After over a decade of giving back to the communities of Carlton and Yamhill, Carlton's Walk In the Park is strolling off into the sunset. 2013 marked the final year for this popular event. Since its inception in 2003, Carlton's Walk in the Park raised over $300,000 to support local community and civic organizations including food banks, education, police and fire departments and athletics.
The grassroots event began with the vision to give back and increase the social and economic viability of the communities of Yamhill and Carlton.
Carlton's Walk In the Park brought together some of our most influential community leaders, a wide range of like-minded consumers, local and regional media recognition as well as a year-round effort to promote this unique event. Community sponsorship and volunteerism were imperative to its success.
THANKS TO ALL OUR WALK IN THE PARK FRIENDS!
"Carlton's Walk In the Park has done so much for Carlton and Yamhill," stated Ken Wright, the mastermind behind the highly-attended event. "It is simply time for us to focus our efforts on something new."
"We have received tremendous support for local businesses and individuals," added Wright. "Companies such as Jim Doran Subaru, Rivenwood Vineyard, Davison Winery Supply, Laughlin Cartrell and McMenamins have been supporters of our event since its inception."
The event drew over 250 volunteers annually from the local community and beyond and was a large contributor to the increased foot traffic in the Carlton area.
"Before Carlton's Walk In the Park began there were numerous empty storefronts, and many businesses were struggling to capitalize on the booming summer tourist traffic," noted Carole Stevens, Carlton business owner and Walk In the Park participant. "There is no doubt in my mind that the event helped to increase the economic viability of businesses in Carlton and Yamhill and brought new and returning visitors to our town."
Throughout the event's long run, Carlton's Walk In The Park was responsible for bringing thousands of people to Yamhill County seeking local food and wine and purchasing art and jewelry from some of the region's best artisan producers. Wildly popular bands including March Fourth, Joni Harms, Curtis Salgado and Aaron Meyer entertained guests from near and far, energizing the community and revitalizing the town's park.
While the event will be no longer, the spirit of the Carlton's Walk In the Park will influence the community for years to come. The Carlton's Walk In the Park Foundation was recently granted $20,000 from the Oregon Community Foundation to assist with the city's efforts in building a permanent pavilion in Wennerberg Park.
"I think we can all be proud of the mark Carlton's Walk In The Park has left on the community, local businesses and attendees," noted Wright. "Although the event has come to an end, this is just the beginning of new things to come from our Great Little Town."