Country Music Festival Brings Business

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BROWNSVILLE, Ore. — Some of country music’s top entertainers will be in Brownsville for the 6th Annual Bi-Mart Willamette Country Music Festival. Three days of music begin on Friday, but the economic impact the festival brings to Linn County, Brownsville and beyond will be felt year round.

With a population of just 1,800, the quiet town of Brownsville has a big week ahead. For five days, it will entertain 15,000 guests and 13 music artists.

Dozens of shops and businesses will cash in, but some are working in unexpected ways.

“The fact that the Central Linn Booster Club will have 300 folks out here, keeping the property nice and pristine for us, you text the phone number and they’ll deliver ice right to your camp site,” says  Anne Hankins with Willamette Country Concerts.

Without a single large employer in town, City Administrator Scott McDowell says Brownsville is grateful, many families in particular. He says the festival helps a local agency called Sharing Hands, which is part of United Way. The organization feeds families in Brownsville who are disadvantaged.

Director of Advertising for Bi-Mart, Don Leber, says they work so hard to pull the festival off for just that reason. “Working together to raise money to help benefit all of these different causes, bringing people together and meeting people, it’s just so exciting and fun,” says Leber. “You have one piece that’s kind of the connection for all of those things that drive that throughout the year.”


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