Port cancels spring, summer events due to ongoing COVID-19 crisis

Canceled events include Fourth of July celebration, annual 'Wheels and Wings' community appreciation day at Grove Field airport

(Post-Record file photo) Crowds gather at the 2018 Wheels and Wings community appreciation event at Grove Field in Camas. The Port of Camas-Washougal has canceled its spring and summer events, including Wheels and Wings, amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

(Post-Record file photo) Children play near Eegah, a sasquatch sculpture, at the natural play area at Washougal Riverfront Park and Trail in June 2019. The Port of Camas-Washougal has canceled its 2020 spring and summer events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including a birthday party for Eegah set to take place June 5.

The Port of Camas-Washougal has canceled all of its spring and summer events to combat the spread of COVID-19.

“The decision was not made lightly,” Port chief executive officer David Ripp said. “These events are one of the many ways the Port enjoys giving back to the community.”

The events include a blood drive, scheduled for Tuesday, May 12; National Trails Day and Eegah’s Birthday (Friday, June 5); the Fourth of July Concert and Fireworks event; “Lunch with Dave” (Wednesday, July 22); and the Wheels and Wings Community Appreciation event (Saturday, Aug. 29).

“We are honored each year on the fourth of July to host the community’s celebration of our nation’s freedom in one of the most beautiful spots in the country, and our Wheels and Wings Community Appreciation event holds an equally special place in our hearts,” the Port’s community relations specialist, Sadie Hayes, stated in a news release issued by the Port. “We know how disappointing it is to not have these events this year, but the safety and health of our community is our first priority.”

The cancellations will not impact the Port’s finances, according to the Port’s operations manager, Kim Noah.

Our events for the community are never a profit venture for us,” Noah said. “We do get some sponsorships, and those help in allowing for us to get close to breaking even, but we operate our events at a loss, not a profit. We look at these events as having an indirect loss to the Port and a direct loss to the overall community as people will not be spending money at other establishments in Camas and Washougal when they come to visit for these events.”

Port leaders will continue to monitor the pandemic’s effect on the Port’s overall financial situation.

“We are very active in our assessment of the effects of COVID-19 on the Port,” Noah said. “At this point our biggest impact is in our industrial park tenants’ ability to pay rent. We have some tenants that are not having difficulties at this point, others that foresee potential impacts depending upon how long this crisis lasts, and tenants that had an immediate effect on their business and therefore their ability to pay rent to the Port.  

“At this point it is too early to know how this will be affecting our 2021 budget, but we will have a clearer picture by the time we begin the budgeting process, which starts in July. At this time, we are tracking areas of affect and will utilize this data in determining our 2020 and 2021 expenditures.”

his time we are tracking areas of affect and will utilize this data in determining our 2020 and 2021 expenditures.”