After months of review and discussion, the Clatskanie Heritage Planning Committee has decided to cancel Heritage Days 2021.
"It is with great sadness that due to the ongoing COVID restrictions situation; we will be unable to hold Heritage Days events this summer," a release from the Heritage Days Committee states.
The Heritage Days Planning Committee and the Chamber Board represents said they had hoped that the pandemic restrictions would be eased enough to proceed with limited events, and began planning early this year.
"With Columbia County moving back and forth between Extreme and High COVID-19 Risk categories and the events being only eight weeks away, we must make the tough decision for the safety of our community to not hold Heritage Days," the committee statement reads.
The Heritage Days organizers also said that bringing people to the community with the COVID variant on the rise and not knowing the level of operations local businesses will be allowed to operate due to state mandates, creates too many variables to be able to hold successful traditional Heritage Days events.
"The committee sincerely wants to provide the best family experience possible for our 4th of July celebration and under the current conditions, it would not be possible," the statement reads.
The Heritage Days fireworks display is set lower in the sky over the Clatskanie River with the best view in the park, and the committee said that display location would put too many people in the park to maintain the social distancing requirements.
The committee said it was unable to move the display to be higher in the sky due to fire danger.
"This year has already been dry with fire danger starting early, so it would not be prudent to tempt fate once again after the back to back years that started fires in other location," the committee stated.
The Heritage Days Planning Committee and Clatskanie Chamber Board said it will dedicate the time and energy that would have been spent on Heritage Days to developing and executing a promotion to encourage shopping, eating, and using services in Clatskanie.
"The promotion will include a drawing for fantastic prizes and we also plan to have a Facebook event page to share photos and comments as family and friends gather to celebrate the 4th of July," the groups said in the release, encouraging people to watch the Clatskanie Chamber Facebook page for upcoming information on how to participate.
The two groups said plans made and funds raised for 2021, will be used for even bigger and better events in 2022.
"As we plan to have a full range of activities and vendors in the park once again, and even more family fun events during the week leading up to the big parade and fireworks on the 4th of July in 2022," the Heritage Days Committee and Chamber stated. "Thank you for your understanding and support of this important community event."