Summer is in the air again. That means heat, chillin’ out by the lake, and of course, lots of naked people (on account of Oregon’s lax public indecency laws). But it’s also a time for revelry and festivities abound with varying degrees of absurdity. So if you’re planning on a night (or day) on the town during summer, here’s a few awesome festivals and fairs you should visit at least once in your life.
You won’t find the infamous naked bike ride on this list, but don’t worry, this time of year has plenty of nudity to go around.
The Rose Festival has been bringing camaraderie and community celebration to Portland for decades, and with it comes the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Race (what a mouth-full). Celebrating its 26th year, the race takes place on the Willamette River near the Hawthorne Bridge, and features four-team heats held every nine minutes.
More than 80 different teams – local, national and international – compete in classical dragon boats graciously provided through the Portland-Kaohsiung Sister City Association.
It’s the oldest competition of its kind in the Pacific Northwest and the most popular event in this Oregon Coast town. Dozens of teams of professional sand sculpture artists, amateur groups and families will construct remarkable creations in the sand during the event which will celebrate its 52nd year in 2016.
Although the sand sculpture contest on Saturday is the highlight of the weekend, visitors will find plenty of other activities to keep them busy. Weekend activities include a dinner, parade, concert, beach bonfire and a 5K fun run and walk.
The west coast’s premiere chainsaw carving event, located on the beautiful waterfront of sunny Reedsport, draws thousands of spectators through its gates each year and features both domestic and foreign carvers.
The show consists of two main events: the Master carving, where artists have four days to complete their main sculpture, and the Quick Carves, daily mini-contests, where the sculptors create wonderful finished pieces in 90 minutes.
In celebration of all things LGBT and the continued efforts to fight for equality, the Pride NW Festival is held at Tom McCall Waterfront Park along Naito Parkway in Downtown Portland between SW Pine Street and The Morrison Bridge. There are also a number of diverse, renowned food, snack and beverage vendors on-site this year so make sure you arrive with an empty stomach and a full wallet.
The fun-filled Festival of Balloons in Tigard is a spectacular festival that includes a hot air balloon launch, a carnival, exhibitors, food, Twilight Run, Safety Safari, Festival of Cars, premier youth soccer tournament, beer garden and much much more.
Taking place at Riverfront Park in Salem, Oregon, the World Beat Festival is a two-day, non-stop program of international music, dance, folklore, hands-on crafts, games, demonstrations, dragon boat races, culturally authentic food, and a lot of FUN!
Trying to find that primo spot to watch the fireworks on the 4th of July? Why not try a splendid show on the bay in Reedsport? Visitors and locals alike grab a spot, fire up the barbecue or picnic and settle in for a fun day at the beach followed by a spectacular display of fireworks at dusk.
The Portland Highland Games are a fun, family-friendly event with Scottish Highland music, athletics, dancing, piping and drumming competitions, and cultural activities, not to mention all the Scottish eats you could imagine!
Just don’t forget your kilt.
According to Travel Oregon:
“The 46th annual Oregon Country Fair showcases hundreds of world class entertainers and performers, unique hand craft artisans and sumptuous gourmet food creators who provide an experience that is unequaled in the festival pantheon.”
Most people just come for the boobs.
Looking for a late summer festival? Need something a little more intense (if at times frightening) than OCF but without losing all those boobs? Then Faerieworlds Festival is perfect for you! It’s the premier mythic & fantasy Arts & Music festival on the West Coast that annually draws guests from across the country and the world and Maxim magazine called it “A Bonnaroo staged for Middle Earth.”