For the first time in its history, Oaks Park will remain dark for the entirety of the 2020 amusement park season due to the pandemic.
The association that operates the 115-year-old attraction on the east side of the Sellwood Bridge announced this week that it would not open its rides or games for the rest of the year.
Employees spent months preparing the park to welcome back a reduced number of visitors by implementing additional safety measures, like temperature checks, online reservations and increased sanitation. Even after petitioning Gov. Kate Brown's office to resume operations, it still has not been given the OK to go forward.
"We have made repeated efforts to convey to the state government our ability to operate with the same modifications that have been acceptable for the reopening of every other major, regional attraction in Oregon," Oaks Park marketing and events director Emily MacKay says in a statement. "Despite those efforts, we have continued to be excluded from the list of statewide attractions permitted to open."
Another amusement park, however, has fired up its rides again despite the ongoing global health crisis: Enchanted Forest, located about 10 miles south of Salem in Turner, Ore., restarted in late June.
But Marion County is in Phase 2 of the governor's plan to reopen Oregon's economy, which allows venues like amusement parks to commence business. Multnomah County remains in Phase 1.
Even though Oaks Parks' midway will remain closed during 2020, the association hopes to allow people back into the Roller Rink and Dance Pavilion sometime late this year. Ride bracelets purchased for this season will be honored next year.