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Brisk weather brings brisk sales to 42nd annual Autumn on Parade festival

Brisk weather meant brisk sales for vendors at the Autumn on Parade Farmers Market over the weekend.

Gloomy skies and a high of only 47 degrees didn't slow the pace Saturday as buyers bundled up in winter coats and stocking hats packed the sidewalks and craft booths around the Ogle County Courthouse square for Oregon's annual fall festival.

"The vendors were pleased. One said it was his best show yet," said festival president Laury Edlund. "It was a buying crowd."

Vendor Karen Merlak, Polo, agreed. "We're doing very well," she said with a grin, as customers crowded into her booth west of the courthouse to look over handmade Christmas ornaments and nativities.

The Oregon Fire Department served a record crowd of nearly 800 at its annual spaghetti supper Saturday night.

The proceeds of the event went to Oregon firefighter Thomas Jones and his family.

Jones was severely burned Aug. 20 in an explosion and fire and remains in intensive care at St. Anthony Medical Center, Rockford.

The crowd may have been down somewhat Saturday due to the cool weather, Edlund said, but Sunday's bright blue skies and temperatures in the mid-50s brought people out, not only for the Farmers Market, but also for the tasty treats at the Food Court and the Harvest Time Parade.

"We had a good crowd for the parade," Edlund said. "They were standing three and four deep. We were very fortunate to have great weather on Sunday. The Food Court did well both days."

She praised the support that community organizations provided to assist the AOP Committee with putting on the festival.

"We could never do this without the help and cooperation of the Oregon Police and Street Department, the Ogle County Sheriff's Department, and the Oregon Park District," Edlund said. "We appreciate all they do for us."

She also praised the efforts of the volunteers that made up the committee and help out with the festival.

"It takes a lot of hard work and dedicated volunteers working together to make it happen," she said.

Committee members spent all day Monday doing clean up around the downtown and wrapping up the festival.

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