Oregon Governor Tom McCall staged a dramatic media event in Cannon Beach on May 13, 1967, flying by helicopter to the beach with a team of surveyors and scientists. The ensuing media coverage resulted in overwhelming public demand for the bill that was signed into law later that year.
A full day’s slate of activities are planned on Saturday, May 13, in Cannon Beach including a variety of beach activities and recreation ranging from construction of a more than six-foot sandcastle by the master sand sculpting team Form Finders to beach bicycling and stand-up paddleboarding demonstrations. Cannon Beach’s Haystack Rock Awareness Program will offer tide pool interpretive information on the beach including spotting scopes to view nesting Tufted Puffins and other seabirds on Haystack Rock. The North Coast Land Conservancy will offer a guided hiking tour on the beach from Haystack Rock to Silver Point with professional geologist Tom Horning.
A variety of commemorative presentations by local and state dignitaries including Lisa Sumption, director of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, are also planned at the Gower Street beach access where the design plan for a Cannon Beach public art project related to the Beach Bill will be unveiled. The beach access improvements will include a kiosk where beach accessible wheelchairs will be available for mobility-impaired visitors.
Saturday’s festivities also include a presentation and music by Slater Smith of the Portland band, The Weather Machine. The presentation will showcase the band’s collaboration with Oregon State Parks, a music video shot on location at nearly 200 Oregon State Parks.
Cannon Beach’s Beach Bill anniversary celebration will wrap up with a public bonfire and free s’mores on the beach near the Gower Street beach access near where one of the now iconic Associated Press photos of Governor McCall was taken on that historic day in 1967.
Thanks to the Beach Bill, the State of Oregon has what is considered the best legal protection for the public’s use of and access to its coastal land.
This historic date in Oregon history coincides with this year’s Mother’s Day, an always-popular weekend in Cannon Beach, so plan now to celebrate mom and Oregon’s public beaches.