The 80th Azalea Festival plans are underway, with a theme of Blast From the Past, said Brookings-Harbor Chamber of Commerce Chairman Greg Williams.

“This works great with the 80 years the Azalea Festival has been in existence,” Williams said. “I have spoken with several groups who are centering their float on a special time in their business history. Our vision for the parade is to line up entrants by the era they choose to represent, thereby creating a slideshow of sorts for the spectators.”

The festival and parade, held over Memorial Day weekend, this year also garnered an Oregon Heritage Award, which recognizes events that have been ongoing for more than 50 years and represent what it means to be an Oregonian.

A reception is planned for May 4 at the Chetco Community Library to receive the award.

The 2019 Parade Grand Marshall will be David Brookings, the great-grandson of John E. Brookings who was the president of the Brookings Lumber and Box Company that in 1908 founded the city.

“He’ll be traveling from his home in California with his wife and two daughters,” Williams said. “He is very much looking forward to returning to the area. He is a talented musician and will be a featured performer in the Azalea Park program after the parade.”

Plans also include a special reception for former Azalea Festival queens.

“Hours were spent reviewing the Curry Coastal Pilot newspapers to find the names of all the Azalea queens for the past 80 years to invite them to this special 80th-year celebration,” Williams said.

Invitations were sent out with plans for a float to highlight the queens. The chamber is asking anyone who might have contact information on any of them to call at 541-469-3181.

As part of the celebration, the committee is also looking for photos from past festivals.

“We’d like to have a display of photos from 80 years of past festivals,” Williams said.

Photos can be brought to the chamber office for scanning or can be emailed to the chamber at visitorcenter@brookingsharborchamber.com .

Parade applications are available at www.brookingsharborchamber.com or at the Chamber office from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Central Building, 703 Chetco Ave. Vendor applications are available for the street fair on Frontage Road in front of Goodwill, Chase and Evergreen banks.

Organizations that would like to hold events can contact the chamber for inclusion in the festival schedule.

The chamber is also looking for volunteers to help put on activities throughout the weekend. Volunteers are urged to call the chamber to sign up.

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