July 3rd Celebration!
Due to COVID-19, and without a clear picture of future restrictions on large gatherings, staff at the Garden, the Foundation and the City of Silverton all agreed that canceling the event is the most responsible decision.
Quote from Delen Kitchen, Oregon Garden General Manager:
“This was a really difficult decision to make, but the health and safety of our visitors is the most important thing. With July 3rd falling on a Friday this year, we were anticipating about 10,000 people, and there is really no way to ensure appropriate social distancing and sanitizing with a crowd that size.”
Continue reading for the full press release:
Annual July 3rd Celebration at The Oregon Garden Canceled for 2020
“This was a really difficult decision to make, but the health and safety of our visitors is the most important thing,” said Delen Kitchen, Assistant General Manager at The Oregon Garden. “With July 3rd falling on a Friday this year, we were anticipating about 10,000 people, and there is really no way to ensure appropriate social distancing and sanitizing with a crowd that size.”
Without a clear picture of future restrictions on large gatherings, staff at the Garden, the Foundation and the City of Silverton all agreed that canceling the event was the most responsible decision.
“Like all of you, I grieve that this pandemic has now taken The Oregon Garden July 3rd Celebration, but despite the fact that there will be no fireworks, it’s more important than ever to remember that the Fourth of July is a great time to reflect on what we are capable of as a society,” said Kyle Palmer, Mayor of Silverton. “It may feel like we’ve never been less independent or had fewer freedoms, but we will survive this together and there will be fireworks and opportunities for us to gather in the future. I look forward to that day!”
Shana Schacher, Event Administrator at The Oregon Garden is looking forward to future events in the Garden, “The fireworks are such a fun event for us. We love bringing the community together and celebrating the start of summer. Right now, we’re looking at ways to responsibly continue our other summer events, like Movies in the Garden, to give everyone something fun to look forward to.”
Once the Garden can re-open, it plans to host some free days for Silverton residents, potentially with a limited number of timed tickets available to ensure proper social distancing throughout the day.
“We are trying to be creative and look at ways to invite the community into the Garden for free, to get a breath of fresh air after this is all over,” said Kitchen. “We know this has been hard on everyone, and we want to provide a beautiful place to escape to, as soon as we can.”
Overall, The Oregon Garden has been hit hard by the pandemic, like so many other businesses. The organization was forced to lay off or furlough 80% of staff, and has been without volunteers since officially closing in March. Between missing staff and volunteers, the property has lost 500 hours of labor each week since closing and has lost out on about $1,100 of revenue daily.
“Gardens need to be maintained continuously, whether we’re open or not,” said Kitchen. “We are doing our best with a handful of staff on limited hours and we’re planning how to get our 40,000 annuals in the ground. We know our volunteers are eager to get back to work, and we’re eager to have them back, as soon as it’s safe. We’re also really looking forward to having visitors in the Garden again, and want it to look great for them.”
The Oregon Garden’s only source of revenue during the closure is membership. Memberships will be extended to provide all members with 12 months of Garden access, taking into account the current closure. For more information about membership, please visit https://www.oregongarden.org/membership/.
We are looking forward to the 2021 event!
If you’re interested in becoming a sponsor of our 2021 July 3rd event, please email Isabella: firstname.lastname@example.org