by Sierra Lauder
Director of Events and Downtown Development
Happy Fourth of July! Hopefully your celebrations include enough hot dogs, watermelon, BBQ sauce, and happy, tired, sticky kids that there is not too much time for reflecting during the course of the day. However, if you do find yourself thinking about the whys and hows of July 4th, perhaps your thoughts will turn to your own sense of patriotism and sense of place in this country.
I love Tillamook. Sometimes I am frustrated, sometimes I am disappointed, sometimes I worry, but on any given day I am flooded with reasons that this community and this place are special and wonderful and worth investing in. It is my great pleasure to lead the Main Street Program as one of my duties at the Tillamook Chamber. “Main Street” is a program that is present across the US, and, while organized differently within each state and affiliate community, the principals and structure remain consistent: that “downtowns” are the essence of Americana, providing a physical hub for communities that remains essential and fundamental to our culture and community identities. The Main Street Program emphasizes revitalization strategies that combine activities and events with (re)development strategies that honor the authentic or historic components of a place.
Despite what feels like the longest construction project in any downtown’s history, we have seen incredible progress in the revitalization of our downtown in the past couple of years. A combination of large and small investments have created new cornerstones in downtown, all significant and cumulatively a signal that downtown is not a dying notion. Lines are returning to the Pelican Brewing Tap Room, as locals and visitors alike flock to the outdoor seating and comfortable pub atmosphere. Meanwhile, in the heart of downtown, Pacific Restaurant serves us world class food and drink from a textbook revitalization project: a modern, open concept, trendy, locally sourced restaurant in a space where the historic bones of the building are woven in to the current design. Around the corner, a non-profit art association with ZERO paid staff has recently repainted and updated the façade of their gallery, where local artists, writers, and musicians collaborate to present a series of workshops, classes, open mic nights and art walks, so that regardless of whether you’re looking to find your own muse or just revel in the efforts of others, there is an activity for you.
If you missed the last few weekends full of Cork & Brew, the opening of the Famers Market, and June Dairy Parade, have no fear- there is still so much to do downtown this summer and throughout the year. July 13th is another SIP + SHOP: an unticketed opportunity to explore many of the downtown retail businesses after hours and taste some of their favorite evening beverages. On July 28th, the monthly Art Walk takes place, with ten local artists showing their work in a variety of locations throughout downtown. Farmers Market season is just hitting its stride and is open each Saturday from 9-2. Moonlight Madness returns this year, on August 3rd, and downtown will be “Rockin to the 50’s” with live music, activities, and late night specials geared to make the all-ages event a blast.
For more information about any of these events, or to learn more about the Tillamook Chamber or the Main Street Program, feel free to call Chamber Headquarters at (503) 842-7525, or email me at Sierra@tillamookchamber.org. We are in the office Monday through Friday from 9-5, and we also have our Visitor’s Center open on Saturdays for the season from 11-3. Saturday shifts are brought to you by volunteers, and if you are interested in volunteering, we are interested in having you!