When summertime hits the Willamette Valley there is a cheer that goes up in the air. Here at Guaranty RV we know that summer weather in Oregon brings with it a bevy of summertime activities, from camping to river rafting, and of course includes going to all the summer festivals. There are more festivals and events in Oregon in the short three months of summer than it seems there are the rest of the year. From big music festivals like The Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland Oregon, to the alternative wonderland that is The Oregon Country Fair, to the perfect Americana that is the Oregon State Fair, there is a lot to do in Oregon in the summer, so hop in your motorhome or hook up the travel trailer or fifth wheel and set out for some festival fun in our beautiful state.
The Waterfront Blues Festival
Smackdab in the center of Downtown Portland is Tom McCall Waterfront Park. This is a park that was made by tearing up a highway in the 1970s and reclaiming the waterfront for pedestrians and cyclists. In the summertime this park is a festival haven, from the Oregon Brewfest to the Rose Festival Fun Center, and the summer schedule includes one of our favorites: The Waterfront Blues Festival. It is here that over 4th of July weekend (July 2 – 5) people come from all over the country to experience the power of the blues. It has been voted one of the 10 best festivals in the USA, one of the top 10 outdoor festivals, and has won many blues music related awards. Part of the price of admission is cans of food that go to help the Oregon Food Bank, as does a portion of your admission. This year the festival includes performances by: Macy Grey, Alan Toussaint, Gregg Allman, and many, many more.
There are many good spots to park your RV while you are in Portland, such as the Columbia River RV Park or the Jantzen Beach RV Park. Portland has great public transportation so you can get all around the city without a car.
The Oregon Country Fair
The Oregon Country Fair is a wonderland of handmade crafts, food and live music. The artists and craftspeople that this fair draws are very talented and the goods that they hand produce can’t be found anyplace else. It’s easy to spend a whole day just wandering along the meandering paths looking at what the vendors are selling, sitting beneath the shade of a tree to watch the stilt walkers and jugglers pass through, catching some live music on the various stages, eating some of the best food you’ll find at any festival anywhere. There’s so much to see, you might want to come back the next day, too. This is a wonderful place to take the whole family and there are a ton of activities for the kids to enjoy, but you should know going in that toplessness is allowed at the Oregon Country Fair. The fair runs July 10 – 12 and takes place about 14 miles outside of Eugene in Veneta, Oregon.
The Oregon State Fair
If good, old fashioned American fun is your thing, than the Oregon State Fair is for you. This year is going to be huge as it is the 150th Anniversary of the fair. Here you will find corn dogs and elephant ears, thrill-inducing rides and the fun carnival games you grew up with. This year there is even a performance by country great Vince Gill and rock legend Pat Benatar. Also be sure to check out the Pairings Night, where you can stroll among the gardens and savor the flavors of Oregons best chefs, distillers, winemakers and brewmasters. The fair runs August 28 through September 7. There are lots of RV parks around Salem where the fairgrounds are located.
There are tons of festivals and fairs happening in Oregon, these just happen to be the largest.
If you’re looking for a fun festival to hit up near us in Junction City, just off the I-5 corridor, there is the annual Scandinavian Festival running from August 6 – 9. Trolls and Vikings roam the streets posing for pictures and causing mischief. There are crafts to be perused and delicious food to be consumed. Here’s a pro-tip: get up early and go the the festival for breakfast. There are delicious aebelskivers and Swedish pancakes with lingonberries. If you want to stay for the weekend you can set up shop here.
Be sure to drop by our Travel Center on your way to a summer festival. Here you can fill up your propane tanks and pick up some snacks for the road, and of course feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
Photo: Sam Churchill