Annual Events in
A popular event for community celebration is Easter. Beside the many religious observances in the community churches, including sunrise services, the Clatskanie Kiwanis Club invites all of the Clatskanie's children to the Clatskanie High School the Saturday before Easter Sunday for the annual Easter Egg Hunt. It begins at 10:00 sharp, and if you arrive at 10:01 you've missed it.
The local veteran's organizations are in charge of the annual Memorial Day observances here, which include a community breakfast at the American Legion Hall, services honoring veterans at Maplewood Cemetery and the "Avenue of the Flags" at Murray Hill Cemetery, a patriotic parade down Nehalem Street which culminates at the Nehalem Street bridge, where those soldiers who died at sea are honored from the bridge.
From the earliest days of the pioneers, the people of Clatskanie have enjoyed celebrating our nation's birthday. The first 4th of July observances here centered around family picnics with games, races and various activities.
By the turn of the century, the great American game--baseball--was gaining popularity, and there were hard-fought battles between the town teams of the Lower Columbia. For decades, a baseball game was the centerpiece of Clatskanie's 4th of July celebration.
In the last spring and early summer of 1957, the people of Clatskanie were saddened by several tragic drownings of young people in the rivers, ponds and sloughs of the Lower Columbia. By mid-June, a drive had begun to build a community swimming pool in the city park, where children could learn to swim under the watchful eyes of trained lifeguards. Led by Clatskanie Volunteer Firemen, the community began to raise funds for the project. A big barbecue was planned for the 4th of July, and hundreds of people gathered in the park to celebrate America's Independence, visit with friends and neighbors, cheer their favorite baseball team, eat barbecue and raise funds for a worthy cause. By Labor Day, the pool was inaugurated with another barbecue and a swimming party.
In the last 35 years or so, Clatskanie's 4th of July celebrations have continued to grow and evolve. An annual 4th of July Parade was added, followed by a barbecue, games, races, concessions, bingo and more in the city park. The barbecue and booths provided a means for community service and youth groups to raise funds for their projects. Former residents established a tradition of returning to their old hometown each 4th of July, where they can greet literally hundreds of old friends and neighbors in the city park.
By the late 1960's, the festivities had expanded to include several days worth of various events and numerous features were also added - a big parade, PeeWee rodeos, musical programs, a royal court, etc. The celebration was called the Clatskanie Scramble, and was later renamed "Clatskanie Heritage Days."
The Heritage Days of the 1990's, coordinated by the Clatskanie Chamber of Commerce and the Heritage Days Committee, continue to have the charm and family fun of an old fashioned, family oriented 4th of July. The events invite all to participate and celebrate the many wonderful aspects of our community - a "Classic Car Show" with 50's music, "Strut Your Mutt" dog show, "Pie in the Park" baking contest, log show, and an old-fashioned soda fountain, the big parade, barbecue, some years have also included a talent show and canoe races, - all climaxing with a firework spectacular as beautiful and exciting as any in the Northwest.
Join us during Heritage Days and you'll see Clatskanie at its very best.
The Annual Bluegrass Festival draws a collection of local and regional bands and their fans to the Clatskanie City Park, The First Weekend in August.
Funded by a grant from the Clatskanie Park and Recreation District, the annual event is organized by former resident Bill Bogan, of Soggy Mountain Festivals and member of the host band,
the Southwest Ramblers of Spring Valley, Ariz.
Admission to the festival is free and there is a $22 suggested camping donation to stay in the park Wednesday through Sunday.
Electricity is an additional $15.
Spirit of Christmas:
A new tradition in community celebrations was established a few years ago when merchants of the Clatskanie Chamber of Commerce began celebrating "The Spirit of Christmas in Clatskanie."
This event is designed to encourage residents to experience the pleasures of shopping in their own hometown and avoid the hectic pace, rude clerks and traffic snarls of the cities.
"The Spirit of Christmas in Clatskanie" has been expanded to include a "Christmas Tour of Trees" in beautifully decorated local homes, horse-drawn carriage rides, business open houses, caroling, visits with Santa Claus and a lighting ceremony at the community Christmas tree.
A collector series of "Spirit of Christmas in Clatskanie" tree ornaments featuring historic scenes in Clatskanie, was inaugurated in 1993, with new editions each year. Sales of the ornaments benefit the community street lighting and decorating fund.