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N. Oregon Coast's Seaside Promenade Celebrates Centennial With Contests, Experiences

Published 03/03/21 at 4:20 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

N. Oregon Coast's Seaside Promenade Celebrates Centennial With Contests, Experiences

(Seaside, Oregon) – On the north Oregon coast, the stalwart, legendary attraction of the Seaside Promenade turns 100 years old this year. It was on August 7, 1921 that the Prom was officially dedicated, after starting construction about a year before. (Above: the wooden walkway just before the Prom existed, prior to 1921; courtesy Seaside Visitors Bureau)

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Now, Seaside is celebrating throughout the entire year, with a big contest to win a night’s stay in town (actually a few of these contests), along with a book that points you to all kinds of experiences you can have diving into history here.

COVID, of course, put the dampener on a lot of events the city had been planning last year. Still, some happenings are in the wings – at least a possibility.

Seaside’s Director of Tourism Marketing, Joshua Heineman, said there are tentative plans for a Dedication Day Celebration on August 7. They’re hoping to do parades, art shows, burying a time capsule, and other goodies. All that is only a possibility, however.

Still, the celebration of this north Oregon coast icon of history presents all sorts of other possibilities.

"We're so lucky to have the never-before, never-to-happen-again Prom Centennial upon us just when we all - more than ever - need a reason to get away, get outside, and get in touch with iconic Oregon experiences like the 100-year-old 1.5 mile oceanfront Promenade," Heineman said.

There’s a special booklet the city is handing out that brings to life a bundle of interesting experiences, such as finding whole sand dollars, feeding seals, baked good and books (at the same time), catching your dinner, and a historical walking tour of the Prom, among other things.

You pick that and a special holographic sticker and you’re in the running for free nights to stay.

The contest is really quite easy, Heineman said.

1) Spend the night in Seaside in 2021.
2) Come by the Visitors Bureau to get your goods.
3) Maybe win. They pull one grand prize winner each season: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall. You can actually enter up to four times.

See the full details at the Seaside Visitors site.

The history of the Prom is an interesting and rather winding one. It all really begins with – believe it or not – a giant pier stretching out from the Moore Hotel, built in 1904. The pier was not unlike the Santa Monica pier, and if that does not sound like a smart idea on the Oregon coast, you’re dead right. Every winter battered it hard, and almost every season they had to rebuild it.

Finally, in 1914 they gave up and let slide away.

That year was also when the precursor to the Turnaround was built, a wooden structure called the “Roundabout.” It was an immediate hit with tourists, and plans were soon made to start building the concrete Prom and a long walkway that went for a mile and a half.

That came to fruition in 1921, but not after a host of interesting landmark events took place, such as odd geologic changes to the beach, another dumb idea for a structure, and much more. You can see the full story of the History of the Seaside Prom, parts I and II.

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