Please accept our apologies
I’m writing you today with the very disappointing news that we won’t be open for Fremont Fest. We did not come to this decision lightly. We’re upset when we picture our regular customers trying to get to us for their pet food, having parking trouble amongst crowds, and then finally arriving at the store only to find that we’re closed. Being closed will be a very big economic blow to us, both from the sales we’ll lose and the loss of exposure to folks attending the festival who haven’t been in our store, but that’s not our primary concern.
Our biggest concern is for the safety of our employees.
Oregon Covid numbers are raging. It did seem to make sense months ago that a summer event would likely have less risk, but Delta says “no”.
Oregon numbers are remarkably high, and 10 of the 55 deaths in July in Oregon were vaccinated people (that’s a much bigger percentage than what was happening before Delta took over). Almost 1,100 people in Oregon could be hospitalized with COVID-19 by mid-September, according to new modeling released Tuesday, nearly doubling the record from last winter’s surge.
Cases (verified by genomic sequencing) in Australia show that the Delta variant can be spread to others with even fleeting contact.
We already see up to 200 people on a Saturday, so adding more exposure is worrisome. Our worries are compounded by the fact that we have a few seriously immune compromised people in our fold. One has so few T-cells that she might not be able to generate immunity from the vaccines she’s gotten. Even if she takes that day off, the next day she’d have to work with coworkers that may have contracted the virus and don’t know it, which could result in dire consequences for her if she were to get sick. The second situation is an employee who lives with her boyfriend and his family. In that household is a person with a very serious case of cystic fibrosis which means that he may not live through a respiratory infection, especially with the threat of increasing challenges finding beds for respiratory patients. Another person in that household has cancer and is on chemo and radiation. Third, three employees have unvaccinated children. We feel we have a responsibility to protect these vulnerable members of our little Green Dog family, and frankly none of our employees feel all that comfortable with the idea of crowds right now.
We did bring our concerns to the Beaumont Business Association and were impressed by their thoughtful response:
“Dear Mike and Christine, I wanted to reach out personally to thank you for speaking up and sharing your concerns. This is something that I feel is so important for us to do not only as a community but also as an association. Your concerns are valid and we all agree that things are not going in the right direction and it is frustrating. Having said that, the board came together to discuss whether or not to move forward and have decided to stay the course on Fremont Fest.
While one of our vendors has decided not to participate due to Covid, we have not had any others back out of the event. Some of these folks do not have brick and mortar locations to support them and events like these are paying their bills. Our “Marketplace” is determined to support our local economy and Fremont Fest Marketplace could help keep them afloat during these unsure and scary times. There is a large showing of BIPOC and Queer vendors this year and I feel strongly about providing this support for them. None of us wants to create a super spreader event or cause anyone harm, which is why this years event is has been VERY different from the beginning. Vendors are spaced 10ft apart on one side of each of the 9 blocks with no-one on the other side, as to prevent any clustering of humans in any given area, and we limited the number of vendors (current booth count is around 85). Outdoor markets are running strong and I feel that we are doing things better and more responsibly than most.
We all understand and respect the choice for anyone on the street to make the difficult decision to close the day of the event in order to keep themselves safe. You are such amazing supporters of Association and your business brings life to our street and neighboring businesses that is priceless. I have personally put a lot of thought and effort into this event, with the amazing support from our wonderful new board, and will take any ire or criticism to heart. I take this pandemic very seriously and have been as safe as possible over the last 18 months but have had to make the choice to bend that in order to make a living and support my family, it has not been easy for me and I think a lot of folks are doing and feeling the same.
I am always available to chat over the phone or on video, if you’d like to talk further. Your support is so important to all of us AND we understand that this occasion does not have that. Again, speaking up and using your voice is vital to community, conversation and making change so thank you so much for that.
Take the best of care,
BBA Board President”
We are impressed that they’ve created ways to try and mediate the crowding, and we know that if you
come, you’ll have a good time! We wish that circumstances could be different, as you might know that we’ve been a major player in every
Fremont Fest for the past 17 years, planning and coordinating the Parade, etc. We did support the event this year in the form of a big sponsorship.
There are new businesses on the street that would love you to come exploring and find them!
DON’T MISS THE TRAINERS AT OUR BOOTH!
Portland households have gotten new dogs in the past year and a half, but so few classes have been available. We thought it would be great to have some great trainers on hand to help you find good resources if you need them. As Force Free says, “Choose a trainer that doesn’t need to use pain or fear inducing electronic tools. Look for someone who has experience in modern, positive, science-based techniques, who attends continuing education” like these great force free trainers or others like our favorite Doggy Business or others listed on the Force Free list.
Understanding about this decision