DAYTON -- Friday is a red-letter day for the Port of Columbia.
At 2 p.m. at the corner of U.S. Highway 12 and Wagon Road the Blue Mountain Station will be officially launched with a groundbreaking ceremony for Phase I of the project. Phase 1 will install infrastructure at the site.
The Blue Mountain Station is billed as the "world's first eco-friendly natural and organic specialty food park."
Dan Newhouse, director of the state Department of Agriculture, is guest speaker for the event. The agency is responsible for animal health, plant inspections, food safety, fruit and grain inspection and certification and marketing the state's agricultural products regionally and internationally.
Blue Mountain Station is designed to be the catalyst of a vertically-integrated program blending sustainable, locally-grown produce and natural and organic specialty food processing with the fun and entertainment of food tourism, all in a setting that respects the historical, environmental and architectural integrity of the region, according to a news release from the Port.
Blue Mountain Station is envisioned as a destination for people from around the world who will visit Dayton to learn about agriculture and natural and organic food processing.
"April 15 will definitely be a historic day in Dayton. A lot of great people have worked very hard to make the Blue Mountain Station dream a reality," said Port manager Jennie Dickinson.
"We have communicated with many food processing companies, trade press people and economic development professionals They have confirmed what we have always believed, that we are on the right track, possibly developing the specialty food processing model of the future," Dickinson said.
Carrie Chicken can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 522-5289.
IF YOU GO
The groundbreaking ceremony is open to the public. Refreshments will be provided next door at the Harvest Christian Center immediately following the ceremony. Parking is available at the Harvest Christian Center. More information on the Blue Mountain Station can be found at BlueMountainStation.com.