Organizer considers Wilsonville Fourth of July celebration a success
Considering she and other organizers with the Wilsonville Chamber of Commerce and Wilsonville-Boones Ferry Historical Society had only about three weeks to pull off the event, Wilsonville resident Carrie Postma was happy with how the virtual Fourth of July celebration went.
"We didn't have a whole lot of expectations because it was new. This hadn't been done before," Postma said. "We had hoped for the best and we had a really good response and a good turnout. We got a lot of good feedback from the community."
Organizers had initially planned to put on a car parade but realized that wouldn't be feasible after talking with the city of Wilsonville about constraints and liabilities, particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So they scrambled in late June to organize this virtual event.
The event included a livestream hosted by Chamber of Commerce CEO Kevin Ferrasci O'Malley. On the livestream, local representatives talked about what Fourth of July means to them, artists delivered patriotic performances and groups like the local American Legion Post 65 provided information about their organization. The stream on YouTube had 311 views as of Tuesday, July 7.
"It's available on the website (Wearewilsonville.org) and YouTube channel. People can rewatch the day if they missed any of it," Postma said.
There also was a livestream of a couple neighborhood parades and in-person giveaways for local businesses, where they also handed out hot dogs, shaved ice and other treats.
"It really wasn't our place to police (social distancing) but we encouraged people to respect social distancing. Volunteers had masks and gloves on and were doing our best to honor the social distancing guidelines," Postma said.
Postma also said the photo contest, where citizens submitted patriotic photos, was successful and that Oregon Eye Specialists and Hope Assembly provided meals for essential workers like Republic Services and the Wilsonville Police Department.
The event raised over $500 for the historical society, according to Postma, and involved about 20 businesses.
"To pull together the sponsors, businesses, volunteers, technology — we're pretty proud we were able to pull it off and provide for the community," she said.
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