Lincoln County is well known for its abundance of arts and entertainment events and assortment of community festivals and activities. And 2018 did not disappoint, with several first-ever events added to the calendar along with the many traditional favorites that draw crowds of visitors.
New in 2018
One first-ever event this past year was the Oregon Coast Honey Lovers Festival, held at the Yachats Commons in February. Likely to become an annual celebration, this festival provided people with an opportunity to taste a variety of locally produced honeys and meads, as well as the chance to learn about pollinators, beekeeping and more.
A Comedy Festival was held in Lincoln City for the first time in April, with people performing at three different venues — The Beach Club Events Center, Lincoln City Cultural Center and The Eventuary.
Anyone happening to pass by Chinook Winds Casino Resort in Lincoln City on a particular weekend in September would have seen an unusual sight. It was a gathering of the saints — the Saint Bernard Club of America’s 2018 National Specialty Show — and there were around 175 dogs ranging in size from 130 to 180 pounds being paraded around the grounds.
Also this past year, the new, 19-hole Wilder Disc Golf Course officially opened in February near the Oregon Coast Community College Central County Campus in South Beach, thanks to donations from a number of local businesses and hundreds of volunteer hours.
In May, the Foghorn Theater was opened at South Beach State Park. This new amphitheater, situated among the dunes, provides a venue for not only state park presentations but community events, as well.
July saw the completion of a long-time dream of the Ernest Bloch Legacy Project, consisting of a group of individuals committed to preserving the memory of Ernest Bloch, a famous composer who lived in a home in Agate Beach from 1941 until his death in 1959. The Ernest Bloch Memorial Wayside, located adjacent to Highway 101 in Newport’s Agate Beach area, was officially dedicated. This memorial includes new highway signage, a 5-ton stone monument commemorating Bloch, five stone benches and an interpretive sign.
Exhibits and festivals
There were also many art exhibits on display at galleries and other venues around Lincoln County. And of course, 2018 included its usual selection of festivals and events geared toward a wide variety of interests.
The Artistry in Wood Show, featuring wood carvers, was held in January in Lincoln City, and the Yachats Agate Festival also took place that month. The annual Newport Spin-In, a celebration of fabric art, took place in February, as did Lincoln City’s Antique & Collectibles Week.
March once again saw the Festival of Illusions in Lincoln City, featuring magic, bubbles and illusions at the Lincoln City Cultural Center over a 10-day stretch. And March also featured the annual Spring Whale Watch Week at sites all along the coast (the Winter Whale Watch Week is currently underway).
In April, the 51st annual Depoe Bay Crab Feed & Wooden Boat Show was held. The first weekend in May saw the much anticipated Newport Loyalty Day and Sea Fair Festival, which was combined this year with the Newport Blessing of the Fleet. Also in May, the Oregon Coast Agate Club hosted its 55th annual gem and mineral show, “Rockin’ the Coast.”
In June, color filled the sky over the beach at the D River Wayside in Lincoln City for the 34th annual Summer Kite Festival, and then in October , the Fall Kite Festival was held at that same location.
July started off with a bang, in fact many bangs as fireworks displays light up the night sky in cities around the county on the Fourth of July. Other July events included the Lincoln County Fair, Toledo Summer Festival and Logging Show, and the second annual Pixiefest in Lincoln City.
Events and festivals in August included the Relay for Life in Newport, the 41st annual Sandcastle Contest on Siletz Bay in Lincoln City, the Port of Toledo Wooden Boat Show and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians’ annual Nesika Illahee Pow-Wow — the tribe also held its Restoration Pow-Wow in November.
Also during the summer months, there were classic car shows held at a number of locations around the county, and in September, electric vehicles took the spotlight for Drive Electric Yachats, an event held at the Yachats Commons. September also saw the 62nd annual Depoe Bay Salmon Bake.
The Village Mushroom Festival returned to Yachats in October, and the Yaquina Bay Yacht Club had sails flapping in the wind on Yaquina Bay for the Columbus Day Yacht Regatta. Also in October, Lincoln City’s Tour to Die For was held at Taft Pioneer Cemetery, where local actors portrayed some of the early pioneers and shared their stories.
The year came to close with an array of Christmas events, like the Lighted Boat Parade on Yaquina Bay, the Oregon Coast Aquarium’s Sea of Lights, the Lincoln City Tree Lighting Party and Christmas Market and multiple visits around the county by a very busy Santa Claus. There were also toy drives, food boxes handed out, and community dinners shared with people in need or who simply wanted to enjoy the holiday with others.
On the stage
As usual, there were a number of stage productions put on by several theater groups around the county.
In January, Coastal Act Productions (CAP) kicked off the year with Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast at the Newport Performing Arts Center. CAP will be back with “The Little Mermaid” this next year.
The Fools’ Day Cabaret presented a variety of entertainment as it returned to the stage for its second year at the Lincoln City Cultural Center.
The Oregon Coast Jazz Party in Newport celebrated its 15th year in 2018 by honoring women in jazz. The second annual Dancing with the Coastal Stars gave the audience an opportunity watch seven couples dance at the PAC in the name of charity. The teams were comprised of community members with varying levels of dance experience, but none were professional dancers.
Also at the PAC, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” a stage production by Red Octopus, provided an unconventional take on Shakespeare, and “The Buddy Holly Story,” produced by Porthole Players, brought rockabilly to the Alice Silverman Theatre at the PAC. “Rick Bartow: In Spirit,” a new play remembering a well-known Newport artist, was on the stage at the PAC, as well.
Theatre West in Lincoln City also had a number of productions, some of which were held on the stage at the Lincoln City Cultural Center, which provided a larger venue. Theatre West just opened its latest production, “A Nice Family Christmas,” which runs through Jan. 20.
Other items of note in 2018
On March 3, Lincoln County was saddened with the loss of David Ogden Stiers. Stiers was a well-known film and television actor, but he was also involved with the arts and local charities in Lincoln County. He was an early supporter of the Newport Symphony Orchestra and served as the orchestra’s associate conductor for a number of years. In his honor, the Studio Theatre at the PAC was renamed the David Ogden Stiers Theatre.
Speaking of the Newport Symphony Orchestra, this year, Adam Flatt celebrated 10 years as music director and conductor of the orchestra. He first came to Lincoln County as a guest conductor in 1998. He came back in December of 2006 and conducted a concert with the orchestra, and then he became the music director in the fall of 2007.
Lincoln County Extension hit a landmark in 2018, celebrating its centennial year. The first extension office was opened in Lincoln County on March 29, 1918. To celebrate 100 years of service, the Oregon State University Lincoln County Extension Service held special activities and events throughout the year.
In August, the Newport Farmers Market also celebrated a milestone — its 40th anniversary. And something that sets the Newport Farmers Market apart from others around the state is the fact that it takes place year round.
Looking back and ahead
Of course there were other activities and events held in 2018 that are simply too numerous to mention. One thing is certain, there was no shortage of things to do in Lincoln County this past year, and the same will be said 12 months from now as 2019 comes to a close.
Simply put, there is something for everyone if people will just take the time to get out and about along the beautiful Central Oregon Coast and enjoy all that it has to offer.