Fourth of July
As Americans and as people in general, we love having options. What to eat, where to go on vacation, how to celebrate - having options and exercising them at our discretion is a significant part of why the 4th of July exists as a holiday in this country. We are also adaptable. The ability to take in new information, assess ever-changing factors and circumstances, and chart a divergent course, make a tweak in behavior, or modify, amend, or even expand options as needed is something that we as a people have been able to do with aplomb.
When, as a society, we are able to adapt while also maintaining a healthy set of options, we land squarely in win/win territory, and that’s a great place to set up camp.
Fireworks are awesome. They just are. The whole, “Ooooooooo, Ahhhhhhhhh, Woah!” response to a firework show is the dictionary definition of the word. Along with grilling, family, and friends, they are a wonderful aspect of a traditional 4th of July celebration. With that said, over the years we have discovered that fireworks can have some less than desirable effects on pets, wildlife, the landscape, and even people.
As many of us know, the same percussive explosions that produce excitement for many of us can extract anxiety or even terror from house pets. And in a more rural or wilderness setting, fireworks can have the same effect on wildlife. Segments of the human population can have a tough time with fireworks as well, including people with post-traumatic stress disorder. As the son of a Vietnam Veteran, I can personally attest to the struggles that my own father occasionally had with them. And unfortunately, they can cause fires when used improperly or under the wrong conditions.
With those factors in mind, the community of Cannon Beach is now affording revelers the option of a Firework-Free 4th of July. Between the ocean, sea stacks, tidepools, and verdant coastal forest, Cannon Beach is home to a thriving but delicate ecological system. Specifically, the birds that dwell on and around the iconic Haystack Rock, sea life, and the renowned herds of resident elk at Ecola State Park are impacted by a firework display. Beginning with the 4th of July 2021, Cannon Beach will become a haven for folks that want to come and celebrate Independence Day at the ocean. Bring your family, friends, even the pets if you like - grill, chill, take in a sunset, and instead of a fireworks display, enjoy a bonfire into the evening.
So for those that choose to relish their 4th of July with the crescendo of a professional fireworks show, the state is still home to plenty of outstanding displays. But for folks that, for any number of reasons, prefer or would like to try a firework-free celebration of independence, there might be no finer choice than Cannon Beach. Thankfully, you’ve got options - something to remember when you celebrate the 4th of July, however you choose to enjoy it.
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(Due to COVID some events, such as the Fourth of July Parade have been postponed) The Great Puffin Watch is among the fireworks-free Independence Day festivities in Cannon Beach for 2021. With Haystack Rock, a National Wildlife Refuge, at the edge of the shoreline, fireworks are not permitted on the beaches or within the City to protect the nesting seabirds and natural environment, but you can watch another unique colorful aerial display: Tufted Puffins nesting on Haystack Rock! Knowledgeable interpreters will help you spot puffins with spotting scopes on the beach during scheduled times. Our fireworks-free festivities make for a great weekend for families and pets.
Get wild with the Great Puffin Watch | July 1st - 4th from 8:00 am to 11:00 am
National Wildlife Refuge Haystack Rock is home to thousands of birds and creatures. As an alternative to noisy fireworks that can disturb them, the Haystack Rock Awareness Program provides interpreters, spotting scopes, and binoculars to help visitors see Tufted Puffins and other birds, learn about tidepool life and discover ways to protect all of these amazing creatures. These volunteers will be on the beach near Haystack Rock. Find more information at friendsofhaystackrock.org/protect-our-puffins/.
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