Planners of the 2011 Estonian West Coast Festival

Planning for the Portland Estonian West Coast Festival has become intense. The organizers of the festival are meeting in numerous committees throughout each week, and reporting to the Board of Directors every other Friday. We sense the increased momentum with each passing week as projects are completed and new projects begin. There is a feeling of excitement and anticipation among the organizers!

Our Portland Estonian community is blessed with many hard working and dedicated volunteers, willing to devote their time and energy to making this festival a reality. Each member of this team contributes their own unique professional experience to the accomplishment of our goals. The team is unified with a common vision to bring the celebration of Estonian culture to the new generation and to our many Friends of Estonia! It is an amazing experience to be a member of this dynamic group!

Our team continues to grow in numbers! We began planning for this festival over a year and a half ago with a 9 member Board of Directors, which quickly expanded to include an Extended Board of 10 additional members. Event Organizers and Service Providers, along with their assistants add at least another 35 members to this team. Our team of organizers will include over 50 individuals when the Portland West Coast Estonian Festival arrives!

We are grateful to the first generation of Estonians along the West Coast of the United States, who paved the way of community spirit and ethnic pride for the new generations of Estonian-Americans. We follow in the footsteps of our forefathers as we continue to build upon the communities they began many years ago. We find strength in their visions and efforts to create vibrant Estonian communities 5,000 miles from Estonia.

The West Coast Estonian Festival is a celebration of the heartbeat of our communities and families. It is a celebration of the cohesiveness we have long enjoyed between our Estonian communities along the West Coast. It is also a celebration of the incredible teamwork necessary to organize a successful West Coast Estonian Festival!

We look forward to a wonderful and commemorative celebration of our Estonian heritage in August!

Kalle Merilo