BANDON — Although many Memorial Day activities have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a few activities happening in Bandon. Many local restaurants and shops have reopened with social distancing guidelines. Please check in with and patronize local businesses that have suffered tremendous economic losses during this crisis.
Military honors ceremony
At 12 p.m. Monday, May 25, the Bandon Veterans Honor Guard, which comprises member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Frank C. High Medal of Honor Post 3440 and the American Legion Post 26, will commemorate the men and women who died and have served in the Armed Forces of the United States. Full military honors will be presented in a private ceremony at the Bandon Veterans Memorial. The public is asked not to attend due to social gathering limitations, but the event will be live-streamed and posted online for those interested.
Following the ceremony all Bandon veterans and their families are invited to a free lunch between 1 and 3 p.m. This will be a drive-through event at the VFW Post located at 55382 Bates Road off of state Highway 42S. So load up the vehicle with your family and proceed to the VFW Post parking lot and pick up lunch. Meals will be only be provided for vehicle occupants.
Just follow the signs from 42S to the entry. Place your order and pick up your lunch with all the trimmings on your way out of the exit. No need to leave the vehicle. Lunch will include a hamburger or hotdog, potato salad and a cookie for each person in the vehicle.
"We know that local veterans, along with our entire community have suffered during the current COVID-19 pandemic and hope that this event will provide a bit of relief and a reason to take a short drive on Memorial Day," said VFW Post Commander Royce Kelley. "The VFW Post wishes to thank our sponsors for their assistance in making this event possible. Veterans helping veterans."
For more information call Commander Kelley at 541-294-5995.
Flags to fly over cemeteries
More than 100 American flags will be flown from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. in all five Bandon cemeteries on Monday, May 25, in honor of Memorial Day, weather permitting.
For information on how to donate a flag in honor of your loved one, contact Harry Stephens, Veterans Flag Project chairman, at 541-294-1048, or Bill Smith at 541-347-3674.
Volunteers are needed to assemble the flags on the poles this week and place and take them down on Monday. To volunteer, call Stephens or Smith.
Veterans Flag Project volunteers put up flags on Veterans Day, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July at all five Bandon cemeteries, weather permitting. Each flag is tagged with the name of the person being memorialized.
On a related subject, the public is reminded that brick applications for the Bandon Veterans Memorial are still available in local banks, City Hall, the library and other businesses. The memorial bricks are for veterans living as well as deceased and will be placed on the Veterans Memorial as they are received.
Old Town Marketplace
The Port of Bandon's Old Town Marketplace will be held indoors and outdoors from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday, May 22 and Saturday, May 23, at 250 First St. SW iin the big green building on the waterfront.
Circles in the Sand
A five-day draw will be held over Memorial Day weekend on the beach below the Face Rock viewpoint. The viewpoint parking lot and stairs have been reopened, but visitors are asked to maintain social distancing guidelines while attending the Circles in the Sand events.
Friday, May 22, 8 a.m.
Saturday, May 23, 8 a.m.
Sunday, May 24, 8 a.m.
Monday, May 25, 9 a.m.
Tuesday, May 26, 9 a.m.
U.S. Coast Guard, Coquille River Detachment
Usually on Memorial Day weekend, the U.S. Coast Guard, Coquille River Detachment stations a Coast Guard motor life boat in the Bandon boat basin. But this year, the boat will not be arriving for a few weeks, due to a shortage of vessels available to send to the area, according to the Port of Bandon. When they do arrive, the six-person crew will rotate to provide 24-hour coverage of the Coquille River during the busy fishing season, both sport and commercial.
Also new this year, when the the Coast Guard life boat and crew arrives, they will not be living in the manufactured home headquartered for many years on Coast Guard hill above Old Town, as the unit has deteriorated and is not safe to occupy, according to the Port of Bandon. The crew instead has leased rooms on the second floor of the former Coast Guard building at 390 First St. SW, where the Port shop and offices are located, and will be living there for the summer.
Port of Bandon 2020 Boardwalk Art Show (usually held from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend)
Port of Bandon Marine Swap Meet (usually held on Memorial Day weekend)
Port of Bandon Blessing of the Fleet (usually held on Memorial Day weekend); Also, Charleston Blessing of the Fleet canceled
Fourth of July
The Bandon Fourth of July Grand Fireworks Display has been canceled (other Fourth of July activities still pending and decisions will be made when more information is available regarding the Governor's "Stay Home, Save Lives" order).
From the City of Bandon: "As many of you already know, the City has made the heart-wrenching, no-win decision to cancel the 4th of July Fireworks show this year. The following coastal cities have also canceled shows: The Mill Casino-Hotel & RV Park in Coos Bay, Seaside, Lincoln City, Yachats, Brookings, Crescent City, Eureka and apparently Newport and Florence. In addition, the large displays in Portland and Vancouver have been canceled. Seaside normally has 50,000 people on the 4th. Given that, Bandon would likely be inundated if we went ahead. We look forward to getting back to being able to celebrate with this great community."
Cranberry Festival events and dates will likely change, but as of May 21, the festival has not yet been canceled. Check back with the Bandon Chamber of Commerce at Bandon.com for more information.