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COVID-19 strikes again, canceling the popular annual summer event at the cultural center

NEWBERG GRAPHIC FILE PHOTO - Organizers announced recently that the annual Lavender Festival & Paint Out will be canceled in recognition of the COVID-19 pandemic.The Lavender Festival & Paint Out became the latest event to succumb to the coronavirus, organizers announced last week.

"This annual event brings thousands of visitors to celebrate all things lavender each year. We look forward to the second week of July all year," Sean Andries, executive director of the Chehalem Cultural Center, said in a press release. "It saddens us to miss out on all the festivities, but the safety and wellbeing of our community is our highest priority. Rest assured, the festival will return in person next year better than ever."

Organizers cited continued restrictions and health and safety risks associated with COVID-19 in canceling the event, which had been scheduled for July 11-12 at the cultural center.

"This festival is a cherished celebration throughout the valley and beyond; the decision to cancel is not made lightly," the release said.

Instead, the 2020 installment of the event, held for the past 15 years, will take place entirely online, organizers said. In lieu of the Lavender Paint Out Exhibition, which typically brings together more than 100 artists who have been painting in the lavender fields, the CCC is coordinating a "Plein Air Pandemic Paint Out." The event will invite the artists who had been planning on attending in person to submit plein air paintings under the theme of "The Landscapes Around Them." Submissions may be made at HYPERLINK "http://www.wvlavenderfestival.org/plein-air-pandemic-paint-out" www.wvlavenderfestival.org/plein-air-pandemic-paint-out.

The Pandemic Paint Out will culminate in an online exhibit hosted on the CCC website beginning July 20 and continuing through Aug. 31, as well as an artist reception on Zoom at 5 p.m. Aug. 1. All the works on the website will be for sale.

In addition, the CCC will host an online lavender marketplace, where guests can find their favorite lavender vendors. Access the site at HYPERLINK "http://www.wvlavenderfestival.org/online-lavender-marketplace" www.wvlavenderfestival.org/online-lavender-marketplace.

"While we may not be able to breathe in the scents of lavender together, we are still going to celebrate this beautiful flower that graces our valley," the release said.


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