Azalea Park light display

Nature’s Coastal Holiday, a holiday favorite since 1997, this year will feature lighted decorations along Highway 101 in Brookings and in commercial areas instead of the traditional lighting of Azalea Park, shown above, due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

Organizers of Nature’s Coastal Holiday – Festival of Lights have announced a change in plans for the coming holiday season. Due to the challenges of COVID-19 requirements for social distancing, the organization will not decorate Azalea Park in Brookings this year. Instead, attention will be turned to the Highway 101 corridor and selected commercial areas of the community. 

In a Facebook post a spokesperson said the organization plans over-the-top displays and will be inviting our local businesses and community members to help support the nonprofit organization’s efforts.  

“We felt that decorating Azalea Park would not best serve our community,” the Facebook post stated. “The narrow pathways of the park did not lend themselves to our large crowds and social distancing. We could not successfully control the number of visitors and stay within state-mandated guidelines.” 

The annual event began with a mere 22,000 lights in 1997 and grew to more than two million dazzling lights by 2017. In that year over 25,000 people enjoyed visiting the lights during the holiday season (compared to 7,120 in 1997). 

According to the organization’s website, the event was the idea of the original volunteers, Olivia Abbott and Keith Pepper, and is a completely volunteer coordinated and staffed event.  

“In the early years,” according to the website, “there were only a few dozen people to help string the lights in the park. A few more individuals baked cookies and the local schools helped by designing and distributing posters. That same spirit of volunteering is still at the core of the event. A small group of individuals plan and organize the event each year, but the Brookings-Harbor community is the main component when it comes to stringing lights and hosting the month-long event.”   

Proceeds from the event are used to improve Azalea Park and other community organizations. Nature's Coastal Holiday is a non-profit corporation bringing the spirit of giving to the community. 

Continued fundraising is key to the organization's future. This year, financial donations will help the organization with annual bills, which include storage rental, content insurance and shop expenses.

It will also be important for commercial properties to agree to allow space for staging displays. 

“We hope everyone will understand and support us this year," the organization said in the Facebook post. “We will not be able to display any sponsorship signage this year and hope you will still feel inclined to donate. Any amount is appreciated. Please show your support and include a donation to Nature’s Coastal Holiday by mail or visit our website naturescoastalholiday.com to donate online.  

For questions or more information send email to naturescoastalholidaybrookings@gmail.com 

Checks made payable to Nature's Coastal Holiday, Inc., may be mailed to P.O. Box 6928, Brookings, OR 97415. 

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