The OSP committee has made the decision we didn’t want to make. We made the decision we felt was in the best interests of our organization, our vendors, and most importantly, our attendees. The Oregon Star Party will not be held this year.
With so much uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, there is no way it would be economically feasible, logistically possible, or safe to hold our event. The current “stay home” order in Oregon does not allow social gatherings. Although we expect this order to be eased by July, it is unknown to what extent that will happen. This leaves in question the number of committee members, volunteers, and first aid personnel, who would be available to run the event. Also, attendance will certainly be low, making it impossible to plan support levels with our service vendors.
Our primary concern is for the health and well being of our attendees - our friends. Our enjoyment of the universe would not be worth it if the gathering allowed for any viral transmission. We don’t want to call you old, but many of our attendees fall within the parameters of what the CDC terms “People at higher risk.” Very simply, it would be a tragedy if even one person got sick because of the star party.
We hope you understand that this decision is unavoidable. We are continuing to work with the Forest Service and will post any information we get regarding the status of Indian Trail Spring provided to us by the Forest Service. If there are still bans on groups and social distancing policies in place state wide this summer, it will of course apply to our site at Indian Trail Spring. And it is possible that the Forest Service could close road access to our site in July when OSP was scheduled. USFS policy regarding Covid-19 and land use in general can be found at https://www.fs.usda....covid19-updates.
We are designing a special OSP 2020 T-shirt we know you’ll love! Thank you for your support over the years. We look forward to seeing you again. We’re pretty sure the stars will be there next year - even Betelgeuse!
The Oregon Star Party Committee