~~~ Pilot story by Andrea Barkan ~~~

Organizers of the Kris Kringle Market and Christmas Around the World - last weekend's plethora of holiday events scattered throughout town - said this first year was a learning experience, and the show will definitely go on for years to come.

andquot;The first time you put on an event like this, you just don't know,andquot; said Hayley Farr, who coordinated downtown Brookings events.

andquot;We made a good start for something to work on for ? years to come,andquot; she said.

The stormy weekend put a damper on the event - literally.

andquot;The weather just killed everything,andquot; Head Coordinator Lynn Truman said.

But Truman added that the rain did not prevent entertainers from keeping their musical commitments, including the Brookings-Harbor High School Concert Band, which performed Sunday.

andquot;When they walked out in the rain with their instruments, I was amazed,andquot; Truman said. andquot;And they did it for our community.andquot;

Community unity was the festival's purpose, Truman said.

Elmo Williams, who produced the event, told Lynn months ago that he had a dream, she said.

andquot;You could never get Brookings and Harbor to unite,andquot; she said. andquot;That's what Elmo's dream was about. He did it to try to unite divided communities.andquot;

Truman said though the storms were bad, event organizers weathered them.

andquot;We survived the Kris Kringle Market,andquot; she said. andquot;And next year we want people to see what they missed and come out and support it. We need to make this grow.andquot;

Bette Moore, the event contact person for Chetco Village Merchants in the Port of Brookings-Harbor, said the merchants' association already has ideas brewing for next year.

andquot;This was a great dress rehearsal for next year,andquot; Moore said.

andquot;We learned we need an inside contingency plan,andquot; she said. andquot;It came up today how much we need an event center.andquot;

Moore said she hopes to work with port officials to develop a five-year plan for the festival.

andquot;That's the only way things work,andquot; she said. andquot;By looking further ahead than next Tuesday.andquot;

Farr said the low turnout at some events may have been a result of giving people too many choices.

andquot;Maybe people had a hard time choosing,andquot; Farr said. andquot;If we can concentrate all of the vendors and entertainment in one building, it would be a huge benefit.andquot;

Finding an indoor venue is most important, she said.

andquot;It's too much work to have the elements make a disaster of it,andquot; Farr said.

andquot;We've learned a lot on this one,andquot; she said. andquot;I feel like I'm certainly ready to take it on another year.andquot;

The Curry Coastal Pilot
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