Standing Together is this year’s theme of Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula's long-standing tradition, the 69th Annual Loyalty Days. Launched by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, there’s something for everyone at this historically rich celebration of patriotism, starting Friday, May 3, and continuing through Sunday, May 5.
Organizers are proud to boast that Long Beach has hosted the longest, consecutively running Loyalty Days commemoration nationwide. It kicks off with the Friday Night Follies Talent Show, sponsored by Peninsula Players, at 7 p.m. on May 3 at the River City School of Arts and Crafts, in Ilwaco.
Saturday includes a Coast Guard Auxiliary display, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., of with a 52-foot motor lifeboat at the Port of Ilwaco. There’s also the popular Ilwaco Children’s Parade held downtown. Registration starts at 11 a.m., formation begins at 11:30 a.m. and the procession starts rolling at noon. It's free, so all are welcome to ride a bike, pull a wagon, build a float or dress up their pet. Treats and awards will be given after 2 p.m. at the Port of Ilwaco Pavilion.
Following the parade, make your way over to the Ilwaco Marina to enjoy the Saturday Market and the annual Blessing of the Fleet. This must-see memorial service offers a free scenic boat ride hosted by the Ilwaco Charter Association with boats leaving the dock at 3 p.m. The vessels are escorted by the Cape Disappointment Coast Guard Lifeboat.
Of course, no Pacific Northwest celebration is complete without sampling some of the ocean's delicious bounty! So bring your appetite to the Long Beach Elks Lodge Oyster Feed, from noon until 5 p.m., at their club in downtown Long Beach. Elks members say the menu includes savory pan fried oysters, garlic bread and coleslaw. You’ll find the Elks Lodge at 110 Pacific Avenue.
Sunday begins with the very hearty Cowboy Breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m. at the Peninsula Saddle Club on Sandridge Road. After everyone has had their fill, take your little ones over to the Long Beach Fire Hall for fire truck rides for kids from 10 to 11 a.m.
The Loyalty Day Program gets underway at noon at the downtown Long Beach Reviewing Stand on 3rd Street. Bleacher seating is available. Following the prelude, the U.S. Coast Guard Fly Over initiates the Grand Parade at 1 p.m. Hasan Davis is this year’s Grand Marshall. He portrays York, the unsung African-American hero of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
The highly anticipated Grand Parade is everything you’d expect from a small-town tradition at its best! You'll witness local school marching bands, flag teams, drill teams, festive floats, classic cars, vintage military vehicles, military color guard, clowns, horses and other animals. Judging of the floats happens just before the parade, from 10 to 11:30 a.m., and trophies will be awarded around 3:30 p.m. at Veteran’s Field.
See what I mean? There’s something for everyone at the 69th Annual Loyalty Days. So get your patriotism on, and get over to the Peninsula for a weekend honoring freedom, fun and festivities. For more information contact the Loyalty Days Foundation at (360) 642-4441.
But let's not stop there! The North Oregon Coast has an abundance of exciting things to do, places to eat, attractions to see and memories to be made. Check out our Daytime Events, Nightlife and Community Events pages to learn more.
All photos courtesy Long Beach Loyalty Days Foundation