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The Champoeg amphitheater, constructed in 1993, was built for the purpose of staging the annual Historical Pageant, tabbed by the 1987 state legislature as the "Official Pageant of Oregon Statehood", and sponsored by the Friends of Historic Champoeg.
Because of a three-year gap between pageants the facility was leased to a local promoter to stage a variety of musical groups, one of which is pictured here. Although the Pageant will not be held in 1998 as previously planned, anyone who has an interest in the next pageant can get additional information by writing to theFriends of Historic Champoeg
Champoeg State Heritage Area offers recreation, history and nature on 615 acres of rustic forests, fields and wetlands. It is part of a historic prairie that long has been a gathering place for the people who have lived here. First, native people came here to hunt and gather food and trade with other tribes. By the early 1800s, French Canadian fur trappers moved into the area and traded with the Native Americans on the open prairie. In the early 1840s, American settlers arrived over the Oregon Trail and established farms and a bustling frontier town called Champoeg which eventually was wiped away in a devastating 1861 flood.
Today Champoeg is a state heritage area, conveniently located between Portland and Salem, Oregon, that offers interpretive programs based in Native, Hudson Bay Company, and pioneer cultures for visitors of all ages. Plus, there are living history special events and recreational opportunities for hiking and biking, bird and wildlife watching, and camping.
Champoeg State Park is the birthplace of Oregon - this is where the first Oregon government was formed. Each summer they hold a historical pageant. The park borders on the Willamette River and had a great deal of destruction in the floods of 1996 and 1997.
The law designating the Champoeg Historical Pageant as the official Oregon state statehood pageant is found in the Oregon Revised Statutes Edition, Vol. 5, Title 19, Chapter 186 Section 186.130
Vol. 5 State Government, Government Procedures, Land Use
Title 19 Miscellaneous matters related to government and public affairs
Chapter 186 State Emblems; State Boundary
186.130 Champoeg Historical Pageant as official statehood pageant.
(1) The Champoeg Historical Pageant is proclaimed to be the official pageant of Oregon statehood.
(2) The State Parks and Recreation Department shall encourage the further development of the pageant and promote increased attendance at its performances. [1987 c.831 §2; 1989 c.904 §51]