Memorial Day has come and gone and that means summer is officially here! Summer truly is a magical time in Oregon’s Washington County. From strawberry, lavender and garlic festivals to fun, quirky and patriotic events, nearly each weekend during the season celebrates the richness of culture, agriculture and community throughout the region.
Here’s a preview of this summer’s multi-day events and festivals:
Dixie Mountain Grange Strawberry Festival, June 15-16: Sample fresh, Oregon berries at this annual Father’s Day weekend event. A tradition since 1952, the Dixie Mountain Grange hosts the popular Strawberry Festival, which features strawberry shortcake made with freshest ingredients, a quilt display, local craft booths and fresh local strawberries for purchase.
Festival of Balloons in Tigard, June 21-23: Join in an annual Tigard event offering fun for all ages. Weekend events will include a carnival, exhibitors, food, Twilight Run, Safety Safari, Festival of Cars, premiere youth soccer tournament, Rogue beer and morning hot air balloon launches (5:45 – 6:15 am) and NW Natural Night Glow launches (weather permitting)!
Oregon Lavender Festival, July 13-14: Enjoy visiting lavender farms at the height of the growing season, where each farm offers its own selection of different varieties, as well as activities special to this festival, including: lavender bouquet cutting, live music, food for purchase and other vendors. Visit each destination’s website for details. Participating locations in Washington County include: Barb’s Dutchmill Herbfarm, Helvetia Lavender Farm, Jackson School Lavender and Mountainside Lavender. Admission to the farms is free.
The 12th Annual Northwest String Summit, July 18-21: Get your bluegrass on at this four-day bluegrass and Americana music festival, held at Horning’s Hideout. This year’s festival features 26 artists–including three nights of headliner, Yonder Mountain String Band. Three-day and four-day passes are available, and tickets include primitive on-site camping and limited parking. Tickets start at $155, children 10 and under are free with a paying adult.
Sherwood Robin Hood Festival, July 19-21: For more than a half a century, Sherwood has celebrated Robin Hood, his Merry Men and Maid Marian. Medieval times come to life with Renaissance reenactments, a knighting ceremony, archery competition, castle building contest, parade, food, arts and crafts, live entertainment and other fun activities for the entire family. Admission is free.
Washington County Fair, July 25-28: The annual Washington County Fair returns to the Washington County Fair Complex in Hillsboro with a weekend of carnival rides, live music and entertainment, food and more. Admission is free; individual events may have admission fees.
2013 Oregon International Air Show, July 26-28: The Oregon International Air Show is one of the premier aviation events in the Pacific Northwest, and features some of the best in aviation from all over the United States and Canada. The Entertainment Center, KidZone and Military Village offer exciting displays and fun for kids and adults alike. Local vendors will be on hand selling everything from souvenirs to tasty food. Tickets start at $20 ($25 after July 19); discounts for seniors, military and kids, ages 6-12.
Best of Oregon Food & Wine Festival, August 9-10: The fifth annual Best of Oregon Food & Wine Festival returns to Washington County to showcase Oregon’s culinary culture with dozens of world-class wineries, restaurants and numerous culinary artisans.
Summer Fest & Garlic Out West, August 9-11: Experience two evenings and three days of good music, food, entertainment, and fun at the 2013 Summer Fest & Garlic Out West. This event offers a 10k Run with Oregon Road Runners, a vintage Car Show, old fashioned parade down Main Street and a Pancake Breakfast. Kids can enjoy a full-size playground, exciting inflatables play area and rock wall. Free admission.
Tualatin Crawfish Festival, August 9-10: Celebrate good eating–and the city of Tualatin’s 100th birthday–at the Tualatin Crawfish Festival, the nation’s oldest crawfish festival, west of the Mississippi. This is a two-day, fun-filled family event with a variety of food, entertainment, contests, activities for all ages and more.
Oregon Garlic Festival, August 16-18, and the Annual Banks Bar-B-Que and Truck & Tractor Pull, August 17-19: Formerly known as the North Plains Garlic Festival, the Oregon Garlic Festival will be held in neighboring Banks, Oregon, in conjunction with the annual Banks BBQ and Truck & Tractor Pull. This popular community event must be seen to be believed, and features a combine destruction derby, parade, car show, truck tug-of-war, garden tractors and more. General admission is free. Grandstand admission starts at $10 for adults, $5 for kids, ages 6-16.
Oregon Renaissance Festival, Weekends, Saturday, Aug. 24 – Sunday, Sept. 29: Transport yourself to a 16th century European village at the inaugural Oregon Renaissance Festival, in town for 13 days of merriment. Enjoy talented artists, non-stop stage entertainers, food, crafts, pageantry and encounter beautiful maidens, wandering minstrels, joking jesters and jugglers. Magicians, acrobats, comedians, swordfighters, pirates and fairies will entertain and delight. Be sure to meet the “washing well wenches” and daily performance of an armored jousting. Feast on renaissance-inspired food and drink, including: savory turkey legs, steak on a stake, bangers & mash and chocolate-covered cheesecake.
For a complete list of summer events, including one-day annual events and special events, please visit the WCVA’s Events & Festivals Calendar.