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More Oregon Coast Cancellations Include July 4th, Shore Acres Lights

Published 05/31/2020 at 4:54 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

More Oregon Coast Cancellations Include July 4th, Shore Acres Lights

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(Astoria, Oregon) – While the entire Oregon coast is slowly opening up after major restrictions due to COVID-19, the pandemic is still causing the cancellations of a variety of events through the summer and beyond. The primary issue is crowding and no way to effectively practice social distancing.

The largest of the casualties are various Fourth of July celebrations, along with big festivals that already did not happen, including Florence’s Rhododendron Festival, Whale Watch Week and Goonies Fest. All gatherings over 25 are not allowed yet on the coast, and it’s difficult to know what events planned for the rest of the year will survive, with some as far out as December already getting the ax.

Seaside already announced its Independence Day shutdown. That celebration is one of the largest in the state. Shorly after, Lincoln City ago announced the demise of its fireworks show for the year.

"As a precautionary measure to protect the safety and health of our residents and guests in response to COVID-19, the City of Lincoln City has made the difficult decision to cancel our annual Independence Day celebration that was scheduled for July 4,” said the Lincoln City Visitors Center in a press release.

That show has been running uninterrupted for 65 years.

The City of Astoria also announced its fireworks cancellation for 2020.

“With the safety and well-being of our community at the top of our minds, we felt this was not the right time to have this type of large-scale event,” said David Reid, AWACC Executive Director.

Bettina Hannigan, executive director of the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce, also expressed sadness at the demise of that central Oregon coast town’s show. Other festivals are in jeopardy as well.

“We waited as long as we could to make this decision in hopes of hosting this fun day of family events and fireworks, but given the timeline to put this event together - with the producers of the pie- and watermelon-eating contests and the providers of the bounce houses, music, and fireworks - there is no way to plan for it with any certainty,” Hannigan said. “Currently we are in the wait-and-see stage with all the planning that goes into our Wine and Chowder Trails held on Columbus Day weekend, but we’re optimistic.”

Newport announced the shutdown of its fireworks recently as well.

One of the most bitter pills for many to swallow was the recent announcement regarding the 34th annual Holiday Lights at Shore Acres in December.

The southern Oregon coast tradition - near Coos Bay - typically draws 50 to 60 thousand visitors, but it will not happen this year.

“Preparation for the event takes many hours of work that would normally start now and last all the way up to the event, and the uncertainty about health conditions between now and November led to this hard decision,” said the Friends of Shore Acres, Inc. in a press release.

That favorite event with Oregonians has been going since 1987.

Also on the chopping block are the summer’s Living History programs at Fort Stevens, up at the top of the Oregon coast. That includes tours and likely the Civil War reenactment as well.

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