: Brooke Hoyer / Portland Winter Lights Festival

Oregon’s Wonderful Winter Events

November 22, 2021
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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.

Winter is upon us, and with shorter nights and colder temperatures, it’s tempting to hunker down at home. Yet Oregon offers plenty of excuses to get out and about during the coziest time of the year, or at least connect with the community via a virtual winter event. From bedazzling light displays to celebrations of the arts, here are some Oregon events that will have you ready to bundle up and head out the door.

Find a walk-through maze of twinkly lights and a snow-less tubing hill at the Silverton Christmas Market, a winter-time tradition at the Oregon Garden Resort.

December

Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights, Roseburg (Nov. 21, 2021–Jan. 1, 2022): Holiday-light fans won’t want to miss Riverforks Park’s annual drive-through experience, a fundraiser for the Roseburg Rotary Club. The festival features at least half a million lights throughout more than 90 displays, including animated Disney characters and the world’s largest nutcracker.

Holiday in the Grove, Forest Grove (Nov. 26, 2021–Dec. 17, 2021): Ring in the festive season with this annual celebration, which includes decorative storefronts, a stocking-design contest and a holiday-light parade. There’s also a virtual tree-lighting ceremony, ideal for experiencing the spirit of the season safely from the comfort of your living room.

Silverton Christmas Market, Silverton (Nov. 26, 2021–Jan. 9, 2022): This Oregon spin on a traditional German Christmas market includes food and gift vendors, visits from Santa and a biergarten with live music. There’s even a light path decked out with over a million twinkling fairy lights, and a snow-less tubing hill and hot cocoa for all-ages fun. 

Victorian Christmas, Jacksonville, (Nov. 27, 2021–Dec. 19, 2021): Celebrate Christmas like a Victorian with Jacksonville’s best-known annual event, which includes visits from Father Christmas, a tree-lighting ceremony and a Victorian-inspired Christmas parade.

Christmas Ships Parade, Portland (Dec. 3-21, 2021): Now in its 67th year, this annual tradition brings cheer to the Willamette and Columbia rivers, with parading boats decked out with colorful lights and holiday displays.

Sled dogs pull a musher on a snowy landscape
Cheer on the sled dogs and their humans at this classic winter event in Northeast Oregon. (Courtesy of of Eagle Cap Extreme Sled Dog Race)

January

Eagle Cap Extreme Sled Dog Race, Joseph (Jan. 19-22, 2022): This annual dog-mushing event in the snow-capped Wallowa Mountains features races ranging from 22 to 200 miles. You can visit with dogs and mushers the day before at vet checks, staged in Enterprise and Joseph.

First Taste Oregon, Salem, (Jan. 21-22, 2022): Taste a huge variety of wines, beers, ciders and spirits at this annual expo. There are also plenty of food booths, so you can also sample the region’s best eateries.

Fertile Ground, virtual (Jan. 27-Feb. 6, 2022): Hosted by the Portland Area Theatre Alliance, this annual festival provides a platform for local artists to bring their creations to a wider audience. 

Winter Music Festival, Florence (Jan. 28-29, 2022): Now in its 19th edition, this two-day event creates a platform for acoustic music artists, with a particular focus on folk-music performances.

 

A dragonboat is light up with against the dark river landscape
See the Deschutes River and Old Mill District in Bend light up each winter with colorful displays and activities for all ages. (Courtesy of OregonWinterFest)

February

Portland Winter Light Festival, Portland (Feb. 4-12, 2022): Now in its seventh year, this whimsical event adds sparkle to the late winter season, with immersive light installations all over the city. 

McMinnville Short Film Festival, McMinnville (Feb. 10-13, 2022): Watch short films from around the planet while sipping on local wine at this annual event.

Antique & Collectibles Week, Lincoln City (Feb. 12-21, 2022): Some of the best bargains on antiques in the state can be found at this coastal event, when Lincoln City’s myriad antique stores come together for a massive annual sale.

Oregon WinterFest, Bend (Feb. 18-20, 2022): Winter is feted in full force at this high-desert event, with live music, ice carving, food and craft vendors, and lots of activities for kids.

Winter Wings Festival, Klamath Falls (Feb. 18-20, 2022): Birds take center stage at this famous Southern Oregon birding hot spot, which offers presentations, guided walks and plenty of opportunities for immersing in nature. 

 

About The
Author

Margot Bigg
Margot Bigg grew up in Portland and England and after many years living in Europe and Asia (including six years in India), she once again calls the City of Roses home. When not traveling and writing, Margot spends her time studying new languages, discovering new music and seeking out new places to explore. She speaks English, French and Hindi, and is the author of Moon Living Abroad in India and Moon Taj Mahal, Delhi & Jaipur; and a co-author of Fodor's Essential India, Fodor's Oregon, and Fodor's Pacific Northwest.

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