Making Memorial Day Memorable on the Northern Oregon Coast

By Ann Powers | Monday, May 13, 2019

Memorial Day is just around corner – a time to remember and honor the courageous women and men who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. All along the Northern Oregon Coast, you’ll find a plethora of events honoring our fallen veterans, many of which are local traditions that occur with each Memorial Day. 

Seaside American Legion Post 99 will pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice during its annual Memorial Day ceremony on Monday, May 27. The event begins at 11 a.m. with guest speakers and a moving memorial service including a wreath being lowered into the Neawanna Creek.

A parade follows featuring the American Legion Riders making their traditional Memorial Day ride. The motorcycles travel down Broadway to the Turnaround where the American flag is raised as part of the ceremony.

Organizers say a free lunch will take place at the legion hall, spaghetti is on the menu and all are welcomed. The American Legion Post 99 is located at 1315 Broadway Street in Seaside. For more information call (503) 738-5111.

Photo by Colin Murphey/The Daily Astorian

Astoria’s Uniontown Association will hold a Memorial Day service at Maritime Memorial Park. The service begins at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day, May 27 and will honor those whose names are engraved on the Maritime Memorial wall. Attendees are welcome to bring flowers to cast into the Columbia River when a loved one’s name is called.

This year’s service is dedicated to Shirley Tinner, a founding member of the Uniontown Association. Refreshments will be offered following the service. Maritime Memorial Park is located at river’s edge under the Astoria-Megler Bridge in the Uniontown District of Astoria. For details call (503) 325-6311. 

On Monday, May 27, there is a Memorial Day tribute scheduled at the Sunset Heights Memorial Gardens cemetery, 7800 Trask River Road, in Tillamook at 11 a.m. The Ocean Edge Wayside in Rockaway Beach is planning a Memorial Day ceremony set to begin at 11:45 a.m. 

On Sunday, May 26, Nehalem Bay State Park will hold a Memorial Day service starting at 11 a.m. near the park meeting hall by the flagpole. The ceremony includes a Presentation of Colors, opening invocation and closing benediction from Manzanita Mayor Mike Scott, guest speakers and patriotic music. For more information contact (503) 368-5943.

Memorial Day weekend also marks the unofficial kick off to summer! (Yay!) Listed below are some memorable ways to help get yours started in the Pacific Northwest.

Photo courtesy of the Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Center

Buyer’s remorse be gone! Stretching from Ilwaco to Oysterville, the World’s Longest Garage Sale is a Memorial Day weekend tradition on the Long Beach Peninsula. Bargain and antique hunters will have 28 miles and four days of thrifty sales to explore from Friday May 24 through Monday May 27, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

These Memorial Day weekend sales are not an officially organized event, but it’s been going on for more than 20 years. Be on the lookout for signs and balloons directing you to steals and deals at every turn. Locals say traffic gets a bit hectic, but it’s all part of the fun of pinching pennies. So shop (and save) till you drop!

Summerfest fun also starts Memorial Day weekend and runs through Labor Day in Long Beach. Enjoy weekend events and a concert series through September 1. On Saturday, May 25, check out a free concert featuring Gold Dust, a Fleetwood Mac tribute band, in Veteran’s Park from 2 to 5 p.m.

This is Gold Dust's third year playing Long Beach Summerfest. So whether you're currently on the Edge of Seventeen or have been jamming to Fleetwood Mac since the 60s, Go Your Own Way over to Long Beach and Don't Stop until you've heard Gold Dust! 

Photo courtesy of Gold Dust

If you happen to find yourself in Cannon Beach on Memorial Day weekend, visit the Coaster Theatre Playhouse for Bunbury by Tom Jacobson. It’s a play about a couple of classic literature characters – Bunbury from The Importance of Being Earnest and Rosaline from Romeo and Juliet – pair up and travel through time to alter fate and possibly rewrite history as well as the future.

Just imagine if Romeo and Juliet had made it to the alter or Blanche DuBois had kept her wits about her? If you’re curious for more, Bunbury runs through May 26. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 or $25 and can be purchased at the theater box office, online or by calling (503) 436-1242. The Coaster Theatre is located at 108 North Hemlock Street.   

Image courtesy Coaster Theatre Playhouse

Make sure to check our Northern Oregon Coast Daytime EventsNightlife and Community Events pages for even more adventures along our sandy shores. Also, we’d love to hear about your Pacific Northwest getaway in the comments section below.



About the Author Ann Powers
Ann Powers is a reporter and writer who has lived and worked on the Oregon Coast. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Madison and currently working on her master's degree in multimedia journalism at the University of Oregon's Portland campus. Originally from Wisconsin, she now calls Oregon home, describing it as, "the Midwest of the Pacific Northwest," due to its dairy-state status, beautiful environment and friendly people.