Wonderful Winter Festivals
Though we rang in the New Year with style, the ball has certainly not dropped on our season of festivities. Truth is, celebration around these parts happens year-round, so we’re heading outside and bundling up for some of the best winter events. When you live in a place like this, there’s a lot to celebrate.
Kick off the snow festivities on February 12 at Hoodoo Ski Area’s Winter Carnival. There will be games for all ages, BBQ, live music and night skiing. What do you get when you combine 50 dump-truck loads of snow, a team of engineers, big air jumps and an ice carving competition? Bend Winter Fest, that’s what. Come see one of the largest off-mountain rail jams this Presidents’ Day weekend (February 18 to 20), when the Old Mill District is transformed into a snowy playground. See some of the best extreme winter athletes shred on man-made jumps in the center of town (the snow comes from nearby Mt. Bachelor, thanks to its bountiful overflow). If gravity-defying stunts aren’t your thing, no worries — there’s a lot more to do and see. Cheer on participants in the ice carving and snow sculpting competitions, go to a live show happening throughout downtown or watch Nordic skiers glide by as they race through town.
Celebrate all things that take flight at the 32nd annual Winter Wings Festival in Klamath Falls. The Klamath Basin is home to the largest concentration of wintering bald eagles in the lower 48 and hosts 80 percent of the birds that migrate on the Pacific Flyway. Novice birders and new enthusiasts alike will love the varied activities at this three-day festival, where birding and other outdoor events take place all day, while the evenings bring lectures from well-known naturalists and photographers.
On January 29 at Gold Lake Sno Park (located just a half-mile from Willamette Pass) you can try free demos of skis, snowshoes and more at WinterFest. The daylong celebration will host winter gear vendors touting their best lines. After a day in the snow, refuel with free snacks in the ski patrol cabin.
It’s no secret that Portlanders are avid cyclists. We ride bikes to work and to play. We ride double-decker bicycles and unicycles. We ride through sunshine, rain and snow. There are few things that can stand between a Portlander and his or her bike. So, to celebrate both our two-wheeled culture and the winter weather, we are hopping on bicycles for the Worst Day of the Year Ride (though if last year is any indication, we’ll be in short sleeves). On February 13, thousands of riders will convene in southeast Portland dressed in costumes and rainwear, to ride through the city (you can sign up for the 18-mile urban ride or challenge yourself with the 45-mile route around the city). Rest stops along the way are stocked with local treats, including Nossa Familia doughnuts, Dragonfly Chai tea and food from Laughing Planet café.