- Marcelina Morfin
The summer months in Oregon are bursting with incredible art and culture festivities. From cultural fetes and celebrations of food and drink to music festivals, there is a constant stream of experiences waiting to be discovered. Here we take a look at the ten best art and culture events in Oregon this summer.
Culture | World Beat Festival
Currently in its 17th season, the World Beat Festival is an award-winning annual cultural celebration — attended by tens of thousands of people — hosted by the Salem Multicultural Institute. One culture is always highlighted, and this year the spotlight is on Germany; however, up to 70 other cultures are represented each season as well, including those from North and South America, Africa, Europe and Asia Pacific. Visitors can watch traditional cultural dances, listen to music, sample delicious fare, such as Nepali momos or potstickers and lamb gyros, or experience different cultures by participating in traditional activities such as making a Swedish mahstang or maypole. It is a weekend jam-packed with fun activities for the entire family.
Music | Waterfront Blues Festival
The second largest blues festival in the United States is located in Portland along the Willamette River. Celebrating its 27th year, the award-winning Waterfront Blues Festival is a great musical event attracting over 100,000 blues aficionados whilst raising awareness and money to combat hunger throughout Oregon and parts of Washington. Top-notch musicians scheduled to appear on the four different stages this year include Los Lobos, Gregg Allman Band, Maceo Parker, and John Nemeth & The Bo-Keys to name but a few. Cruises featuring music and food and late night after parties are also on the agenda, and do not miss out on the spectacular fireworks show on the 4th July.
Food | Oregon Brewers Festival
One of the largest festivals in the nation celebrating craft beers is the Oregon Brew Fest, located on the west bank of the Willamette River in Portland. Established in 1988 as a little local event promoting local microbrews, it now attracts 85 brewers from around the nation offering 88 beers and tens of thousands of beer lovers wishing to try all of the tasty craft beers available. With many different styles of beers to choose from, including gluten-free options, food, live music, demonstrations, and a parade to kick off the event, it is great place to cool off with a cold brew, relax and have some fun.
Food | International Pinot Noir Celebration
The internationally renowned International Pinot Noir Celebration takes place in McMinnville on the Linfield College campus, and attracts wine aficionados from a variety of sectors, including restaurants, wine-makers, and the media. A ticketed event that takes place over three days, the IPNC celebrates all things Pinot Noir by offering guests tastings of the wine from all over the world, vineyard tours, seminar presentations, and several delicious meals, including a salmon bake, prepared by first class chefs from the Pacific Northwest. For those who want to experience the event for only one day, they offer a Passport of Pinot on Sunday that features all the wines highlighted during the weekend.
Music | Oregon Jamboree
Located in Sweet Home, a quaint community at the base of the beautiful Cascade Mountains, Oregon Jamboree is a fun filled weekend for country music lovers. Created 22 years ago as an economic stimulant for the community, the music festival has turned into a yearly event that attracts visitors from around the nation. Musical acts on the schedule to perform on two stages this year include Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw, Cassadee Pope, and Austin Webb to name but a few. With RV and tent camping sites, plenty of food stalls, and wine and beer gardens, visitors can stay the entire weekend and enjoy the music.
Oregon Jamboree, 860 18th Ave., Sweet Home, OR, USA, +1 541 367 8800
Culture | Scandinavian Festival
Celebrating its 54th season this summer, the Scandinavian Festival is an interactive cultural fete celebrating the Scandinavian heritage of Junction City — a small farming community in western Oregon. The four-day event attracts approximately 100,000 people who come to celebrate and experience the different Scandinavian cultures: Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, and Finnish. Events on the schedule this summer include traditional folk dances, crafters demonstrating cultural art such as hardanger embroidery and tatted lace, and a variety of delicious Scandinavian fare, including aebleskiver — tasty Danish pancakes in the shape of a sphere. Beer gardens and an Oregon microbrew and wine terrace are also available for the adults.
Various streets in Junction City, OR, USA, +1 541 998 9372
Food | Bite of Oregon
Located in Portland, Bite of Oregon is a wonderful festival celebrating the culture, food, and drinks of Oregon all the while benefiting the Special Olympics Oregon. Participants in this culinary event this year include several restaurants serving a variety of cultural dishes, nine vendors specialising in delectable desserts, several food carts, and other speciality food vendors. Plenty of wine and microbrews stalls are also available. The fan-favourite attraction, however, is the Oregon’s Bounty Chef Table where some of the best chefs create small plates of exquisite gourmet fare with ingredients grown and produced in Oregon, such as berries, potatoes, seafood, beef, and dairy. Plenty of entertainment is available as well, including culinary competitions, demonstrations, and live music. This event is truly a foodie’s haven.
Bite of Oregon, Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland, OR, USA, +1 503 248 0600
Art | Art in the High Desert
Located in Bend, Art in the High Desert is the premier juried fine art and craft show in Central Oregon. Run by artists and art advocates, the festival has been voted as one of the top 15 art shows in the nation and features artists from across the USA and Canada. Art lovers will find a wide range of media represented, including painting, drawing, photography, glass work, and jewellery to name but a few. Set in a beautiful location, along the banks of the Deschutes River, visitors can view unique art while interacting with the artists.
Art in the High Desert, SW Columbia St, Bend, OR, USA, +1 541 322 6272
Art | The Art of the Louvre’s Tuileries Garden
Until 21 September
Just in time for the summer, the Portland Art Museum presents the travelling exhibition The Art of the Louvre’s Tuileries Garden, which explores the notion of gardens as art. The beautiful and lush Tuileries Garden, which was the first public park in Paris, has had a profound effect on artists over the past few centuries, and this exhibition displays over 100 artworks that were inspired by the park. Paintings, sculptures, photographs, and drawings by artists, such as Camille Pissarro, Édouard Manet, and Henri Cartier-Bresson to name a few, reveal the splendour of the garden. The 17th century famed Versailles garden designer, André Le Nôtre, is also celebrated in this enlightening show. To go along with this exhibition, the museum has scheduled many events, including field trips, lectures, and even an concert, to encourage the audience to participate and explore their own public parks and gardens.
Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Ave., Portland, OR, USA, +1 503 226 2811
Theatre | Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Until 2 November
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival — located in Ashland — is one of the oldest non-profit theatres in the USA. Founded in 1935 with a production of Twelfth Night, this Tony award-winning organisation has grown rapidly; with three theatres — two indoor and one outdoor space — and many plays produced each season, the festival attracts over 400,000 people each year. Highlights from this season include The Tempest, which is at the indoor Angus Bowmer Theatre, The Comedy of Errors at the Thomas Theatre, and taking centre stage at the beautiful outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre, Richard III. With eight other plays, including works by Shakespeare, other classic playwrights, and contemporary plays, everyone will find something of interest this summer.
By Marcelina Morfin
You might also like...
6 Reasons Why You Need to Visit Oregon
See & Do
This City Might Start Offering 'Craft Cannabis' Bars to Its Visitors
See & Do
10 Non-Touristy Experiences in Portland, Oregon
See & Do
How to Spend 24 Hours in Portland, Oregon
See & Do
The Best Waterfalls In Central Oregon
See & Do
The 10 Most Beautiful Counties In Oregon
See & Do
The Top 10 Things To Do And See In Portland, Oregon
See & Do
The 10 Most Beautiful Towns In Oregon
See & Do
The USA's 10 Most Beautiful Bookshops
See & Do
Portland's 10 Unmissable Events and Festivals in September 2014
See & Do
Portland's 10 Best Cultural Events and Festivals this August
See & Do
A Guide To Oregon’s Best Fall Events In 2013