Grants Pass is a city in, and the county seat of Josephine County, Oregon, United States . The city is located on Interstate 5, northwest of Medford. Attractions include the Rogue River, famous for its rafting, and the nearby Oregon Caves National Monument located 30 miles south of the city. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 23,003. As of 2007, the population is 34,237.
In 1922, a group of local businessmen incorporated the Grants Pass Cavemen. Taking their name from the nearby Oregon Caves National Monument, this group was one of many groups of boosterism common in the United States at the time. For decades afterwards, this group would represent their city in countless public gatherings, dressed in furs and bearing clubs, performing such uncivilized acts as capturing female crowd members and politicians and putting them in their cages. To honor this group, in 1971 a fiberglass statue of a caveman was erected at the corner of Morgan Lane and Sixth Street. Grants Pass High School's mascot is also the caveman. The original monument was damaged by arson in 2004 and repaired in 2005.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of , of which of it is land and of it or 1.56% is water.
Summer days are sunny, dry and hot but it cools down dramatically at night; the average July high temperature is 90°F (32°C) and the low, 53°F (12°C). Winters are cool and fairly rainy with only occasional snow; the average January high temperature is 47.5°F (8.5°C) and the low, 32.5°F (0°C). It receives roughly 30 inches (760 mm) of precipitation per year, with three-quarters of it occurring between November 1 and March 31. The mild winters and long dry summers support a native vegetation structure quite different from the rest of Oregon, dominated by madrone, deciduous and evergreen oak, manzanita, pine, chinquapin, and other species that are far less abundant further north.
There were 9,376 households out of which 31.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.5% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.8% were non-families. 31.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.94.
In the city the population was spread out with 26.0% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, and 19.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 86.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $29,197, and the median income for a family was $36,284. Males had a median income of $31,128 versus $23,579 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,234. About 12.2% of families and 34.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.8% of those under age 18 and 7.3% of those age 65 or over.
Boatnik is held every Memorial Day weekend in Grants Pass and is one of the years most popular events in Grants Pass, drawing many visitors to town. The activities start in Riverside Park with the Davis Shows Carnival. Friday includes the Boat Show on the River - 8:00pm to 9:00pm Sprints, Drags, and Hydros. Saturday morning is the well-known Boatnik parade. Sunday includes the Fireworks Display at Dusk at Riverside Park. Monday is the highlight of Boatnik featuring an F15 Flyover and the world famous white water hydroplane race.
During the winter, there are the Christmas murals on many downtown streets, along with Santa's arrival by train to the Town Square and a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony.
Year round, there is First Friday Art Nights. On the first Friday of every month, many the city's stores hold art shows and other showings.
In 1986, Grants Pass won one of ten All-America City Awards given out that year. The city has one of the top 100 hospitals: Three Rivers Community Hospital and Health Center.
The Grants Pass post office contains two tempera murals done through the U.S. Treasury Department Section on Fine Arts (often mistakenly referred to as the "WPA"), both painted in 1938. Of the ten government-sponsored New Deal era murals in Oregon, no other post office contains two. The murals are "Rogue River Indians" by Louis DeMott Bunce (who also did a 1959 mural at Portland International Airport) and "Early and Contemporary Industries" by Eric Lamade.
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