A Summer Day’s Dream

ASHLAND, Ore. —  As tourism suffers during the pandemic, a celebration to drum up more support for local businesses was in full bloom today (Sunday.)

It’s a strange sight on a summer Sunday in Ashland with several empty chairs and empty tables in Lithia Plaza as the city lacks regular tourists with Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s canceled season and other local seasonal attractions shut down.

David Jesser owns The Culinarium on Main Street along with his wife Constance who say they’re keeping their chins up through these challenging times.

“There’s plenty of parking in Ashland now! It’s off the charts how much parking there is, so it’s awesome! David said. “We’re open and that’s the key element. We’ve been open seven-days-a-week,” he added.

The Ashland Chamber of Commerce worked with its business members on a new themed weekend for eleven weeks until the end of September, including wine showcasings, Harry Potter’s birthday party and the Fall Harvest Festival.

“We’re all working cooperatively together to bring vitality back, safely into the downtown, also creating those outside spaces,” Katherine Cato with the chamber, said.

Of course, there are Covid-19 restrictions and safety protocols to follow.

“The mask is on as soon as someone comes into the store and we want to thank everyone for honoring each other. Thank you for helping with the social distancing,” Jesser said.

Jesser sees all of these steps taken are to get through the pandemic, actors back on stages and tourists back in the streets.

For the full schedule of events, go here.

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NBC5 News weather forecaster Aaron Nilsson is a Southern California native, but most recently lived in Seattle. He's also lived in Sweden and Utah. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelors Degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Scandinavian Studies. While at BYU, he covered sports for BYUtv. Aaron is not new to the Medford/Klamath Falls market. He was a local TV journalist from 2013-2017. Outside the station, Aaron enjoys music, traveling, sports, movies, and cooking. His favorite sport is soccer.
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