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54th Annual Loyalty Day and Sea Fair Festival and Parade - Newport, Oregon

"Honor, Respect, Remember”


Celebrating the 54th annual Newport Loyalty Day & Sea Fair Festival. Along with the traditional hometown parade, Newport Loyalty Day’s festivities include the Queen’s Coronation, Davis Show carnival, cars shows hosted throughout town, Vietnam Veteran’s remembrance with our annual Memorial Reading of the Names, Veteran’s of Oregon Honorable Service Medal ceremonies, 1000 Field of Flags, America's Veterans Traveling Tribute: The Wall and numerous other activities hosted throughout the city.

Loyalty Day was started by the Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) on the East Coast, with Newport’s Veteran’s starting our local Loyalty Day celebration in May of 1956. As the celebration continued to spread throughout the nation, Congress wrote a Joint Resolution and President Eisenhower signed the Bill into law designating the First of May as Loyalty Day, a special day set aside for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom.

Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 411 - 2010 Newport Loyalty Day Parade Grand Marshals 

This county wide organization of dedicated veteran’s have an extraordinary vision of honoring, respecting and remembering all who serve. They are the group who rain or shine post the American Flags along Hwy 101 on holidays for us all to enjoy. They are a group who reaches out to other era veterans and welcomes them all home. They are the men and women who have brought many traveling memorials into our area for us all to remember the sacrifices given for the freedoms we enjoy.

Parade: Saturday, May 1st, 2010

Among the weekend's activities is the annual two hour patriotic parade scheduled for Saturday, May 1st beginning at 12:00 pm. As in year's past the parade begins at the intersections of Hwy 101 and N.E. 20th Street.

The Newport Loyalty Day parade is organized as an event for the entire community.

Oregon Service Medal Ceremonies

Medal Ceremonies will be held April 28 - May 2 at the South Beach - Field of Honor site, South Beach - 7:00 pm each evening. Saturday, May 1st  Medal Ceremony begins at 4pm.

Vietnam Veteran's Remembered

Representatives from the thirteen chapters of the Oregon Vietnam Veteran's will participate in the Newport Loyalty Day and Sea Fair Festival parade on Saturday, May 1. The group has marched in the parade every year since 1988.

In conjunction with Loyalty Day, a candlelight memorial, Reading of the Names of Oregonians lost in the Vietnam War will be on Friday, April 30th beginning 9:00 pm at the Don Davis Park. There are about 1,000 names, so volunteer readers are always needed and welcome. This ceremony is broadcast live on the radio by Dave Miller, KNPT.

Field of Honor - 1000 Flags

vietnam_wall_truck349Beginning Wednesday, April 28, the Field of Honor Memorial will again be brought to Newport for the annual Newport Loyalty Day and Sea Fair Festival. Grids and poles will be set Wednesday and Thursday with memorial opening ceremonies Thursday evening. This memorial will be open 24/7 under lights for the duration of the Loyalty Day weekend.

From Newport, driving south across Yaquina Bay bridge, the Field of 1000 Flags will be located just west of Hatfield Marine Science Center on Port of Newport property. (South Beach area)

A place for Hope and Healing for many Veterans, Families and Friends. The 1000 Flags will be on display by 1:00 p.m. Monday, April 26th in Newport Oregon, at the Newport Facilities in South Beach.

Organizers say there will also be a special Flag Presentation at 5:30 p.m. and an Honorable Service Medal presentation at 6:00 p.m. Families with flags being dedicated to a loved one will be escorted by a military member from the USANG and a person from the USCG, Yaquina Bay Station.

Tuesday April 27th there will also be another special Flag presentation at 5:30pm and another scheduled Honorable Service medal Presentation. Families with flags dedicated to a loved one will be escorted by a person from the USANG and a person from the USCG, Yaquina Bay Station.

• Forms for the Honorable service medal may be obtained at The Newport Chamber Office.

• The Oregon Vet Center has been requested to bring their vehicle to help Veterans.

