Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Huge Success from Gardiner, Oregon, Event

Last weekend, the Reedsport/Winchester Bay Chamber of Commerce sponsored the Wine, Beer, Seafood & Music Festival-Confluence 2007 event that took place in nearby Gardiner, Oregon. More than 1,300 people attended this first annual event from as far north as Corvallis and as far south as Roseburg along the I-5 corridor. On the Oregon Coast, it was visited by those from Florence to Coos Bay and beyond.

We had many volunteers, including the Gardiner Fire Department who directed traffic and many alcohol monitors. It all went off without a hitch and people had a great time. The seven bands, wineries, seafood and craft vendors, and breweries were successful.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Bus Stops for Coastal Douglas County Festival this weekend

This weekend will be the first annual Wine, Beer, Seafood & Music Festival - Confluence 2007. Located just two miles north of Reedsport, the event will take place at the old W.F. Jewett School Building in Gardiner. The hours of the festival are noon - 8pm Saturday and on Sunday from noon - 6pm. This is the beginning of a new tradition in Coastal Douglas County, where the Reedsport/Winchester Bay Chamber of Commerce puts on more events than any other chamber in Oregon.

For those of you coming from out of town and for locals, there will be a free shuttle bus that will make stops at the following locations:
Winchester Bay:
Winchester Bay RV Resort at 120 Marina Way
Bayfront Loop near Keel Park

Reedsport High School: Circle Drive
Price 'N Pride

Old IP Sawmill site parking lot across from the Fox Hole

These free shuttles will run every half hour. Plenty of free parking in Winchester Bay, Reedsport's Price 'N Pride, and at the sawmill site. Don't miss it.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Wine, Beer, Seafood & Music Festival event next weekend on the Oregon Coast

Next weekend (February 17 & 18) is the Wine, Beer, Seafood & music festival - Confluence 2007. Located at the old W.F. Jewett School building in Gardiner, this event promises to be unlike any other found on the Oregon Coast. The event will begin on Saturday, February 17 at noon and end at 8pm. Sunday, the event will begin at noon and end at 6pm.

Following are some of the highlights:
Seven bands will play throughout both days
Five Oregon Wineries
Two Oregon Microbreweries
Seafood vendors
Craft vendors
Free shuttle service to the event from Winchester Bay, Reedsport, and Gardiner
Plenty of FREE parking available at the old International Paper sawmill site in Gardiner Admission is only $5 per day Must be 21 years or older

Park your RV at the Winchester Bay RV Resort or other RV campgrounds out in Winchester Bay and take the shuttle to Gardiner. Stay in one of Reedsport's motels and take the shuttle from Reedsport High School or the Price 'N Pride parking lot.

Enjoy the weekend in beautiful Coastal Douglas County. It's an outdoor person's paradise with fishing, atv riding, clamming, crabbing, and hiking. Birding and wildlife watching is also available. Beat the cold and come over to the warmer Reedsport, Winchester Bay, and Gardiner area.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Dean Vincent seminar coming to Reedsport

Branding a community or area is increasing in popularity and importance, especially for towns so heavily dependant on tourism. Reedsport, Gardiner, and Winchester Bay are coastal Douglas County communities in that situation. Situated in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, these communities are beginning to collaborate more effectively to bring people to our piece of the Oregon Coast.

To that end, Dean Vincent, well-known marketing genius, will be facilitating a workshop that will lead Reedsport businesses through a process to determine what are the most effective marketing tools to collaboratively build their businesses. Located at the Port of Umpqua Building in Reedsport, the two-workshop set will begin tonight, February 6, at 6pm. The second workshop will be held on Thursday at the same time. The cost for these two-hour workshops is only $10. For reservations, contact 541-756-6778.

Those responsible for bringing these important workshops to our area include the Port of Umpqua, Reedsport/Winchester Bay Chamber of Commerce, Southwestern Business Development Center, COR (Connecting Oregon for Rural Entrepreneurship), and the Umpqua Community Development Corporation. A grant was received from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Planning Memorial Day Celebration in Reedsport

USMC 29 Palms Marine Corp Combat Center Band
Planning for Reedsport's huge Memorial Day Celebration is in the works. According to Reedsport/Winchester Bay Chamber of Commerce event chair Mark Bedard, the USMC 29 Palms Marine Corp Combat Center Band has agreed to play at this year's event. It is a thrill and honor to have them perform again this year.

