: Scott Marx

Oregon’s Fabulous Fall Events

August 20, 2021 (Updated August 25, 2021)

Editor’s note: Face coverings (ages 5 and up) are required at all indoor and outdoor public spaces statewide, regardless of vaccination status. Learn more here. It’s also wildfire season — plan ahead and do your part to prevent wildfires.

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)
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September

Wine Country Half Marathon, virtual, Sept. 3-12, 2021: Hosting a virtual event this year, the Wine Country Half Marathon invites you to run, jog or walk a 5K, 10K or half marathon either on your own or relay-style with teammates. 

Sublimity Harvest Festival, Sublimity, Sept. 10-12, 2021: 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. 

Pendleton Round-Up, Pendleton, Sept. 11-18, 2021: The world-famous weeklong rodeo event in Eastern Oregon is back for the 111th 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 Billy Currington Kick-Off Concert. 

Boring Marathon, Boring, Sept. 12, 2021: Starting and ending in downtown Boring and following the Springwater Trail, runners can choose between a marathon, a half marathon and an 8K as well as virtual race options. 

Mt. Angel Oktoberfest, Mt. Angel, Sept. 16-19, 2021: After a year of virtual stein raising, the 53rd annual Oktoberfest is back for in-person entertainment at Mt. Angel. Return to the beloved Bavarian-inspired town for the weekend to enjoy its biergarten, bandstand, wiener-dog races and arts-and-craft booths. 

Tater Tot Festival, Ontario, Sept. 17-18, 2021: Welcome to the birthplace of the humble tater tot the former Ore-Ida factory in this out-of-the-way town on Oregon’s eastern border. Celebrate the nostalgic school-lunch treat with two days of tater-focused activities including an eating contest, live music, a carnival boardwalk, a cooking competition, games, a beer garden and plenty of tater-inspired food.

Klamath Independent Film Festival, Klamath Falls, Sept. 17-19, 2021: With a mix of virtual and in-person gatherings, 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.

Open Studios at NW Marine Art Works, Portland, Sept. 18-19, 2021: Don’t miss the opportunity to visit a spot where some of Portland’s best art is created. Home to more than 75 studios and 100 artists, NW Marine Art Works is opening its doors to allow art lovers to view paintings, photography, sculptures, jewelry and mixed media. The event will feature live music, food, drink and the chance to interact with the artists behind the displayed work. 

Portland Latin American Film Festival, virtual, Sept. 22-Nov. 17, 2021: This year’s virtual showcase will feature screenings of films and documentaries from Argentina, Guatemala, Mexico and Venezuela. Kicking off the event and marking its 20th anniversary is a special screening of Y Tu Mama Tambien by Academy Award-winner Alfonso Cuaron. 

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

October

BendFilm Festival, Bend, Oct. 7-17, 2021: With a mix of drive-ins and virtual screenings, the 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, Oct. 10, 2021: The chance to run a 10K across North America’s longest continuous truss bridge has returned. Runners can run in between the two states on the Astoria-Megler Bridge at this iconic race.  

Hood River Valley Harvest Fest, Hood River, Oct. 15-17, 2021: 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. 

West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta, Tualatin, Oct. 16, 2021: 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. In its 15th year, this fun-filled spectacle held at the Tualatin Lake at the Commons has gained a national reputation. 

Eastern Oregon Film Festival, La Grande, Oct. 21-23, 2021: Returning to the Liberty Theatre in downtown La Grande is the 12th annual Eastern Oregon Film Festival. Come watch the special screenings, listen in on Q&As with directors and learn all about the organization’s residency program.

Mount Pisgah Mushroom Show, Eugene, Oct. 31, 2021: Celebrate all things mushroom at a scaled-back version of this annual fundraiser, 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

November

Quiltopia Oregon, Salem, Nov. 5-6, 2021: Held at the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem, this annual quilt show includes demonstrations, raffles, a 2021 quilt challenge, and opportunities to take home quilts and other goodies from several vendors. 

Stormy Weather Arts Festival, Cannon Beach, Nov. 5-7, 2021: 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, Nov. 8-13, 2021: Story lovers, aspiring writers and wordsmiths of all kinds can geek out at the Portland Book Festival, held both virtually and in person. The festival includes author readings, writing classes and more. Saturday, Nov. 13, marks the big in-person festival at the Portland Art Museum and surrounding venues. 

Yachats Celtic Music Festival, Yachats, Nov. 12-14, 2021: 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
Author

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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