Oregon Country Fair goers, enjoying the outdoors and magic. Jen Blue/The Creswell Chronicle
I hope you’re enjoying the wonderful Fourth of July celebrations taking place in many Lane County towns and neighboring communities. As residents of Junction City for a quarter century, we often snuck across the county line (as did many of our neighbors) to Harrisburg, where every year for decades now, folks have gathered on the banks of the Willamette River for an inspiring display celebrating our nation’s birth.
Florence’s Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration brings many to the Siuslaw bayfront for one of the best fireworks displays on the coast. And of course, Creswell has also become a Fourth of July destination for many in the southern Willamette Valley. The Chronicle highlighted Creswell’s celebration in a special preview edition.
But the Fourth of July is just the beginning of summer of festivities across Lane County – some as celebrations of heritage and others as celebrations of our cultural quirkiness and diversity.
OREGON COUNTRY FAIR:
VENETA, JULY 11 – 13
On the quirky and diverse side, for one weekend every year, on the banks of the Long Tom River near Veneta, a grove of oak trees and grassy meadows becomes a bustling remembrance of the ”Peace and Love” generation as the Oregon Country Fair.
Next weekend, the population of Veneta will swell by tens of thousands. The Country Fair attracts about 70,000 visitors in addition to the 20,000 or more people who work at the event, providing every imaginable service to the thousands of visitors.
A little like a Star Trek convention, people come ”in character,” adorned in tie-dye, glitter, body paints and throwback ’60s apparel. And people-watching aside, add classical to rock music and vaudeville-style performances continually presented on several stages scattered throughout the countryside venue, plus arts and crafts and great food, and you begin to realize why this is one of Lane County’s most popular and largest three-day events.
The Country Fair runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets and parking passes must be purchased in advance. Free public transportation will be available.
More info: oregoncountryfair.org
BOHEMIA MINING DAYS:
COTTAGE GROVE, JULY 18-20
Our neighbors in Cottage Grove celebrate their mining heritage July 18-20. Bohemia Mining Days recaptures the era of the discovery of gold in the hills just east of town. Now in its 16th year, entertainment at the Bohemia Mining Days festival include a couple of parades, a carnival with rides and food booths, live music, a costume contest and a treasure hunt, plus historical talks and covered bridge tours.
More info: bohemiaminingdays.org/
LOWELL, JULY 26-28
Just up Highway 58 in Lowell, the Blackberry Jam runs July 26-28. Food, live music, a car show and community parade are at the top of the event’s agenda.A horseshoe-tossing competition, quilt show and even a fishing derby are also on tap for this genuine small-town fair.
More info: blackberryjamfestival.com
JUNCTION CITY, AUG. 8 – 11
Up in Junction City, the Scandinavian Festival begins its four-day run Aug. 8 – 11. It’s a celebration of the Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian and Danish settlers that turned the soggy pastures of the Willamette Valley into a still-growing community.
Featuring food, dance and music, the festival is a cultural experience of traditions passed down for generations, all held on the streets of Junction City. You will also find traditional artists, along with more contemporary displays of locally produced arts and crafts for sale.
More info: junctioncityscandia.org/festival.