Despite enthusiasm for Columbia County's first ever Pride parade and festival, event organizers have canceled the event, citing concerns about high temperatures and poor air quality.
Columbia County Pride was slated to draw families to St. Helens this Saturday, Aug. 12, but on Aug. 3, event organizers announced via a Facebook page for the event that it was being canceled "due to the expressed elevated concerns regarding the air quality due to the wildfires and the continued forecasted heat wave expressed by both participants and those wishing to come out and enjoy the festivities as spectators..."
A 10 a.m. parade was planned to kick off in St. Helens, with a festival including food vendors following at the St. Helens Middle School.
Organizers say the event will be rescheduled to a later date, which has yet to be announced.
By Wednesday, Aug. 9, Columbia County and most of the Portland metro region was experiencing its second week of air quality advisory warnings, after residual smoke from wildfires in both Oregon and Canada drifted into the area. The National Weather Service extended an air quailty warning until noon on Friday, an extension of a previous warning that was set to expire Tuesday afternoon.