The 46th annual Camas Days celebration, set to take place in late July, is the latest victim of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
The Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce announced on its Facebook page that it has decided to cancel the 2020 Camas Days event, scheduled to take place July 24-25, as well as the 2020 recognition of the businessperson and citizen of the year.
Camas Day regularly draws more than 12,000 visitors to Camas’ historic downtown. Chamber leaders said the decision to cancel the annual event was a difficult one made to protect the health and safety of the community.
“Following increased and overwhelming concerns about the COVID-19 virus, we felt this was the best way to proceed during such an unprecedented global situation,” stated a Chamber of Commerce press release sent to the Post-Record Thursday evening. “We are very disappointed that we are unable to hold these events, but we know it is the right decision based on the information we have today.”
The Chamber will provide full refunds to vendors.
Another annual Camas Days tradition — the announcement of a 2020 Royal Senior Court — will proceed, said Susan Bennett, vice president of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) Camas-Washougal.
The group recently put out information about nominating local seniors who have contributed to their community for the 2020 Royal Court.
“Once the Royal Court is selected, (the GFWC) will contact them and see how they’re willing to proceed: if they feel a safe and social gathering is something that they would feel comfortable with, or if they would prefer to not gather, but to be honored in a different way,” Bennett said.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee this month extended his “stay home” order to the end of May and announced a four-phase reopening of the state with a minimum of three weeks in between each phase, but has not set a date for when large gatherings might be allowed. In Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown has said large gatherings are prohibited through at least the end of September.
Many local and regional events scheduled for the summer months — including the June 6 Camtown Youth Festival at Camas’ Crown Park; the 2020 Clark County Fair, set to take place Aug. 7-16; the 57th annual Vancouver fireworks show at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site; Portland’s Waterfront Blues Festival the first week of July; and the city of Portland’s summertime movies and concerts in the parks series — have been canceled to prevent large gatherings that could spread COVID-19.
Nominations for the 2020 Royal Court are due Monday, May 25. Those nominated for the royal court must be residents of either Camas or Washougal, age 55 or older, have a history of local volunteer service and be active in the community. To receive a mailed nomination form, call Bennett at 916-330-7932 or Jeanette Jester at 360-834-2354. Entries should include the name of the couple or person being nominated, volunteer activities and why the nomination is deserved. Nominations should be mailed to the GFWC Camas-Washougal, Attn: Royal Court, P.O. Box 319, Washougal, WA 98671.