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For the second year in a row, the annual Tualatin event, which draws thousands, is canceled over concerns over COVID-19

PMG FILE PHOTO - This is the second year in a row that the annual West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta is canceled due to concerns over the possible spread of COVID-19 in large outdoor venues where social distancing is impossible. For the second year in a row, the West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta has been canceled due to concerns about reports showing transmission rates of COVID-19 can occur in large outdoor events where limiting physical distancing isn't possible.

"It is clear that an event that draws 15,000-20,000 people to the Lake of the Commons is not in the best interest of our community," the Tualatin city government said in a statement posted online. "We are in the midst of rising COVID-19 cases and stressed medical systems, it is our responsibility to protect our community, staff, and volunteers."

The annual event is held at Tualatin's Lake at the Commons, which includes the 5.17-acre plaza that surrounds the lake.

This will be only the third time the event has been canceled since it began in 2004.

In addition to last year, when the event was also canceled over concerns about the spread of COVID-19, the event was called off in 2016 due to predicted high winds. There are several smaller events that should soften the blow of the Regatta's cancellation.

One is the 2021 Regatta 5K Walk/Run. Set for 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16, the race will take participants over a flat and fast course that begins at Tualatin Community Park, continuing across scenic trails into Durham and Cook parks and back again.

Proceeds for the event, organized by the Tualatin Rotary Regatta Run Team, will support first-generation scholarships at Tualatin High School. The run was started in 2005, in honor of Cpl. Matthew Lembke, a 2005 THS grad who lost his life while serving in Afghanistan.

Another replacement activity will include the Shrunken Regatta, which is a mini-pumpkin decorating contest.

The Tualatin Public Library is sponsoring the event that includes supplying residents with a mini-pumpkin, paint and paintbrush and an entry form.

Residents are asked to paint the pumpkins and return them for placement in a "miniature lake" at the library.

While the initial batch of pumpkins were quickly depleted the week of Sept. 27, more are expected soon. The pumpkins should be returned by Oct. 14 for those who want to be entered into a drawing for one of three $25 Visa gift cards.

More events are expected to be announced soon by the Tualatin Parks & Recreation Department.


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