Cannon Beach commemorates Beach Bill signing’s 50th anniversary

Gov. Tom McCall in front of the Surfsand Motel in Cannon Beach.

Former Oregon Gov. Tom McCall’s son, Thomas “Tad” McCall, will be present for Cannon Beach’s day-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Oregon Beach Bill on Saturday, May 13.

On May 13, 1967, the Republican governor brought significant media attention to Cannon Beach when he flew his helicopter onto the city’s beach, a publicity stunt that galvanized public support for the legislation.

The Oregon legislature passed the bill the following month, and the governor signed it into law in July of that year, establishing public ownership of the Oregon Coast.

In honor of the bill’s 50th birthday, the Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce will host a series of celebratory events.

Master sand sculpting team Form Finders will construct a sandcastle more than 6-feet tall. There will be beach bicycling and stand-up paddle boarding demonstrations.

Meanwhile, the city’s Haystack Rock Awareness Program will offer tide pool interpretive information; spotting scopes will be on hand to view tufted puffins and other seabirds nesting on the rock.

Geologist Tom Horning, working with the North Coast Land Conservancy, will hold a guided hiking tour on the beach, from Haystack Rock to Silver Point.

Local and state dignitaries will give presentations at the Gower Street beach access, where the design plan for a Beach Bill-related public art project will be revealed, event organizers said.

Slater Smith, of the Portland band The Weather Machine, will present the band’s collaboration with the state parks department: a music video shot at almost 200 state parks.

Saturday’s festivities will conclude with a bonfire and free s’mores on the beach near the Gower Street access.

For more information and a schedule of activities, call the Cannon Beach Information Center at 503-436-2623, or visit



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