[Heritage] Heritage Tradition award given to Astoria Regatta
heritage.info at state.or.us
Thu May 16 10:46:23 PDT 2013
The Astoria Regatta, which has celebrated the community’s connections
to the water since 1894, has been named an Oregon Heritage Tradition by
the Oregon Heritage Commission.
The Astoria Regatta is only the fourth event given the honor. The
others include the Oregon State Fair (founded 1858), the Linn County
Pioneer Picnic (1887) and the comparatively young Pendleton Roundup
“The Heritage Commission wants to recognize those traditions that have
helped define the state,” said Commission chair David Lewis. “They are
distinguished events that are part of our heritage as Oregonians. This
is certainly true of the Astoria Regatta.”
Regatta President Peter Roscoe states: “We are all thrilled and honored
to be receiving the Oregon Heritage Tradition for our Historic Regatta
Event in the oldest American City west of the Rockies.”
The Astoria Regatta traces its beginnings back to 1894 when some
residents decided they wanted a way for the community to celebrate the
return of Astoria fishermen from Alaska aboard boats filled with salted
fish. Rapidly the annual celebration of the community blossomed into one
of the premier boat contests on the West Coast.
The Astoria of 1894 was a cultural hodgepodge comprised of Native
Americans, Scandinavian, Chinese and the usual polyglot of
American/Europeans. Early pictures of the Regatta show elaborate
festivities amid the thriving downtown that was built over the river on
While Astoria skipped the event during the two world wars and after a
1922 fire that destroyed much of the city, the Astoria Regatta planners
today make a year-long effort to create the event, which this year will
be Aug. 7-11. More than 60 volunteers spend approximately 10 hours a
week year-round planning and promoting the regatta.
The event brings together 8,000 to 10,000 people, including people who
bring their boats and drop anchors along the riverfront during the
entire length of the celebration. More than 50 events take place during
the Astoria Regatta.
An Oregon Heritage Tradition must have been in continuous operation for
more than 50 years, demonstrates a public profile and reputation that
distinguishes it from more routine events, and add to the livability and
identity of the state, said Commission coordinator Kyle Jansson. For
more information about Oregon Heritage Traditions, visit
The Oregon Heritage Commission coordinates efforts to solve statewide
heritage issues through grants, education, and advocacy, and also
promotes heritage tourism efforts.
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