By Justin Aufdermauer
Saturday was the deadline for the Community Awards nominations, and you guys really outdid yourselves! We had a record-breaking number of nominations come in this year! It appears the simplicity of the online form is doing the trick.
However it seems like the most seemingly visible category got forgotten: Development Project of the Year. We have received one strong nomination in that category, but there is so much more development that has happened in the last 12 months that deserves recognition. Remember – this is a county-wide award and not limited to Chamber members or those projects within the City of Tillamook.
Now, I know that at the end of the year it can be hard to remember exactly what all has happened this year because some things feel like they’ve been a part of our lives forever. Here is a little refresher:
The Tillamook Creamery’s new visitor center officially opened to the public. While this establishment has been a part of our county for decades, the newer – and bigger – facility has an expanded viewing section, interactive farm displays for both adults and children, an expanded menu featuring local ingredients, an outdoor seating area and so much more.
The Flavors on First Food Cart Court had its grand opening. I know it’s hard to believe that this was once an empty parking lot, but that goes to show you what you can accomplish in a short amount of time. This food cart court has grown to five food carts and a covered seating area and is giving downtown so many more options for lunch, dinner or just a snack.
The downtown highway project wrapped up in October, complete with new sidewalks, paving, landscaping, street lights, parking, a more visually-appealing Hoquarton Slough walking path and an eye-catching Second Street Plaza right in the center of downtown. Yes it was a trying time for all of us, but downtown has never looked better and I think we’re all enjoying the new aesthetics and better traffic flow.
Food Roots opened their FarmTable storefront this year, and is selling locally-grown foods and other products made right here in Tillamook. Now shoppers have a place to go year-round that supports local farmers and artisans and strengthens the local economy. We also got our very own Dutch Bros this year, Tora Sushi Lounge took up a vacant space in downtown, Sand Creek Dental built a beautiful new building and even the Tillamook Family YMCA is getting a facelift for the first time in years. And we can’t forget the latest restaurant & tap room to hit the scene from a family who has won awards in the past: Werners Beef & Brew officially opened in 2018 and if you haven’t been yet, they’re serving both delicious food and craft beer on tap and also have all your favorite local snack products for sale.
As you can see, we’ve had our fair share of development in the last 12 months, and we would love to be able to recognize these amazing projects during our Community Banquet. Please take the time to go online and nominate your favorite 2018 development you have seen within Tillamook County! We will leave the form open until Dec. 14th.
Last week we started sending out invitations to the Banquet, which will take place on January 19, 2019. This year’s theme is ‘A Night in Portugal’ and our entire staff is busy with the planning – including collecting auction items, finding volunteers, creating decorations and ensuring that – as always – this Community Banquet is one of the best events of the year. If you would like tickets, or have a donation item in mind for the auction, please contact our office at 503-842-7525.