The Coos Bay Downtown Association (CBDA) has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 Blackberry Arts Festival in downtown Coos Bay. State and Local Health Authorities report a sharp increase in cases of COVID-19 primarily in Coos and nearby counties. In addition, the prevalence of the Delta variant, the rise in the number of deaths, and out of concern for the health and well-being of the community, vendors, volunteers, and festival staff the hard decision was made.
The Blackberry Arts Festival was scheduled to take place on August 28th and 29th in downtown Coos Bay. Executive Director Holly Boardman says, “The Board of Directors knows this will have an impact on our vendors, community, and the businesses we serve. But out of an abundance of caution for the safety of attendees, the extremely tough decision was made.” The Blackberry Arts festival is a unique juried event that has run for 38 years up until last year when the global pandemic hit. “The board and promotions committee pride themselves on the fact that it has always highlighted the work that can take local artists and crafters months and years to produce. It also features seasonal blackberry treats.” Boardman added.
At this time, the promotions committee will continue to work on ways to safely bring foot traffic to downtown. The CBDA will also continue the weekly Farmers Market, which operates as an essential service, providing farm-to-table food from local and regional farmers. It takes place Wednesdays from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm through October. A release regarding Farmers Market safety protocols will be forthcoming in the next several days.