June 12, 2001 11:00 pm

By The Observer

ELGIN A day of family fun and a chance to explore the improvements around Elgin arrives Saturday during the communitys annual Riverfest celebration, sponsored by the Elgin Lions Club.

Events start early, with breakfast served at 7 a.m. by the Elgin Fire Department at the fire hall. The fund-raiser helps the firemen put on annual programs for the community.

If running, rather than eating, is the preferred day-starter, head out to Minam, where half-marathoners will begin their trek toward Elgin at 7 a.m.

Anyone who would like to volunteer to support the runners along the way can call Casey at 962-0974.

And for those who like running or walking, but arent ready to tackle the Minam grade, theres a fun run/walk scheduled to head out at 10 a.m. from the Stampede Grounds.

All day the center of fun will be in downtown Elgin.

About 20 or more local vendors will be setting up downtown, encouraging people to stop by to view crafts and pick up information. Both the Opera House and the Elgin Museum will have open houses; and an art show and sale will be going on at the U.S. Bank building with a variety of categories judged.

If the treasure has not been located by Saturday, all the past weeks worth of clues in the Elgin Riverfest Treasure Hunt will be on display at Krause Insurance, along with the treasure trove the winner will claim.

For those looking for personal treasures, Elgin will have more than 18 yard sales around town Saturday. Maps to the sales will be available at the Elgin Lions Club booth downtown, at the post office, and at the breakfast at the fire hall.

At the heart of this years Riverfest will be the entertainment on the downtown park center stage.

Starting at 11 a.m., performers will include singer Christina Nordstrom; Christian rock bank Psalm 92; the Blue Mountain Old-Time Fiddlers at noon; Morgan, Margie & Friends on banjo, mandolin and more; square dancers from the Indian Valley Paraders; the Eastern Oregon University Fiddlers; troubadour Teresa Zyla; and alternative rock by Hokas Cure into the evening.

Those listening to the music are urged to bring their own lawnchairs.

I think its going to be really a good day, said Maureen Smolkowski of the Lions Club.

The club will sell raffle tickets during the day for a chance to win a boat and trailer donated by Cecil Churchill.

The winner will be announced at the end of the Elgin Stampede in mid-July.