Astoria Turns 200
Hard on the heels of Lewis and Clark came John Jacob Astor with his fur trading company, establishing the first American settlement west of the Rocky Mountains at the mouth of the Columbia River in 1811. My, how the last 200 years have flown! Don a coonskin cap and slip back into frontier times all summer long at Astoria’s bicentennial celebration.
The action kicks into full gear on opening weekend, May 19-22, with a reenactment of settlers getting a first glimpse of local tribes in ceremonial canoes. Tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain will offer special battle tours to show off their guns along with more family-friendly trips. Ashore, a special founding-of-Astoria exhibit begins a six-month run at the Heritage Museum. There will also be shows from local tribal dancers and drummers at the historic Liberty Theater, Taiko drummers and Dragon dancer street performances, and two displays of rare Northwest and Columbia River art. If you are around on Saturday morning, May 21, grab a piece of celebratory cake with Astoria Mayor Willis Van Dusen, whose family history in Astoria stretches back through the last two centuries.
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