Here’s the latest news from Oregon’s maritime communities of Astoria and Warrenton. In this update, you’ll find:
|1. Reclaim, Reuse, Rehydrate: Fort George Brewery rises to new heights|
Fort George Brewery has expanded upwards, adding a second story restaurant and pub. Expansive windows showcase panoramic views of ships crossing the Columbia River, and a wood-fired pizza oven adds a new menu to the already popular pub. The new space makes Fort George arguably one of the most scenic breweries in Oregon.
Furniture is built from reclaimed Douglas fir trees and the stools are deconstructed wine barrels made by a local craftsman. The repurposed spiral staircase once led visitors to the top of the Astoria Column. Fort George is open Mon-Thurs 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri-Sat11 a.m.-12 a.m. and Sun 12 p.m.-11 p.m.
|2. Oregon Heritage: Astoria Regatta officially a state tradition|
After centuries of honoring the community’s connections to the water, the Astoria Regattahas been named an official Oregon Heritage Tradition, only the fourth event in the state to hold the honor. Happening August 7-11, 2013, the festival will bring together 8,000-10,000 people to participate in more than 50 maritime-inspired events.
The oldest festival in the west, the Astoria Regatta traces its beginnings to 1894 when the community would honor local fishermen returning home from Alaska. After skipping the event during the two World Wars, the regatta has since grown to be one of the premier boat contests on the West Coast today. Featured events include a Seamen’s Memorial, sailboat races, Wooden Boats Trailer Show, search and rescue demonstrations, Regatta Boat Parade and more.
|3. 200 Year Legacy: The Garden of Surging Waves opens November 2013|
Opening just in time for holiday visitors, the beautiful new Garden of Surging Waves will recognize Chinese influences that helped shape and drive Astoria’s economy. Located downtown, the square will be a place for reflection, history and community.
Chinese immigrants played a significant role in the history of Astoria, working in canneries, constructing the city’s sewer system and building the jetties at the mouth of the mighty Columbia River. Yet, this rich history has been largely undocumented throughout the town. The Garden of Surging Waves seeks to honor the experience of early Chinese immigrants and to celebrate their collective accomplishments and contributions to the Lower Columbia River Basin.
The garden is part of a larger redevelopment project slated for an entire city block across from City Hall called “Heritage Square.”
|4. New to Downtown: North Coast Distilling|
|Astoria will get a bit boozier this fall with the opening of North Coast Distilling at the Liberty Theater complex in the heart of downtown. The microdistillery, currently under construction, will open its doors in late September or early October 2013 and offer the gamut of spirits with a focus on creative seasonal concoctions. One of the first flavors on the menu will be a candy corn and spiced pumpkin vodka, just in time for fall. Visitors from the tasting room will also help develop the direction of many future distilled spirit creations.|
|5. Canning Culture: Skipanon Brand Seafood now open to public|
History seekers, nostalgia hunters and curious foodies have a chance to take a peek into one of the last operating microcanneries on the North Coast when they stop by Skipanon Brand Seafood along the Skipanon River. Now open to the public Fridays from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., visitors dropping in to stock up on local seafood can also get a lesson in fish processing, sip Oregon Pinot and taste Skipanon’s smoked steelhead.
The small facility allows a rare, up-close-and-personal look at the process and production of canning fish on the Oregon Coast. Depending on the production schedule, tours of the floor are provided when the equipment is not active. Skipanon Brand Seafood offers locally caught fresh and canned Albacore tuna, Chinook salmon and more.
|6. Fall Events: Changing season is a reason to celebrate|
|As summer changes into fall, the appetite for culture and beer can only be satiated by Astoria’s most festive time of year.|
|NEW – The Film Triathlon – September 7-15, 2013|
|The Film Triathlon is a competition for budding filmmakers and brave souls looking to explore the world of independent filmmaking in 500,000 seconds. Teams are challenged to write, shoot, edit and record original music for their own short film – all within 5 days, 18 hours and 53 minutes from “action” to “it’s a wrap.” The films are then shown and judged at the Liberty TheaterSeptember 13-15. A prize of $5,000 dollars and a spot in the Astoria International Film Festival are awarded to the winning film. Viewings will be open to the public with tickets available for purchase through the Liberty Theater box office.|
|Commercial Fishermen’s Festival – September 14-15, 2013|
|This fall, stars of Discovery Channel’s hit show “Deadliest Catch” will make their way to Astoria, sharing stories of being at sea and educating the community about the fishing industry. Culinary demonstrations will showcase American fisheries and the process of selecting, preparing and cooking seafood. Family-friendly activities include crab fishing off the docks, Pirate School, a survival suit race, slime eel toss and much more. This year’s Commercial Fishermen’s Festival will be held at the Hammond Marina near Fort Stevens.|
|Pacific Northwest Brew Cup – September 27-29, 2013|
|Returning to downtown Astoria this fall, thePacific Northwest Brew Cup is the best place to get your fill of more than 36 Oktoberfest-style beers while viewing massive ships on the Columbia River. The annual three-day festival features beer, food and family games at the new Barbey Maritime Center along the Astoria Riverwalk. Live music will be performed by The Dirty Moogs, a German Synth band from Boise, along with other local bands from Astoria, Portland and Pendleton.|
|Astoria International Film Festival – October 18-20, 2013|
|The seventh annual Astoria International Film Festival will showcase outstanding independent filmmakers, video artists and writers from the Northwest and beyond. The two-day event at the 1925 vaudeville-style Liberty Theater offers viewings, workshops and seminars for students of film and the public. This year’s event will include two 2013-released films by Oregon film directors: Alien Boy: The Life and Death of James Chasse, a documentary by Brian Lindstrom; and Everything Went Down, a dramatic musical by Dustin Morrow and Kacey Morrow.|
|Stout Month at Fort George Brewery – February 2014|
|The darkest month of the year sheds light on the annual Stout Month festivities at Fort George Brewery which means all stouts, all the time. Specialty stouts are released, like the Bourbon Barrel Cavatica or the Spank Stout, and the Oysters and Stouts Brewers Dinner features pairings of oysters and five top stouts. The Festival of the Dark Arts takes over the Fort George campus for a full weekend with more than 20 top Northwest stouts, visual artists, fire dancers, tarot card readers, tattoo artists, live music and more.|
|Fisher Poets Gathering – February 21-23, 2014|
|Anchoring in Astoria for the 17th annualFisher Poets Gathering, salty seafarers will gather to share their wind-blown and weathered stories of life on the deep ocean waters. During the three-day festival, more than 80 participants will perform emotional poems, rowdy readings and personal stories inspired by the salty seas at numerous intimate settings in Astoria. Events will be held at various restaurants, pubs, museums and performance venues throughout downtown Astoria.|
We welcome press releases on the food, wine, travel, and items related to the hospitality industry. We receive emails with more than we can post to our service. If you would like to post a press release, please click the the submission tab to get the form to upload your release. You can also upload three photos. It will go in pending and be scheduled, unless it is unappropriate. This will enable more of you to have your releases up in a timely manner.
Board Member, Co-Chair Conference & Media Trip Committee, Past President
Freelance Lifestyle Journalist
Follow me: @maralynhill