Their schedule in Reedsport will include a free concert one evening, march in the Memorial Day Parade, and a performance during the Celebration on Memorial Day. They will also make a trip to Winchester Bay for some marching and concert

It is quite expensive to lodge, feed, and transport the 51 members of the USMC Combat Center Band. The Chamber offers an "Adopt a Marine" program to help defray some of the costs and local businesses provide either free or reduced rate meals for the members during their stay. Due to added security measures put into place after 9-11, the band members are only permitted to stay in hotels, not private residences. One can imagine the cost involved for at least a four-night stay.

Last year there were also parachute jumpers with a huge American flag and flybys in formation. There may be other bands that will perform this year. The event is free and more information will be available as planning progresses.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Reedsport/Winchester Bay Chamber's Annual Dinner Huge Success

Last Saturday night , the Reedsport/Winchester Bay Chamber of Commerce held their Annual Dinner in Reedsport. It was a big success.

Each year the Chamber hosts an annual dinner for their membership. This year we opened it up to community members. During this event, the Chamber president for the previous year talks about what took place during that year, and the incoming president talks about the year ahead. New to the entertainment roster, were two stand-up comedians. They were great!

Located on the Central Oregon Coast, the Chamber presented awards for the following:

Business Person of the Year: Scotty and Jackie Lewis

Volunteer of the Year:
Tom Anderson, Chief for the Reedsport Fire Department

Community Service awards:
Stan Bates, Christmas in July
Ike Launstein, Lower Umpqua Economic Development Forum
Jim Akre, Reedsport High School Boosters Club
Brad Allred, athletic coach at Reedsport High School
Leah Hoover, Student Representative to the Reedsport High School

Above and Beyond the Call of Duty awards:
Debbie McKinney, Fullhart Insurance
Jeff Vander Kley, Harbor Manager for Salmon Harbor

The event was catered by Bedrock's Pizzeria, Chowder House and Grill, and there were more than 115 persons in attendance.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Wine, Beer, Seafood & Music Festival event draws near

Only three more weeks till the Reedsport/Winchester Bay Chamber of Commerce hosts the Wine, Beer, Seafood & Music Festival (February 17 & 18). This event will be held in Gardiner at the Old Jewett School Building at 325 High Street. When you drive on Highway 101, you can see the school up on the hill.

Parking and shuttle service will be available at the old International Paper Sawmill Site right on Highway 101 across the street from the Fox Hole. Shuttle service is also available from the Winchester Bay RV Resort and Coho Point in Winchester Bay as well as at Price & Pride in Reedsport.

Advertising for the event will begin next week. There will be ads in newspapers and on radio stations along the I-5 corridor as well as in the Coos Bay, North Bend, Reedsport, and Florence areas.

At a cost of only $5 per day, guests will enjoy music of many genres, wine, beer, as seafood and craft vendors. Tickets may be purchased at the door or at the Reedsport/Winchester Chamber of Commerce at the corner of Highway 101 & 38 in Reedsport. On Saturday night, the Eugene-band "The Cheeseburgers" will perform. They will play danceable tunes from 6:30pm to 8pm. This event is not to be missed.

Monday, January 22, 2007

So many events in the Reedsport area

Sunset over the Umpqua Triangle in Winchester Bay
Here in Coastal Douglas County, there are so many events it's hard to keep up. While it may rain more on the Oregon Coast than it does inland, the weather is fine for events and outdoor activities.

Last weekend in Reedsport, the Cat's Meow event was a big success. As a fundraiser for the Coastal Douglas Arts and Business Alliance (CDABA) and Great Afternoons, they had a silent auction of ceramic cats painted by local artists and enthusiasts. Local restaurants donated scrumptious appetizers and a local band played some great dance music.

