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Pacific City's Dory Days Give N. Oregon Coast a Kick in July

Published 6/14/24 at 6:35 a.m.
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection

(Pacific City, Oregon) – Those inimitable sights of a small vessel barreling its way onto the beach are a startling one the first time anyone encounters it. They're a large part of Pacific City tradition, however: the Dory boats go back nearly 100 years on this part of the north Oregon coast.

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And they're celebrating bigtime on July 19 - 21, with the annual Dory Days Festival happening in various parts of Pacific City.

Mark your calendars for that Friday through Saturday, as Pacific City gears up for its spectacular parade featuring an eclectic mix of boats, cars, horses, and lively music. The floats, creatively adorned to fit the theme “Decades of Dories,” will compete for trophies across six different categories, infusing friendly rivalry into the festivities.

You'll also get to engage with the dorymen of these legendary rigs.

“Festival-goers will have the unique opportunity to chat directly with dorymen about their distinctive boats and the specific purposes behind their builds,” said Arica Sears, main organizer. “These traditional dory boat displays, located at the Dorymen’s Lot next to Chester’s Market, will showcase the features that have enabled these vessels to brave the Pacific waters for over a century.”

Culinary enthusiasts are in for a treat at the festival’s fish fry. Sample the flavors of the Pacific with fresh-caught dory fish from the SeaQ dory boat, expertly fried by the Sportsman Pub and Grub. This delectable experience is found at the Kiawanda Community Center from noon to 5 p.m. on July 20th. Or just follow the wafting aroma.

Music takes center stage throughout the weekend. On Friday night, groove to the sounds of the '90s rock band, The Radio Riots, at the Kiawanda Community Center (KCC) from 7 PM to 9 PM (tickets at $15 per person). During Saturday’s parade, cheer on “The Beat Goes on Marching Band,” known for their high-energy, brassy rock and roll style. And if you’re up for some dancing, join the line dancing event on Saturday night at 7 PM. There is no prior experience required: you may get some instruction right there. Tickets for line dancing are $10 per person.

A historical exhibit is a major part of this Oregon coast classic, with the "Launching Through the Surf: The Dory Fleet of Pacific City" traveling display on hand. It's the product of Linfield University working together with the nearly 100-year-old Pacific City Dorymen’s Association. Look for it on July 20 from 7 AM to 5 PM: it is free.

Then there's always a little possibility for shopping Oregon coast-style: right out in the ocean air.

“Throughout the weekend, visitors can explore the Artisan Market at the Dorymen’s Lot next to Chester’s Market,” Sears said. “This market will feature a range of unique souvenirs, vintage-inspired jewelry, artwork, and more, offering a delightful shopping experience in a picturesque setting.”

Everything takes place in and around Pacific City, making for a dreamy backdrop with all that beach, sea and the distant visage of Cape Kiwanda and Haystack Rock.

For more information, visit the Pacific City Dory Days website at or contact the event coordinator, Arica Sears, at

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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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