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Delta surge blamed as Tigard scraps plans for outdoor festivities with alternative observations set

PMG FILE PHOTO - This years Taste of Tigard Food Festival has been canceled due to concerns over the possible spread of the COVID-19 delta variant, following recommendations from local and federal officials.The rise in the number of cases related to the COVID-19 delta variant has prompted Tigard to cancel events planned to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the city's incorporation.

"COVID-19 has had an unimaginable impact upon the world around us, and that includes the Tigard community," city officials said in an online statement. "Following the guidance of state and federal officials, we have made the difficult decision to cancel (several 60th anniversary events)."

The events had included plans to host a Sept. 4 outdoor concert, a stage performance by actors from Broadway Rose Theatre Co. on Sept. 11, and a showing of Oregon-shot 1985 adventure movie "The Goonies" on Sept. 25. The events had all been set for Universal Plaza on Southwest Burnham Street.

Also canceled is the Taste of Tigard food festival, an ongoing annual event put together by the Tigard Downtown Alliance and the city. The event, planned for Sept. 18, has been held over the last five years.

The canceled events will not be rescheduled, according to Kent Wyatt, a Tigard spokesperson.

However, officials are pointing residents to a number of other events to celebrate six decades of Tigard. Those include "60 Years, 60 Stories," which chronicles the events of the city's last 60 years. Former Mayor Craig Dirksen was set to kick off a Wednesday, Sept. 1, "Talking Tigard" podcast that features interviews with other former mayors and city councilors in Tigard.

The city is also encouraging residents to take their own walk or stroll as part of a Tigard Main Street History Tour to learn about how Tigard developed during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. That includes a visit to the Tigard Heritage Trail and Outdoor Museum. Formerly a railroad spur, the three-quarter-mile trail that begins on Southwest Main Street and ends on Tiedeman Avenue, is "now a pathway for commerce and culture."

"Tigard's Outdoor Museum includes three major artworks and a series of interpretive installations that tell the story of Tigard's heritage," the city noted on its website.

That includes abstracted history panels created by urban artist Suenn Ho, who also designed Rotary Plaza next to Symposium Coffee, which tell stories of Tigard's history and heritage with through interpretive installation.

The cancellation of Tigard anniversary events due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic follows the cancellation of the annual Festival of Balloons earlier this year. That event was scrapped in 2020 as well.


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