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High-Profile Events, Changes at Lincoln City and the Funding That Brings the Oregon Coast Fun

Published 7/01/24 at 6:25 a.m.
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection

(Lincoln City, Oregon) – Behind the scenes of some of the Oregon coast's more high-profile and innovative events and developments there are some other movers and shakers. Explore Lincoln City has been a major financial part of large-scale changes in town, such as the new mobi-mats that allow greater access to the beaches.

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Explore Lincoln City recently announced its funding assistance to six community partners in the area, with $70,908 going to tourism-oriented projects for the 2023/2024 fiscal year. All of them have already or will soon make an impression on the public this year.

“This grant cycle prioritized applicants with tourism-facing projects that emphasized stewardship, accessibility and diversity,” said Explore Lincoln City.

This sort of funding has been happening in the central coast town since 2009, where the agency has delivered over $1 million in grants and community partnership funding to hundreds of meaningful projects.

“As the face of tourism in Lincoln City, it is important to Explore Lincoln City that we support our community partners in providing meaningful, innovative experiences and attractions for visitors,” said Kim Cooper Findling, Explore Lincoln City Director. “These fund awards amplify the great work being done by many organizations that serve visitors in Lincoln City.”

This year has been an especially important one and will continue to be. The season's recipients include:

One of the major benefits of these funds can be enjoyed by those with mobility issues, who can now get themselves onto more of these Oregon coast sands. The Friends of Lincoln City Parks and Recreation received $13,000 to enhance beach accessibility. They used the funds to purchase and install Mobi-Mats at two additional Lincoln City beach access points, bringing the total number of accessible beach areas to four. These six-and-a-half-foot-wide mats are portable, non-slip, and create extended pathways over the sand, making it easier for all to enjoy the beach.

The Siletz Bay Music Festival returns August 16 to August 25. This past season, the festival received $20,000 to enhance two distinct events that are big favorites and traditions on the Oregon coast. $15,000 contributed to the grand finale concert in September 2023, celebrating Native American culture and promoting inclusivity. An additional $5,000 supported the February 2024 event titled "My Words Are My Sword." This collaborative project, featuring poet/actor Darius Wallace, composer Jasnam Dava Singh, and festival founder Maestro Yaacov Bergman, honored both Black History Month and the late Maestro's legacy.

Cascade Head Biosphere Collaborative received $21,408 to fund a series of events emphasizing stewardship and natural history education around Oregon’s only Biosphere Region. Family friendly, educational and impactful events included Natural Arts and Sciences on Tap, Art on the Beach, a Sand Art Contest and voluntourism on Lincoln City beaches as part of the “Wrack Line” project, studying climate change. Cascade Head Scenic-Research Area is celebrating the 50th anniversary of successfully ensuring a balanced blend of cultural, environmental, scientific and recreational activities with a special event honoring those milestones.

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The Lincoln City Art Festival received $2,000 to support its mission. This annual festival aims to promote art and creativity in the community. The funds were used for musical performances and improved event signage. The festival showcased a diverse group of over thirty artists from all over Oregon, who gathered in Lincoln City to share and sell their unique works of art. With hopes of becoming an annual tradition, the festival celebrates artistic expression and enriches the cultural fabric of the city.

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The Lincoln City Cultural Center received $9,500 to support two significant events. $5,000 was allocated to the 2024 LCC Pride Fest—an inclusive, family-friendly event for the LGBTQIA+ and ally communities. The festival featured a resource fair, live music, art, food, and fun. An additional $4,500 supported the second annual Juneteenth Celebration. This event commemorates the end of slavery in the United States after the Civil War. Attendees enjoyed guest speakers, live music, a barbecue lunch, and an educational exhibit.

Foamie Frenzie Surf Competition received $5,000 for its event in June. This event is built on an inclusive culture with a philosophy of protecting and learning about the ocean and how to preserve it. Funding went towards lodging, permanent event supplies, trophies, web services and film production, to better share this family friendly, educational and fun event.

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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