Bulletin Staff Report

Sisters is the nearest community to a June regional gathering of the Rainbow Family, a loose-knit group of people who gather at national forests each year.

The regional event is expected to draw up to 600 members, far fewer than the 13,000 who descended on eastern Oregon for a national gathering last July. Rainbow Family members are expected to pass through Deschutes County between June 11 and June 21, according to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.

While the event itself is located off U.S. Highway 22 near the Santiam Pass, Sisters is the closest town with food and gas. The sheriff’s office says residents should expect increased vehicle traffic and hitchhiking and be prepared to encounter abandoned vehicles and lost or stranded drivers.

The sheriff’s office also warned of increased theft, criminal mischief and trespassing, as it did before last year’s national gathering near John Day. Rainbow Family members counter that they spend thousands of dollars a day in local businesses.