Also last weekend was the Annual Gardiner STEP dinner in Winchester Bay. Gardiner's Salmon Trout Enhancement Program holds a dinner for their membership where they talk about the accomplishments for prior year and goals for the new year. Due to the efforts of STEP to seed our rivers with salmon and trout, we have more than ample supply of fish. One of the oldest STEP programs in Oregon, they recently held a statewide conference to discuss their techniques with STEP advancements and achievements.

Next weekend (January 27) is the Annual Dinner for the members and our communities. They will discuss accomplishments for 2006, disclose their 2007 roster of board members, present recognition awards, and comedians. Tickets are $25, which covers a wonderful gourmet meal and the entertainment. Reservations for the dinner will be accepted until the end of the day Thursday, January 26th at 5pm.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Hinsdale House, Reedsport, Oregon Coast Update

At a Reedsport Rotary meeting this week, a representative from the Coos Bay office of the BLM talked about the Hinsdale House along the north side of Umpqua River. This Oregon Coast house and its gardens were sold to the BLM years ago with the stipulation that the gardens be saved. The property has been an albatross around its neck ever since due to its limited access and the house is not up to code.

In 1998, a group of nearby citizens (the Friends of Spruce Reach Island) rallied to save the 1912 house from demolition. More than 650 people showed up for a tour of this historic house across the river that is currently only accessible by boat. The gardens contain more than four hundred rhododendrons that are 50 and 100 years old as well as many rare trees and shrubs in the garden. This group and others were successful in preventing the decaying structure that is not up to code from being torn down.

At the Rotary meeting this week, BLM rep Elaine mentioned that it was working with the American Rhododendron Society to establish a national historic site there so that the gardens could be preserved. For those interested in helping in the gardens, a work party is planned for this spring (2007).

The BLM has received $60,000 that will go towards repairing the existing bridge that leads to the property. Recently two acres were purchased on the east side of the bridge that could possibly serve as a parking area in the future. Regarding the home of former Oregon Senator Henry Hinsdale, the BLM is in a quandry because a rare bat has taken residence in the home and they are obliged to preserve its habitat. There may be a way to renovate the home that could preserve the bat's habitat but the jury is still out on this one.

The BLM is also looking for ideas of activities to get people to come out to the gardens. Someone at Rotary, suggested they re-institute the "May Tea" that used to be held on the island. Elaine also mentioned possible garden tours. They would like to see the site become self-sustaining in the future.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Latest at Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area-Central Oregon Coast

Yesterday, while attending a Reedsport Rotary meeting, they had a speaker from the Coos Bay branch of the Bureau of Land Management speaking about the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area.

Here on the Central Oregon Coast, there is a great place to watch a herd of Roosevelt Elk and for birding just eight miles east of Reedsport on Highway 38. More than 100 elk are located on this 1,040 acre parcel that includes 440 acres of pasture and wetland, as well as 600 acres in the foothills. It is maintained by BLM in collaboration with community organizations, private businesses, and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Since its purchase in the mid 1980s, many improvements have been made. The O.H. Hinsdale Interpretive Center was constructed with funds raised by the community and includes great pictures of various wildlife species found on site. The swallows that nest in the roof are fun to watch dive-bomb mosquitoes hovering over the marshy areas. Once I saw a beaver at dusk swimming nearby. The red-winged blackbirds sit on the tall marsh grass and the Canadian Geese feed out in the meadow.

In my opinion, the best time to see the elk at Dean Creek is in mid-September and early October when they're getting ready to mate. The large bucks with their huge racks start butting heads. My parents, with their video camera, still talk about their visit to Oregon to see the elk. The spring is also a good time because you can see the calves.

Especially in the early morning or at dusk during the winter, the elk are near the pull-out areas and close photos are easily captured. According to Elaine from BLM, they are currently working on some tide gate repairs and there may be a short traffic delay on Highway 38 next week while the Oregon Department of Transportation replaces one.

Also, she said the Umpqua Soil Conservation will be moving into the "East End Ranch House" in early February. They are currently located in the old W.F. Jewett School in Gardiner. This will be a good partnership for both entities as the Umpqua Soil will help to maintain the site once they move in. The BLM has been working diligently to return the area to its natural, self-sustainable state from the ranch land it once was. Umpqua Soil will aid in that endeavor.