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More Closures, Cancellations Along Oregon Coast, Washington Coast

Published 04/05/2020 at 7:24 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

More Closures, Cancellations Along Oregon Coast, Washington Coast

(Oregon Coast) – More features and events along the Oregon coast and Washington coast are dropping by the wayside as the COVID crisis continues. Most beach accesses have been closed off, especially beaches in Seaside – which the city has declared off limits. Aside from the statewide stay at home order currently in place throughout Oregon and Washington, lodgings in most counties around Oregon are not allowed to operate, often through May 4.

Two big events along the coastline were just cut: Lincoln City’s Summer Kite Festival, originally scheduled for June 27-28, and Florence’s 113th Rhododendron Festival, which was to take place in late May. Earlier in March, April’s 2020 Astoria Warrenton Crab, Seafood and Wine Festival was also canceled and will not be rescheduled this year.

Managers at Explore Lincoln City said they are hoping to make the fall kite festival happen.

For some perspective, this will be the first time since WWII that Rhody Fest has been canceled, according to Florence Chamber head Bettina Hannigan.

“Based on the most current facts, government guidelines, and trending information, we must cancel Rhody Fest for 2020,” said Hannigan. “We gave this decision as long as we could and the deepest consideration. We had hoped for better news and a faster recovery.

“Logistically, there is no way to predict or plan for a new date this year, or postpone it until fall. Many chambers across the country are canceling events through July and some even into August.”

The Oregon coast isn’t the only beach area to be closed off in the Pacific Northwest.

The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission (Parks), and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced this week the extended closure of state lands to the public through May 4. The closure coincides with the extension of Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order.

This action is a continuation of the state’s efforts to protect residents by stemming the spread of the coronavirus. This extension will apply to all camping on state lands, boat launches and water access sites, wildlife areas, and day-use recreation areas.

“The decision to extend the closure of public lands was an extremely difficult one. I share the sense of disconnection and loss that we are all feeling by not being able to be out in nature,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, the elected official who leads DNR. “Our trails, campgrounds, and outdoor spaces are core to who we are in the Washington, but this temporary sacrifice is necessary to turn the tide and protect our loved ones and neighbors. We have the responsibility to do what we must to save as many lives as possible.”

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