: Scott Marx

Oregon’s Fabulous Fall Events

Gear up for some of Oregon's favorite autumn traditions.
August 20, 2021 (Updated September 6, 2023)

Autumn brings so many things to get excited about: leaves changing colors, brisk breezes that redden your nose and special events that help usher in this cozy time of year. The season is full of lively harvest festivals, challenging races for runners and memorable cultural events. Here are some of the fall happenings around the state that deserve a spot on your calendar.

A bucking horse at a rodeo event
Pendleton Round-Up (Photo by Joni Kabana)


Fiesta Cultural, Lane County, through December: All are welcome to participate in Lane County’s largest celebration of Latino/a/x/e arts, culture and heritage with events happening across the region through December. Look for music, art, dance, food and drink, children’s events and local vendors, as well as meet-ups with local Latino creatives.

Vaux’s Swift Watch, Portland, all month: Thousands gather each fall at Chapman Elementary School in Northwest Portland to view an incredible sight. One hour before sunset, thousands of Vaux’s Swifts gather overhead as they prepare to roost for the night. Migrating swifts often use chimneys as roosts (places to sleep), and they are likely to return to the same roost year after year. One population has been returning to Chapman since the 1980s, and is one of the largest known roosting sites of migrating Vaux’s Swifts. Make sure to bike or arrange alternate transportation to the site since parking is extremely limited.

Celebrating Hispanic Roots, Willamette Valley: During Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15), the state’s esteemed Latino wineries – with roots in Argentina, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela – gather to celebrate making a splash in the viticultural world. This year’s event invites guests to two five-course dinners at Subterra Kitchen & Cellar in Newberg. Eleven participating wineries will offer a special wine at the dinners to enjoy with thoughtfully paired creations by Chef Javier Santos.

Sublimity Harvest Festival, Sublimity: Monster-truck shows, tractor-pull contests and live music are just the beginning of the fun at this annual agricultural celebration in Sublimity. Other activities happening at this family-friendly event include a parade, a kid zone with bouncy houses, and a 10K, 5K and 3K fun run. 

Mill-Luck Salmon Celebration, North Bend: Celebrating its coastal culture, the Coquille Indian Tribe hosts a traditional salmon bake on the Coos Bay waterfront at the Mill Casino Hotel & RV Park, along with canoe races, crafts and demonstrations.

Pendleton Round-Up, Pendleton: The world-famous weeklong rodeo event in Eastern Oregon is back for the 112th Pendleton Round-Up. Witness the world’s best bull riders in action, experience portrayal of traditional Native American life at the Happy Canyon Pageant and attend the Kip Moore and Ned Ledoux kickoff concert. 

Wine Country Pride, McMinnville: All are welcome for this annual event series celebrating the queer community through education and economic activity. The Street Fair includes performers, speakers, food carts and other vendors, a kids’ pride parade and pet pride parade, a bilingual story hour with a Dolly Parton impersonator and more.

Mt. Angel Oktoberfest, Mt. Angel: The largest folk festival in the Northwest is back in the beloved Bavarian-inspired town of Mt. Angel. Come to the biergarten, bandstand, wiener-dog races and arts-and-craft booths. Food, all prepared by volunteers, includes plenty of sausage, brats and sauerkraut along with German-style favorites like spätzle, festival favorites like corn dogs and onion rings, and local favorites like fish tacos, marionberry cobbler and Russian perogies. All food purchases support a local nonprofit. 

Klamath Independent Film Festival, Klamath Falls: This premier festival highlights Oregon-centric films in a special weekend-long event at the Ross Ragland Theater. Get things started with a Friday-night gala, then go behind the scenes with a Q&A with filmmakers. Genres include feature films, short films, student films and more.

Portland Latin American Film Festival: This annual festival is dedicated to showcasing perspectives of Latin American culture through an annual exploration of Latin film and increasing the visibility of Latin American cinema. Check the website for the updated screening schedule. 

Sunset along a small town's main street with a lit theater's neon sign
La Grande's Liberty Theatre


BendFilm Festival, Bend: The annual BendFilm Festival brings independently produced films to the big screen for Oregon audiences to enjoy. You can also participate in online discussions with filmmakers, virtual mentor sessions, an awards ceremony and more. 

Great Columbia Crossing, Astoria: The chance to run a 10K across North America’s longest continuous truss bridge draws runners from across the region. Runners can run in between the two states on the Astoria-Megler Bridge at this iconic race.  

Hood River Valley Harvest Fest, Hood River: Sample local produce and peruse local products at the Columbia River Gorge’s biggest celebration of regional fall bounty. You’ll find arts and crafts as well as tastings of wine, cider and beer. 

Halloween Train, Hood River: This debut “Phantom of the Rail” train ride by Mount Hood Railroad includes a Halloween narration, a thrilling excursion through the forest by the light of the moon, and a Thriller-style flash dance performance at the company’s dark factory, rumored to be filled with ghosts and ghouls. The ride is offered the last two Friday and Saturday evenings in October, with food and drink available for pre-purchase. Book a table with three of your closest brave souls (not recommended for young children), sit back and enjoy the creepy tales as you kick off the season. Accessible seating is available upon request. Pets are not allowed.

West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta, Tualatin: One of the most unique events on Oregon’s fall calendar, the West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta allows you to witness costumed characters paddling inside giant pumpkins racing against one another. This fun-filled spectacle includes pumpkins, pints and a Terminator giant pumpkin weigh-off at nearby Stickmen Brewing on Day 1; and regatta run and regatta festival and pumpkin races on Day 2. The giant pumpkins are generously supplied by the Pacific Giant Vegetable Growers

Eastern Oregon Film Festival, La Grande: Happening at the Liberty Theatre in downtown La Grande is the annual Eastern Oregon Film Festival. Come watch the special screenings of more than two dozen films and stream them online if you can’t make it in person. 

Mount Pisgah Mushroom Show, Eugene: Celebrate all things mushroom to support native habitat stewardship and outdoor environmental education at the Mount Pisgah Arboretum. Among the many activities, you can learn about 300 local species of mushrooms, listen to live music, take a hayride or go on a guided nature walk. 

Stormy Weather Arts Festival in Cannon Beach


Quiltopia Oregon, Salem: Held at the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem, this annual quilt show includes demonstrations, raffles, a quilt challenge, and opportunities to take home quilts and other goodies from several vendors. 

Stormy Weather Arts Festival, Cannon Beach: Cannon Beach is already an art lover’s paradise, but the city earns this title tenfold during the Stormy Weather Arts Festival. Complete with a self-guided public-art tour, gallery showings, sip-and-paint events, and live music around town, the weekend is sure to delight and inspire.

Portland Book Festival, Portland: Story lovers, aspiring writers and wordsmiths of all kinds can geek out at the Portland Book Festival, held at the Portland Art Museum and surrounding venues. The festival includes author readings, writing classes and more. 

Yachats Celtic Music Festival, Yachats: Celebrate all things Irish on the Oregon Coast at Yachats’ annual Celtic Music Festival. Bands and artists are scheduled to perform all weekend long, though there are also opportunities to try your hand at whistling and harp-playing at event workshops. 

About The

Emily Gillespie
Emily Gillespie is a travel writer whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, CNN Travel and Afar magazine. She’s lived in three of Oregon’s seven regions, currently calling Portland home. She and her husband look for every opportunity to hike to a view, bike through wine country and eat their way through a new city.

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