Who doesn’t love a parade? Reedsport’s had them since the very beginning; I just read a 1921 newspaper article about how the people of Reedsport held a parade to celebrate the results of a local election! It’s great to know that our town has always appreciated democracy. Keep that patriotic tradition alive by joining in this weekend’s Memorial Day celebrations beginning with the parade on Sunday, May 29th at 2pm. This will be followed by a 3:30pm ceremony at Hahn Park, a 4pm Veteran Meet and Greet at the Pacific Auditorium, a Veteran’s Dinner at the Presbyterian Church, and a 7pm concert back in the auditorium. On Monday, May 30th, there will be a 10am Memorial Day service at the Masonic cemetery followed by a 12pm dedication at Hahn Park of a new Highway 101 sign honoring the veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. A busy weekend with a little something for everyone!
While we’re celebrating, a big congratulations to the recipients of our program’s latest Façade Improvement Grant! We selected projects proposed by Defeat River Brewery, Ellie’s Art & Sign, Harbor Light Restaurant, The Myrtlewood Gallery, and The Little Mint. Stop in and give these businesses a high five as they work on their improvements over the next few months. We hope that everyone who didn’t receive the grant this time will apply again next time, and that this will help inspire everyone to think about what you can do to make our town look better. Fortunately it doesn’t take much – a new coat of paint, getting rid of debris, or just planting flowers. The highway is a constant flow of first impressions, so let’s try to make good ones!
We had a visit yesterday from Tom Hogue, an economic development specialist, who pointed out that Reedsport’s economic growth will most likely come from homegrown talent like the class reunion crowd - people who grew up here, feel deeply about our town, and come back to invest in it. Other growth results from visitors who fall in love with the place and settle here to be a part of it. From what we’re seeing right now, this is true. Our current growth has come from businesses who have flourished here from small beginnings, from returning alumni, and from visitors who came for a short while and found something that really clicked with them. One thing they all have in common is that emotional attachment, a feeling that there’s something really special about this place. We can’t go out to the job tree and shake down more jobs for our town, but we can actively encourage our kids, show a great time to visitors, and support our small businesses. Small actions, huge ripple effect.
Speaking of small actions, our community volunteer projects are really starting to add up. A few days ago I saw a woman setting up her tripod to take birding pictures at the Coho Marina pond where our volunteers cleared back the brush. Last week I met a gentleman at the dog park who thought the city was to thank for widening the sidewalk there. “Nope! Volunteers!” I said. (Although many thanks to the city employees who helped us out a lot!) Little by little, we’re taking back the neglected corners of our town. Do you want to take part in the next community volunteer project day? We are meeting on Saturday, June 25th from 10:30am to 4pm at Champion Park, BBQ lunch provided. We haven’t finalized what we’re working on yet, so please let me know if you have any ideas or projects that you’d love to see happen. If you want to take part, I would love to hear from you! Our projects are determined by who we’ve got and what they want to do. We run on volunteer power!
Also mark your calendars for our upcoming committee meetings. The Promotion Committee will meet at the Waterfront Restaurant at 5pm on Tuesday, June 14th. The Economic Development Committee will meet in the conference room in City Hall at 5pm on Wednesday, June 15th. The Board of Directors will meet in the conference room in City Hall at 5pm, June 21, the longest day of the year! (But hopefully not the longest meeting of the year.) If you ever want a copy of the agenda or minutes for any of these meetings, please contact me. We’re no top secret organization.
Whatever the calendar says, when I saw that the salmonberries were ripening I said, “Summer’s here!” Maybe it’s the parade that will do it for you, or maybe the soon-approaching end of the school year, but I hope that you find a moment to jump up and say, “Summertime!” Summer in Reedsport, a great time to start blooming!
Reedsport Main Street Program Coordinator