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Jennifer Rockwell is the administrative assistant for the Reedsport/Winchester Bay Chamber of Commerce.

When looking at the Chamber Corner schedule I was thrilled to see that I would have the opportunity to share Reedsport and Winchester Bay with you at the beginning of June. I knew months ago just what I was going to write. Of course, I sit here today composing a vastly different article than the one I had anticipated. Instead of reminding you to pencil in some great events on your calendar, I am tasked with telling you they have been cancelled. I planned to tell you about all the promotions that our small businesses were putting on in the hopes that you would stop by. Reminding you that summer was approaching, and it was a brilliant time to visit Reedsport and Winchester Bay.

Instead I am going to tell you about the resilience and heart of this amazing community. How in the face of adversity people have come together to help one another. Staring at the impossible and finding an innovative way to make it work. Rallying around our brave first responders with acts of kindness large and small. Most of our restaurants here in Reedsport and Winchester Bay have found a way to continue providing delicious meals and friendly service via take out. To see a list of the eateries that remain open, please visit RWBtogo.com. As Douglas County was fortunate enough to enter Phase 1, we are even seeing some dining rooms open after making the necessary adjustments to allow for proper social distancing. Many professional services and retail locations have had no choice but to lock their doors for several weeks and it is to the delight of all to see them beginning to accept clients and customers once again.

While this year it is not possible to watch 40 Chainsaw Sculptors compete live over Father’s Day Weekend, you can explore Reedsport and Winchester Bay and see many works of chainsaw sculpted art from past years and treat Dad to lunch at one of the many restaurants in town. You will not be able to visit the Downtown Art Walk this year, but like so many, they have adapted. The plan is to post the entries on the CDABA – Coastal Douglas Arts and Business Alliance facebook page so that people can see and vote on these works of art. The theme for this year is “Recycle, Upcycle and Reuse”.

Forest Hills Golf Course is still moving ahead with plans for their scheduled golf tournaments. Please give them a call at 541-271-2626 if you have any questions. Even if a tournament is not your style, Forest Hills Golf Course has been able to open with physical distancing measures being implemented.

Sadly, the 4th of July Fireworks in Gardiner and Winchester Bay had to be cancelled, as did the the Kool Coastal Nights Car Show in August. You can still cruise Beach Boulevard in your ride and stop in to one of Winchester Bay’s delicious restaurants for some great food in the company of wonderful people.

DuneFest also had to be cancelled, but the dunes are open as well as the beautiful beaches which easily allow you to enjoy time outdoors with those you love while maintaining a very safe distance from others. Camping in Winchester Bay is open on Douglas County property. Not all facilities are available during this time and it is suggested that you only travel locally. If camping is not your ideal lodging situation, please consider one of our motels or vacation rentals in Reedsport or Winchester Bay.

Things are certainly not the same; they are not what we once identified as being normal. With each new day we are finding ways to enjoy life, achieve our goals and work toward a new kind of normal. COVID-19 has been devastating in so many ways, but don’t let that stop you from identifying these opportunities and seeing the kindness and generosity all around you.

Here in Coastal Douglas County we hope to see you again soon. If we can answer any questions or provide you with any information, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 541-271-3495.

Jennifer Rockwell is an administrative assistant for the Reedsport/Winchester Bay Chamber of Commerce.

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