To every season, turn, turn, turn. And when it’s fall in the Willamette Valley, you may be ready for changing leaves, fall bounty, fresh-hopped beers and special events that bring friends and family together. Don’t miss these seasonal celebrations in the valley this fall.
Sublimity: The Sublimity Harvest Festival in mid-September marks more than 40 years of tradition in the little agricultural community of Sublimity. The weekend features pulling competitions of all kinds — ATV, horse and truck races as well as the tractor pull contest that started it all. Attendees will also enjoy a fun run, parade, monster truck show, live music and the annual festival breakfast.
Mt. Angel: Raise a stein to the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the Pacific Northwest. The iconic Mt. Angel Oktoberfest returns in mid-September with a slew of great events including German music, kids activities, special beers, street dances and wiener dog races. You’ll be saying “Prost!” in no time.
Corvallis: Septembeerfest, as the name suggests, celebrates the season with Oregon craft beer. The family-friendly event, held just before Labor Day, features more than 60 different brews, 50-plus ciders and meads and live music throughout the day.
The festivities continue throughout the month with the big Corvallis Fall Festival, scheduled for the last weekend of September. Find artisan food as well as dozens of vendors’ booths filled with ceramics, glass, jewelry, metal, photography, textile work, upcycling, wood work and more. There’s also a fun run (kids’ run, 5K and 10K), a great way to take in those autumn leaves.
St. Paul: French Prairie Gardens in St. Paul keeps the fun rolling all October long with a pumpkin patch, pig races, mazes and more. Watch the donut-trained pigs in the Pig-Tucky Derby or have your own race through the 2-acre corn maze or 2,500-bale hay maze. Kids will love the hayrides, slide land, farm animal pavilion and the chance to pick their own pumpkins. Stop by the farm market for apple cider donuts, marionberry scones, fresh-baked cookies, ice cream, espresso and more.
Consider signing up for the Fight for Your Life 5K, held at the garden on the last Sunday of September in remembrance of Emily Pohlschneider, whose family runs the farm.
Eugene: The Mt. Pisgah Arboretum Mushroom Festival in Eugene spotlights the richness of Oregon mushrooms with cooking demonstrations, plant, mushroom and art sales, guided nature walks and food from local vendors. Kids will love the hayrides, apple pressing and arts and crafts. The festival was virtual in 2020; look for details to come on future events.
The arboretum also hosts a free Play in the Rain Day each November for visitors of all ages to take part in tree climbing, campfire cookery, nature exploration and crafts, hay rides, scavenger hunts and more.
Salem: Quiltopia: A Weekend of Quilted Events happens at the Willamette Heritage Center at the Mill in Salem in early November. The event includes a host of lectures, demonstrations and competitions as well as quilt documentations sessions. Bring your old (or new) quilt and a team of knowledgeable quilt enthusiasts will tell you about the design, construction and age. Quilts will be documented as part of a permanent national archive.