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2016 in photos

It can't be said 2016 was uneventful. Here's a look back at the year that was in photos.

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Photo by Lukas Eggen

Alexandrea Cavan (left) and Sadie Pond enjoy a trip down a hill at Dallas City Park during the year's first snow "storm," which left only .29 inches on the ground. The pair went sledding until their sleds broke, along with Sienna and Zoey Pond. Published on Jan. 6.

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Photo by Jolene Guzman

A crowd gathered in downtown to see the relighting of the Blue Garden sign for the first time in decades in February. The project took a break later in the year, but still in the works for owner Bob Collins.

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Jared Bunn, 3, waits excitedly for a model train to pass by at the Mid-Valley AgFest on Sunday. The event made its debut at the Polk County Fairgrounds & Event Center on Feb. 27-28

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Photo by Jolene Guzman

Firefighters check to see if the fire is completely out at Forest River in March. The plant's sprinkler system prevented the fire from getting out of control.

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Photo by Lukas Eggen

Western Oregon basketball players celebrate after winning the NCAA Division II West Regional title in March. The Wolves made it to the Final Four, a first in school history, but lost to Augustana.

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Photo by Lukas Eggen

Golfers during the Mid-Willamette Conference’s girls golf tournament on a beautiful April morning received some surprise guests. Two deer ran across the fairway of the first hole at Cross Creek Golf Course, causing a brief pause in play. The deer made it safely across and play continued.

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Photo by Jolene Guzman

Daryll Combs pours a drink for the late Ron Lines, who was the Dallas City Parks supervisor. A memorial was planted in honor of Lines at Dallas City Park on April 20.

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Photo by Emily Mentzer

Polk County provides breathtaking views in every corner, including this one from a springtime drive in the Buena Vista area.

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Photo by Lukas Eggen

Central sophomore Jaxon Hutchinson, left, sprints toward the finish line in the final of the boys 200-meter run at the Middle-Willamette Track and Field Championships in May. Hutchinson was one of several athletes to qualify for state from Central, Dallas, Perrydale and Falls City.

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Photo by Emily Mentzer

Luminarias light the walking path at Independence Riverview Park during Polk County Relay for Life in early June. Each paper lantern honors someone who has battled cancer or who is still fighting the disease, or is in memory of someone who lost the fight. A few were in memory of pets.

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Photo by Jolene Guzman

Morrison Campus Alternative School held its graduation ceremony at Dallas High School on June 14.

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Photo by HEIDI LEPPIN

Perrydale students turn their tassels during Perrydale’s graduation ceremony on June 11. Twenty-eight seniors were part of the Perrydale's Class of 2016.

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Photo by JOHN SCHULTE

The band plays during Dallas High School's graduation on June 11. Dallas' Class of 2016 number 205 seniors.

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Photo by JOHN SCHULTE

Panther Stadium hosted graduates and their families for Central High School's graduation in June. The school had 213 seniors participate in the ceremony.

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Photo by Jolene Guzman

Falls City graduate Grant Frink enjoys the moment during Falls City’s graduation ceremony in June. Falls City High School saw 16 students graduate in a ceremony held at the school’s football field.

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Photo by Emily Mentzer

Western Oregon men’s basketball coach Jim Shaw, right, and Wolfie greet the crowd at the Monmouth-Independence Rotary Grand Parade on July 4. The men’s basketball team served as Grand Marshal.

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Photo by Jolene Guzman

Kent Rasmussen points to the sky after lighting a fireworks shell July 4, 2016 in Dallas. Rasmussen led the Dallas Fire Department through putting on its first fireworks display in 2016.

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Photo by Jolene Guzman

Gus, left, and Hank wait to leave Illahe Vineyards in Dallas on July 22, 2016. They are headed for Independence to deliver the vineyard's 1899 wine to the shores of the Willamette River, where its loaded into canoes for the journey to Portland. The stagecoach trip was just one old-fashioned method Illahe uses to make and distribute its project pinot noir.

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Photo by Emily Mentzer

Willamette Valley Pipes and Drums march in the parade on Saturday of Summerfest 2016 , much to the delight of spectators.

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Photo by Lukas Eggen

The Dallas Rotary Car Show on 2016 Summerfest Sunday gives gearheads a chance to show off unique, restored and beautiful automobiles at Dallas City Park.

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Photo by Lukas Eggen

The popular Hell on Hooves Rough Stock Rodeo returned for a second year at the 2016 Polk County Fair.

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Photo by Jolene Guzman

Pigs and cows and sheep, oh my! All, and much more, could be found at the 2016 Polk County Fair "Boots, Chaps and Cowboy Hats," that took place Aug. 11-13, 2016.

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Photo by Jolene Guzman

The Polk County Courthouse is reflected off the shiny paint job on a classic Chevy at the city of Dallas’ Tuesdays on the Square event on Aug. 16, 2016. More than 60 cars lined the courthouse blocks for the cruise-in, which featured live music and a hula hoop act. In its first year this summer, Tuesdays on the Square proved successful in bringing people downtown.

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Photo by Emily Mentzer

Knights fight during the Shrewsbury Renaissance Faire in Kings Valley on Sept. 10, 2016. The annual event takes festival-goers back in time to 1500-era England.

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Photo by Lukas Eggen

Dallas’ girls soccer team thanks fans for their support after the Dragons’ 1-0 loss to McNary on Sept. 15, 2016. The team's coach, Kirk Myrold, had been arrested just days before the game. In a show of unity, the players were able to hold their own against an undefeated 6A opponent.

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Photo by Jolene Guzman

Dallas firefighters helped Delbert Hunter Arboretum volunteers use an ancient practice --fire -- to regenerate meadow grasses.

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Photo by Lukas Eggen

Falls City's football team made it into the state playoffs for the first time in 34 years in the fall of 2016.

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Photo by Jolene Guzman

Music could be heard in every part of the second annual Polk Folklife festival in late October, including in the outdoor jam area, where musicians who were not part of scheduled acts could gather to play.­

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Photo by Jolene Guzman

Considered a Dallas icon, the grain elevator on property owned by Valley Life Center is no more. The church had to tear down the structure this fall. It has become a safety hazard.

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Photo by Lukas Eggen

Tanner Earhart rushes during Dallas' state semi-final game against Lebanon in November. Earhart ran for 2,068 yards and 24 touchdowns in his senior year.

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Photo by Lukas Eggen

Peter Mendazona (10) attempts to pass to Peter Mason (26) during the Panthers state semifinal game against Wilsonville in November.

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Photo by Lukas Eggen

Anson Rush, 20 months, takes stock of his finished gingerbread house at the Independence Public Library on Nov. 30, 2016. The library offered kids the opportunity to work on their own tasty creations with all materials provided.

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Photo by Lukas Eggen

Hailey Soukup, 5, shares what she wants for Christmas with Santa during Western Oregon University’s 49th annual Holiday Tree Lighting celebration the first weekend of December.

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Photo by Lukas Eggen

By mid-December, snow was already a familiar site in Polk County, like this snowy scene in Dallas City Park.

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