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In 2011, Astoria, Ore., is celebrating its bicentennial with a yearlong birthday party. Many events are planned throughout the year, including multicultural festivals, movie site tours, historical re-enactments, lectures, musical performances and a special exhibit at the city's Heritage Museum.
On May 20, the city kicks off the festivities with Chinese dragon dancers and Native American ceremonies. Fishing and logging demonstrations, living-history re-enactments, cultural festivals and historic home tours will occur throughout the year in celebration of the town's rich Native American, Scandinavian, Finnish and Chinese heritage.
Astoria's location where the Columbia River meets the sea once made it the salmon canning capital of the world. It's still a fishing destination, and history lives on in the Columbia River Maritime Museum and Fort Clatsop, where Lewis and Clark wintered in 1805-06.
Today's visitors are greeted with a variety of hotels, fine restaurants and a burgeoning local arts scene.
Located less than 100 miles from Portland, Astoria is the oldest U.S. settlement west of the Rocky Mountains.