meet their target dates to have the businesses opened in early fall. The bakery and a coffee shop/deli will be welcome additions to downtown Riddle. A third building has been purchased; no word currently as to what plans are in the works. The Riddle Area Chamber of Commerce is actively seeking businesses for the downtown area.

School has been in session since late August, so be sure to watch for children on the streets. Fall sports are under way with football, volleyball and cross country, as well as some students playing soccer with the South Umpqua team. Come out and support our youth; they appreciate seeing your faces in the stands. Riddle High School Homecoming is the week of Sept. 18-22, with many fun events planned. Be on the lookout for math-letes, athletes, sports jerseys and Irish pride.

Next year’s Sawdust Jubilee is well into the planning of the 2018 celebration. Volunteers are always needed, and meetings are at the Riddle Firehall the first Friday of each month beginning at 6 p.m.

Plans are also underway for the next chamber sponsored event, “Timber Truckers Light Parade,” scheduled for the second Saturday in December. The parade begins in Riddle at 5:30 p.m. and travels old Highway 99 ending up in Myrtle Creek. Mark your calendars to come to town and enjoy the holiday atmosphere, holiday lights, some chili and the truck parade.

We extend a heartfelt thank you to our local fire department personnel as well as all the firefighters who have worked so hard and kept us safe from the Horse Prairie Fire. There are signs aplenty along the route, but if you happen to see someone dressed in green and yellow Nomex, please take a moment to shake their hand and offer your gratitude.

Sadly, an icon in Riddle passed away recently. Sherry Buchanan, a.k.a “the orange lady,” will be missed by all who were greeted by her “mean and ornery” response to a greeting. She was a recipient this year of the Riddle Area Chamber of Commerce volunteer award due to her endless gift of time to the South County Food Bank.

Jane Mitchell is President of the Riddle Area Chamber of Commerce.

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Outdoors and Natural Resources Reporter

Emily Hoard is the business, outdoors and natural resources reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at 541-957-4217 or by email at ehoard@nrtoday.com. Follow her on Twitter @hoard_emily.

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