COVID-19: A Letter from our Chamber

on March 12, 2020 by Regina Willkie

Click here to access a collection of community resources regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.  This page includes a list of restaurants offering take out and delivery service, small business resources and more.


Tuesday, June 2, 2020 - 1:00 p.m.

Great Columbia Crossing 10K Goes Virtual

Our event planning team has made the decision to only offer the Great Columbia Crossing 10K in a virtual format this year. We will not be hosting the physical event on Sunday, October 11, 2020.

Many factors contributed to this decision, and it was a decision we did not make lightly. We love this event, we love our loyal race participants and we love our unique, beautiful and challenging course. But with the current circumstances, we cannot – in good faith – move forward with producing this event. Here’s why:

1) Permitting & State Restrictions: The Departments of Transportation for both Washington and Oregon are unable to process or grant permits for large group events due to COVID-19. This restriction is expected to remain in place until mid-September – and may be extended even longer. Oregon has also restricted gatherings to no more than 250 people throughout the course of Phase 2 reopening. Phase 2 is projected to last through the summer and into the fall. Local permitting agencies are required to abide by state-level restrictions as well.

2) Health & Safety: Most races are wisely implementing additional measures to ensure the safety of their staff, contractors, volunteers and participants – but some of these options are not available to us. Staggered start times are not possible, given the strict course time limit imposed on our event. Social distancing is not feasible with the space limitations at our starting line area. Our shuttle buses would require stringent cleaning and sanitizing between each load of passengers, lengthening the amount of time it takes to transport participants to the starting line.

3) Cost: Event production of any kind requires a considerable amount of upfront expenditures. Permit fees, deposits with contractors, supply purchases, etc. – not to mention any additional costs this year due to added health & safety measures. Having already canceled our biggest fundraising event of the year in April, our organization is in no position to absorb the financial risk of possible last-minute cancellation (if we were unable to get our required event permits, for example).

We’re heartbroken that this is the reality we’re facing this year – and we’re not alone. Across the country, race directors are being faced with impossible choices. Most of us got into race production because we love running, we care about our communities and we want to give participants the best possible event experience.

That hasn’t changed. We’re committed to providing an amazing Great Columbia Crossing 10K, albeit in a different format. We’re brainstorming sweet swag, fun perks and wonderful ways to help you connect with the Astoria-Warrenton community. Being unable to host the physical event is a huge loss for our area and our organization, so we hope you’ll consider taking part in the virtual race and supporting our local businesses and nonprofits.

In switching to the virtual format, we know your early mornings, long training runs and hill repeats won’t get their deserved recognition at our finish line. You won’t be able to run or walk across the Astoria-Megler Bridge this year, but we still want you to #ConquerYourBridge, whatever that looks like for you.

Setting a new race PR, enjoying a jog in the fresh air or on your treadmill, plotting a new running course through your neighborhood, recovering from an injury or participating in your first ever 10K event – no matter what your “bridge” looks like, our team will be cheering you on as you cross it! Register for the virtual 10K at www.GreatColumbiaCrossing.com.



Thursday, May 28, 2020 - 2:45 p.m.

Chamber Cancels Astoria 4th of July Fireworks Show

The Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 4th of July fireworks show in Astoria.

With the safety and well-being of our community at the top of our minds, we felt this was not the right time to have this type of large-scale event.

“Our team had hoped that we would be able produce the Independence Day fireworks show as planned, but we are still facing many unknowns and uncertainties as we look ahead to July,” said David Reid, AWACC Executive Director. “Under the current health circumstances, it would be irresponsible for us to proceed. By making this decision, we are standing with other communities in the area that have canceled their events out of an abundance of caution.”

Another contributing factor in this decision is the cost of a professional fireworks show. The Chamber planned to make this year’s production the biggest one ever held in the Astoria-Warrenton area, doubling our event budget and securing the investment of several sponsors.

“We believe our financial assets could be better spent in supporting our business community in this unprecedented time and continuing to provide the resources, service and encouragement our members have come to expect from us,” Reid said.

The Chamber would like to thank Western Display Fireworks, the Chamber Ambassador committee, Ohana Media Group, Van Dusen Beverages, Hyak Maritime, Bergerson Construction and WCT Marine and Construction for their partnership.

We encourage our community to find safe, alternative ways to celebrate Independence Day this year, and we look forward to hosting the fireworks again in 2021.



Monday, March 16, 2020 - 11:00 a.m.

Cancellation of the Astoria Warrenton Crab, Seafood & Wine Festival

Dear event partners and community members –

The Oregon Health Authority has confirmed 39 positive cases for COVID-19 in the state. Oregon Governor Kate Brown has issued a moratorium on all public gatherings of more than 250 people statewide for four weeks, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that all gatherings of more than 50 people be canceled or postponed for the next eight weeks.

This community mitigation effort is considered one of the most effective means of containing COVID-19 transmissions. We urge our community members to take protective measures against COVID-19 such as washing hands frequently, staying home if you are sick and implementing social distancing measures.

Due to this ongoing public health situation, the 2020 Astoria Warrenton Crab, Seafood and Wine Festival has been canceled and will not be rescheduled this year.

In consideration of the current state and federal recommendations and potential health risk that our vendors, volunteers, contractors and attendees could face in April, our staff and board of directors felt that canceling this event would be our best course of action. The Festival is a major fundraiser for not only our organization, but dozens of others that participate in the event, as well as hundreds of small businesses from our vendors and performers to hotels, restaurants and shops in the region. By canceling this event now, we felt that everyone involved would have a better opportunity to mitigate lost income from the event rather than waiting until nearer to the event.

We will make every effort to continue to support our business community during this economic slowdown and encourage you to join us. Thank you for your patience and support as we navigate this difficult situation together. 

Future updates will be posted here or follow our Facebook page.  



Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 1:30 p.m.

COVID-19: A Letter from our Chamber

Dear Chamber partners and community members –

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, first identified in Wuhan, China in late 2019 has now spread to at least 76 countries including the United States and has infected more than 100,000 people.

Here in Oregon, the Oregon Health Authority has confirmed 21 positive cases for COVID-19. Oregon Governor Kate Brown has also issued a moratorium on all public gatherings of more than 250 people statewide for four weeks, effective immediately.  This community mitigation effort is considered the quickest and most effective means of containing COVID-19 transmissions. 

We urge our community members to take protective measures against COVID-19 such as washing hands frequently and staying home if you are sick.

Regarding the Chamber’s upcoming major events, the safety and well-being of our community is of highest importance. While these events are scheduled beyond the current moratorium, we are considering the best course of action regarding our Astoria-Warrenton Crab, Seafood and Wine Festival (April 24-26) and the 35th Anniversary Celebration of The Goonies (June 4-7) and whether these events will or should go on.  We are proactively monitoring the situation as State agencies take practical measures to ensure health and safety and prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 virus in the state. 

The Chamber also wants to underscore the impact that misinformation and overreaction could have on local business. We will make every effort to continue to support our business leaders during this economic slowdown and encourage you to join us. 

If you are a local event organizer/host experiencing changes to, rescheduling of or cancellation of, your event(s), please let us know, so that we can help spread the word. Call our visitor center at (503) 325-6311 or email Membership Director Jerry Sandness.

Thank you for your patience and support as we navigate this difficult situation together.

Future updates will be posted here or follow our Facebook page.  For the latest information regarding Covid-19, please check out the Oregon Health Authority's website.