Azalea Festival this. Azalea Festival that.

Unless you've been living under a rock, that's all you've been hearing for the last few weeks andndash; in this newspaper, on the radio, local TV and on the streets.

And rightly so.

The Azalea Festival is the biggest event of the year for the Brookings-Harbor community.

I've covered the event for the last decade. However, that's nothing considering the festival has been happening nearly every year since 1939.

You'd think people would get bored with this festival, moving on to bigger and better things. But, like me, they don't. Enthusiasm for the five-day event only seems to grow each year.

The Pilot's news staff, including me, will be out in force covering the various events.

Our festival coverage began Thursday with a reporter covering the Chetco Community Public Library's giant book sale. On Friday, we covered the Brookings Garden Club's plant and flower sale (which continues today) and the Vietnam Veterans Roll Call at Brookings City Hall (see story and photos in this issue).

Today, Pilot reporters will fan out across Brookings with cameras and notebooks in hand.

Reporter Arwyn Rice will cover the Azalea Festival Parade, which begins at 10 a.m., and the Azalea Festival Program at Azalea Park in the afternoon. Bill Schlichting will cover various events, including the car and motorcycle shows. Marge Woodfin will attend the Pioneer Citizen and Azalea Court reception at the Chetco Valley Museum.

I will be galavanting about town for the next few days, covering various events and local music performances andndash; no surprise to regular readers of this column who know of my love for local live music.

By the end of the festivities, Pilot reporters will have filled plenty of notebooks and taken enough photos to fill two entire issues of the Pilot.

Unfortunately, readers will have to wait until Wednesday's issue to see the results of our efforts. I'm sure you will be pleased. Until then, go out and enjoy the festival.


In this issue, readers will find the 2010 summer Vacation Guide andndash; 80 pages of jam packed information and photos of the Southern Oregon and Northern California coast.

Those who live here know how much there is to see and do, but wow! This comprehensive guide really proves it.

Outdoor enthusiasts will learn about the many hiking trails, beaches and places to fish, swim, kayak and surf.

Those seeking a peaceful experience may want to warm a bench at the Port of Brookings Harbor, where boats glide by and sea lions frolic; or get away from it all by driving one of the many back roads into the nearby Kalmiopsis Wilderness

The guide contains many photos andndash; some old favorites, some fresh andndash; that illustrate the beauty of this area.

Creating the vacation guide is always a challenging endeavor, but a labor of love. It's an opportunity for Pilot news staff and that of our sister paper, The Daily Triplicate, to boast about our home andndash; a place people drive hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles to experience.

I hope you enjoy it.