GOLD BEACH andndash; The first community Christmas dinner sponsored by the Curry Fair Friends and the Event Center on the Beach is being called a resounding success.

"It was outstanding," Fair Manager Ron Crook said Tuesday. "There were over 250 people plus our volunteers, closer to 300 people. It was just one fantastic event, unbelievable acceptance and participation."

He said people came to the dinner at Docia Sweet Hall, served for two hours beginning at 1 p.m. on Christmas, and donated food and money to help with the dinner.

"Karin Trinkler was the driving force. She was the one that went around and got so much support, donation assistance and volunteers. The Curry Fair Friends did the kitchen work," Crook said.

"We've never done Christmas. This is the first time for Christmas," Crook said, noting the Fair Friends have previously sponsored community Thanksgiving dinners.

"There was turkey and ham and dressing, mashed potatoes and yams and tossed salad. Fruit salad, Jell-O, vegetables and home-made rolls. Lots of different desserts. It was just a wonderful selection," he said.

Asked if this was likely become an annual affair, Crook said it probably would.

"I'm pretty sure it will be. It was such a success. Now, we're putting the emphasis on a New Year's party," Crook said.

Unlike the free Christmas dinner, the New Year's party will be a fundraiser for the Event Center.

"We're trying to get new audiovisual equipment for Docia Sweet Hall, to bring us into the 21st century," said Laurie Brand, volunteer fair office staffer.

"This is our first one ever," she said.

"It will be New Year's Eve from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. We're having snacks, a free toast of champagne, raffles and bingo," she said.

The Ferguson Brothers Band will be playing.

She said admission will be $20 a person or $35 for a couple.

"There's a discount of $5 a person if they buy early. Those tickets will be available at the Event Center and the Gold Beach Books. It's free if it's your birthday," Brand said.

She said anyone eating at a restaurant before coming to the party will get a free raffle ticket.

"Just bring the restaurant receipt," Brand said.