Pendleton Woolen Mills celebrates 100 years

Washougal's fabric-weaving factory plans tours, parade, live music, more

By Ray Legendre, Columbian staff writer

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photoThe Pendleton Mill Store in Washougal will be the site of some of this weekend's events celebrating Pendleton Woolen Mills' 100th anniversary.

(/The Columbian)

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If you go

What: Pendleton Woolen Mills 100th anniversary celebration

When: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Free tours at Pendleton Woolen Mills, 2 17th St.; music, food and more at Reflection Plaza downtown. Parade Saturday morning beginning at Pendleton softball fields, 21st and A streets.

Cost: Free. Food and beer available for purchase.

Pendleton Woolen Mills in Washougal will celebrate its 100th anniversary in business this weekend with a two-day celebration that includes a community dance, the tasting of local beers and a parade.

Festivities will start at 10 a.m. Friday at the Pendleton factory, with the ringing of the Pendleton bell, which was cast in 1863 in Brownsville, Ore.

The two-day event is a way of recognizing a landmark local business while also bringing the community together, Mayor Sean Guard said Tuesday.

"It's an amazing thing, especially in today's economy and today's world," Guard said of Pendleton Woolen Mills' longevity. "They're one of those companies still making a product in the United States and still making a profit."

Generations of Washougal residents have worked in the fabric-weaving mill.

"For Washougal, that's what it's all about," Guard said.

Free tours of Pendleton Woolen Mills will be provided at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1:30 p.m. Friday.

The celebration moves to downtown's Reflection Plaza on Friday evening, with a beer garden opening at 5 p.m. and live music playing from 6 to 11 p.m.

Saturday's docket includes a five-kilometer run/walk, a children's parade and more music.

The Lions Club 5K Run/Walk starts at the pedestrian tunnel in the Pendleton parking lot and runs along the Columbia River dike and back. Registration begins on-site at 8 a.m. Saturday.

The Kids & Kritter's Parade starts at 10 a.m. from the Pendleton softball fields at 21st and A streets and heads down to Pendleton Way before disbanding in the Pendleton Store parking lot. The first 100 children who show up will receive gift bags. Registration for the parade starts at 9:30 a.m. in the parking lot on the east side of Pendleton.

Other events Saturday include an equestrian display between 1 and 2 p.m. behind the Pendleton Store and live music from 6 to 11 p.m. in Reflection Plaza.

The celebration comes fewer than two months after the mill was hit with nearly six figures in fines from the state.

In June, the Washington Department of Labor & Industries fined Pendleton $93,300 for what it called 36 "serious" violations of workplace safety and health rules at the Washougal mill. It also cited the company for what it described as five smaller violations that carried no penalties.

Pendleton formally responded in July, saying it appeals "all factual and legal aspects" of the alleged violations and asking L&I to throw out all of the workplace safety and health violations, and $93,300 in penalties.

Charlie Bishop, vice president of Pendleton and manager of the Washougal mill, did not return a call Tuesday afternoon.

Aaron Corvin of The Columbian contributed to this story.