Despite of changes mandated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Bandon Cranberry Harvest Celebration was deemed a Success! Support provided by the Bandon business community made all the difference. While local businesses have always stepped up big time to back the Cranberry Festival, this year’s sponsors and the community’s enthusiasm was unprecedented, and vital to the Celebration’s success. As in the past few years, Rogue Credit Union was Title Sponsor, with several local businesses joining in. A summary of this year’s events and business sponsors are outlined below.
The traditional Blessing of the Harvest kicked off the Cranberry Harvest Celebration on Friday, September, 11, as a closed event with the Cranberry Court in attendance.
Throughout September, Bandon “saw red” as the business community demonstrated the Cranberry spirit during a Paint the Town Cranberry contest. Many Bandon businesses decorated their windows, shelves, and even their employees. At times, people would see McKay’s cashiers supporting cranberry-decorated face shields at the check-out line.
Winners of the “Paint the Town Cranberry” contest, sponsored by Bain Insurance, were:
- Most Creative — Umpqua Bank painted several windows to highlight what the community missed most about the Cranberry Festival.
- Best Show of Community Pride — Cobbler’s Bench artfully-painted the Coquille River Lighthouse on the shop’s front window, with a cranberry-wrapped window case and related items backing the painted window.
- Best Cranberry Theme — Big Wheel General Store erected a huge, cranberry-colored balloon arch to greet customers, with additional indoor and outdoor decorations to complete the Cranberry feel.
Southern Coos Hospital & Health Center sponsored a Cranberry Harvest Beach Walk on Saturday, September 12. Unfortunately, due to poor air quality caused by recent wildfires, the walk was canceled.
A huge hit was the “Cranberry Trail of Shops 2020.” Sponsored by Banner Bank, more than 35 businesses participated in the trail by offering store specials and displays of cranberry items, cranberry-colored merchandise, and more.
The Bandon Historical Society Museum held a special Cranberry’s Past Celebration exhibit, as well as displaying the collection of past Cranberry Court gowns. The museum also posted photos of previous Cranberry Festivals on its Facebook page, with many comments posted from the community. See more on the Bandon Cranberry Festival Facebook site.
The Cranberry Harvest Celebration concluded on Saturday, September 19, with the Cranberry Queen Coronation. The Sprague Theater hosted the closed event with only the court, judges, the Court Director – Kenzie Basey, the 2019 Cranberry Queen – Allison Hennick, the Cranberry Festival Chairman, Anthony Zunino, and socially-distanced members of the court’s family in attendance. Bandon High School senior, Elli Schulz, was crowned Cranberry Queen 2020. Elli and her court, Hannah Bristow and Kayla LaPlante, were honored and awarded scholarships.
Earlier in the day, the court participated in a spontaneous Cranberry Eating Contest sponsored by Farm & Sea, in front of their store on the waterfront. This contest has been a fun part of the festival for several years. Passers-by cheered them on, with Elli Schulz named winner, followed closely behind by the rest of the Cranberry Court.
“I can’t say enough what an amazing business community we have in Bandon,” said Margaret Pounder, President and CEO of the Bandon Chamber of Commerce. “When asked, they stepped forward to sponsor the ‘Celebration,’ many gave scholarship dollars for the court, the coronation, and just overall supported this celebration. Thanks to all. We don’t know what the future will bring for Cranberry Festival 2021, but we do know that whatever it is, we can still celebrate our community and all it stands for.”
2020 CRANBERRY HARVEST CELEBRATION TITLE SPONSOR
2020 CRANBERRY HARVEST CELEBRATION SPONSORS