Wednesday April 28th at 4:30 p.m. (weather permitting) There will be a Yaquina Bay Bridge walk over the bridge with each person carrying an American Flag. We will be awaiting the Vietnam Traveling Wall Truck escorted by various motorcyle organizations. As a courtesy, the 1000 Flag Vechile may also be attending. Also, the USCG has been requested for a FLYOVER at 4:30 p.m.

The walk will end at The Rogue Nation Warehouse. The Rogue Nation will be sponsoring a spaghetti feed to help with the two memorials.

Thursday April 29th at 1:00 p.m. – The Vietnam Wall will be ready for visitations.

Opening ceremonies will begin at 5:30 p.m. conducted by The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians. All Veterans are asked to follow the Siletz Honor Guard for The Grand Entry.

The Siletz Tribe are the main sponsors, along with the Port of Newport-NOAA, The Vietnam Veterans of America and the Oregon State Council.

Everyone is invited; please bring all of your friends for this day of paying tribute to ALL of our Veterans.

Friday April 30th.... 5:00 p.m. - There will be an AVTT presentation about the Traveling Wall and Jim Willis – The Oregon Director of Veterans Affairs, will be our keynote speaker. He also has the freedom to speak at any given day.

Friday April 30th.... 8:50 p.m. – The Vietnam Veterans of America, Oregon State Council will bring in the Colors just prior to The Reading of The Names. These are the names of all the Oregonians who lost their lives in Vietnam. The invocation will be by Reverend Taylor. For the past 22 years this has been broadcast live by KNPT.

Saturday May 1st at 12 noon – The Loyalty Days Parade.... It starts at the north end of town by Safeway.

Saturday May 1st at 4:00 p.m. - The American Legion Riders - will do a Ride by The Wall. Other Vet Riders are asked to call Tony Molina at 541-444-2828.

Sunday May 2nd at 12 Noon - both memorials will be closed by a small ceremony and TAPS!

*Some of these times and events may change because of inclement weather or unexpected circumstances.

 Origins of Newport Loyalty Days

Two thousand people visited Newport on May 1, 1938, with the prospect of a "free lunch" -- 6,000 crabs were distributed free of charge to visitors to the first annual Crab Festival. The reason was twofold: the price of Dungeness crab had hit rock bottom; organizers promoted the idea of the festival believing it would create a craving for the local crustacean. Moreover, Newport, like the rest of America, was reeling from the Depression; it was thought that the Crab Festival would be an economic "shot in the arm" for Oregon's Central Coast.

When World War II broke out, fisherman went off to war, while others turned their boats over to the military for patrolling the coast. The Crab Festival fell by the wayside. After the war, the Festival was revived in a big way, when a Crab Festival Queen was crowned and the chance to win a new car was raffled off.

About the same time, the nation was gripped by anti-communist fervor. In 1953, the annual May Crab Festival was replaced with Loyalty Days, and Lincoln County veteran’s organizations held a modest parade "in support of a counter demonstration of the annual May Day mass rallies and celebrations staged by the communists." In 1958, President Eisenhower signed a Loyalty Days Proclamation. The focus of Newport Loyalty Days gradually switched to fun, not unlike the Crab Festivals of old.

By 1970, parade entries totaled nearly 50, and the event featured a Dungeness crab dinner for $1.75. Demonstrations of crab pot construction and net making and repair were held. Since then, air shows, boat races, horse shows, scuba diving contests, and crab running contests have all contributed to becoming part of the Loyalty Day events. Through the years of this celebration, Loyalty Days continues to add events, a Loyalty Day court, featured carnival rides, boat tours, yacht races and car shows were offered during the four-day event.  A memorial ceremony honoring Oregon's servicemen and women who lost their lives while serving their country is held with the annual reading of the names at Don Davis Park, held at the ocean's edge.

Although the fading away of the Cold War has diminished the need for a patriotic May Day festival, Newport's celebration of Loyalty Days is alive and well and continuing to grow. Having roots in both the Crab Festival and Loyalty Day of previous decades, it has evolved into a celebration of community pride and a Newport rite of spring.