You are the owner of this article.
top story

Astoria Regatta canceled over virus

A city tradition in August

  • 0

The Astoria Regatta, the city’s oldest annual celebration, is canceled over the coronavirus.

The Astoria Regatta Association decided to cancel the festival, scheduled to begin on Aug. 5, following Gov. Kate Brown’s announcement earlier this month calling for all large events in Oregon to be canceled or significantly modified through September.

Queen Mara Dowaliby

Mara Dowaliby was crowned queen of the Astoria Regatta last year.

The governor said festivals, live sporting events with audiences, concerts and conventions cannot take place until there is a reliable treatment for the virus or prevention like a vaccine.

“We are incredibly disappointed that we will not be celebrating Regatta this year,” Erik Thorsen, the CEO of Columbia Memorial Hospital and the president of the Astoria Regatta Association, said in a statement.

“Our newly selected Regatta Court, Regatta dignitaries and all our volunteers were looking forward to creating a fantastic 2020 Regatta celebration.”

The festival honors the region’s maritime culture and history and dates back to 1894.

This is not the first time the event has been canceled. Regatta was suspended during World War I, after the Astoria fire of 1922 and again during World War II.

“Fortunately, the pandemic does not stop us from continuing to provide leadership opportunities and scholarships to young women in our community,” Thorsen said.

“I’d like to thank everyone who pledged their support for the Regatta and the education fund.”

Mara Dowaliby, last year’s Regatta queen and a senior at Warrenton High School, said the Regatta cancellation was even harder to come to terms with than the school closures.

“Regatta is such a fun thing to do and I enjoy every part of it,” she said. “This was my queen year so it was supposed to be a really fun year because I get to sit back and relax and just have fun and enjoy it all.

“And now that’s kind of taken away, which is really, really sad. But I know that Regatta is going to honor us somehow and still make something special for us. I’m happy for that, but it’s really hard to miss all that.”

Dowaliby said she was looking forward to all the events with the other girls on the court this year. Zoey Alexander, of Seaside High School, Mia McFadden, of Warrenton High School, Gabrielle Morrill, of Knappa High School, and Annalyse Steel, of Astoria High School, made up this year’s court.

“And I was really looking forward to getting to know them and hearing their speeches and seeing them grow,” Dowaliby said. “I’m more sad for them because they didn’t have the experience I did last year.

“Last year, Regatta, for me, was incredible. We had such a great year and I wanted those girls to have that same experience. Now they won’t get that, which is too bad. But they’re all amazing girls and they’ll all get through it and hopefully be honored in some way.”

Nicole Bales is a reporter for The Astorian, covering police, courts and county government. Contact her at 971-704-1724 or

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Coronavirus Sections

Get breaking news!

Coronavirus FAQ

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Can I get COVID-19 from my pets or other animals?

There is no reason at this time to think that any animals, including pets, in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States.

Pets have other types of coronaviruses that can make them sick, like canine and feline coronaviruses. These other coronaviruses cannot infect people and are not related to the current COVID-19 outbreak.

However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals, such as washing your hands and maintaining good hygiene.

Should I avoid contact with pets or other animals if I am sick with COVID-19?

You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the new coronavirus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets.

What about imported animals or animal products?

CDC does not have any evidence to suggest that imported animals or animal products pose a risk for spreading COVID-19 in the United States.

What precautions should be taken for animals that have recently been imported from outside the United States?

At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets and service animals, can spread COVID-19. As with any animal introduced to a new environment, animals recently imported should be observed daily for signs of illness. If an animal becomes ill, the animal should be examined by a veterinarian. Call your local veterinary clinic before bringing the animal into the clinic and let them know that the animal was recently imported from another country.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


Breaking News

Local Sports

Local News