Feast Portland, the annual celebration of food and drink that was set to take place this coming September, has been canceled.
In an announcement posted to Feast's social media accounts, organizers said that they were holding out hope that the 2020 edition of the event would happen, but, as they write, "the recent announcement by Governor Brown to ban large public gatherings through September was the final word on what we already knew in our hearts: Feast Portland as we've known it will not happen this September." (Read the full statement below.)
Started in 2011, Feast Portland has become one of the biggest events of the year for Oregon's restaurant community and local foodies, with dozens of events—meals, demonstrations, and parties, among them—happening throughout the city. The annual gala also helps raise money for charities fighting child hunger, including Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon and Urban Gleaners.
Ever since the pandemic closed restaurants and bars around the state, Feast Portland has pivoted their efforts to amplifying the places offering take out and delivery as well as highlighting hunger-related nonprofits on their social media accounts. And as they said in their email to the Mercury, they are "still exploring ways we can bring our community together to support our industry."
Here's the full statement from Feast Portland:
The seed of Feast Portland was planted in 2011 in a coffee shop in NW Portland. Since then, that idea has become a community within the food, beverage and hospitality world, guided by a core belief that food is a powerful medium that brings people together in real and inspiring ways. Gathering together is not just an elemental human need: It’s what we live for every September.
While it became clear to us in early March that there was no clear path to Feast in 2020, we still held a sliver of hope that our world would return to normal, and that we’d have the occasion to gather together in September. But the recent announcement by Governor Brown to ban large public gatherings through September was the final word on what we already knew in our hearts: Feast Portland as we've known it will not happen this September.
We support the governor’s decision wholeheartedly and we respect the science on which it was made. The current crisis is unlike any in our lifetime, and we stand in solidarity with our friends locally and worldwide in the food, beverage, events and hospitality industries who have been hit the hardest. These are the people that feed us, inspire us, welcome us into their homes and give us a reason and reminder to stand up and cheer. We love you and appreciate all that you do.
As all on our planet would agree, the thought that daily life would alter so much in such a short time was unthinkable just three months ago. While a festival with 20,000 guests isn't possible in 2020, we hope to do something to engage and support our community this summer or fall. So please stay tuned to our social media and marketing channels, which remain active.
We strongly believe in the power of coming together, and we know that we will have reason to gather again someday soon. But until then, it’s more important that we stay safe, support our local businesses in every way we can and work together to come out of this stronger and more inspired than ever before.
We will Feast again.