The carnival rides at Cherryfest NW, held over the Fourth of July holiday at Riverfront Park. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Salem Reporter)

It was another fantastic weekend at Salem’s Riverfront Park for the annual Cherryfest NW event. I worked the event for many years when it was the Bite and Brew of Salem, coordinated by the South Salem Rotary Club. 

Now operated by the nonprofit Hoopla Association, the event partnered with the Ike Box to put on another fun-packed festival. 

On Saturday night, July 6, the weather was a little gray and windy, but that didn’t dampen anyone's enthusiasm for the rides, food and music. At the carnival entrance dozens of children were riding mini roller coasters or jumping in bounce houses. First-grader Evan Vignery took a ride on the mechanical bull. Rebekah Rigsby and her sons Lucas, Devon and Sean were just starting to explore the food options.

 I stopped by the VIP Booth operated by Country Financial to check in on some friends. There Anita Kennedy introduced me to some of the team members. Heather Spike, Stephen Carroll, Jim Thorlakson, Wayne Burrow and Darin Maddy were passing out glow-in-the-dark silipint cups to enjoy some of the various beers served.

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Alise Liepnieks, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association, and Sharon Peterson of Curves South Salem/Jenny Craig were also there enjoying the music. I had a quick chat with Steve (Cherriots) and Diana Dickey (former city councilor) who are strong supporters of Salem arts and culture.

Along with members of the Salem Police Department, Elite Security had its booth next to Salem’s new rescue utility task vehicle (a Kawasaki Mule). We discussed how useful this new piece of equipment had been to the city. The Saturday shift posed for a picture including Benigno Magana, Erasmo Flores, Jessica Fennern, Daniel Dominguez, Jose Lorenzana and Sandra Flores.

As fans of Patrick Lamb, we stayed to listen to Hit Factory. On the way out of the gate we visited with Mark Bulgin and Josh Erickson from the Ike Box. They have a lot going on with their fundraising efforts to move the popular coffee shop. Hopefully, their engagement with Cherryfest NW will help promote and support their campaign.

The Hit Factory performs at Cherryfest NW, held over the Fourth of July holiday. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Salem Reporter)

First grader Evan Vignery tries his hand at the mechanical bull at Cherryfest NW, held over the Fourth of July holiday. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Salem Reporter)

Alise Liepnieks, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association, and Sharon Peterson of Curves South Salem take in Cherryfest NW, held over the Fourth of July holiday. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Salem Reporter)

Dianna and Steve Dickey take in Cherryfest NW, held over the Fourth of July holiday. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Salem Reporter)

Josh Erickson and Mark Bulgin from Ike Box participate in Cherryfest NW, held over the Fourth of July holiday. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Salem Reporter)

Heather Spike, Stephen Carroll, Jim Thorlakson, Wayne Burrow and Darin Maddy from Country Financial take in Cherryfest NW, held over the Fourth of July holiday. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Salem Reporter)

Benigno Magana, Erasmo Flores, Jessica Fennern, Daniel Dominguez, Jose Lorenzana and Sandra Flores from Elite Security at Cherryfest NW. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Salem Reporter)

The Rigsby family takes in Cherryfest NW, held over the Fourth of July holiday. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Salem Reporter)

Food offerings covered the range of midway faire at Cherryfest NW. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Salem Reporter)

Mary Louise VanNatta is a Salem public relations professional writing a regular column for Salem Reporter. Tell her about your upcoming event atmlvg@prsalem.com or follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Out-and-About-with-Mary-Louise-VanNatta-646148848755085/