Cities in Douglas County seem to save their best for summer. Festivals return to the Umpqua Valley this year, drawing people from their houses to bask in the sunshine.
Each town has something to offer as artists collaborate, car enthusiasts congregate and athletes compete in festivals across the county. Get outside to enjoy the sunshine while it lasts, and before the warmth yields to another gray Southern Oregon winter.
BLOOMS AND BUTTERFLIES FESTIVAL — June 21. 7 a.m. till dusk. Elkton Community Education Center honors the end of spring by celebrating the season’s best attributes. A 5k and 10k butterfly run and walk, pancake breakfast, barbecue, used book sale, tours of Fort Umpqua, vendor booths with garden items, art on display and live music are included. 541-584-2692.
UMPQUA VALLEY SUMMER ARTS FESTIVAL — June 27-29. The county’s biggest arts show unfolds with more than 130 artists’ booths spread across the grounds of Fir Grove Park in Roseburg. Live music ranging from Celtic to country and rock ‘n’ roll, as well as a variety of talent, will be featured on two stages over the three-day event. Music can also be found in the Acoustic Annex, where musicians will play throughout the day. Furniture makers, painters, potters, wood carvers, jewelry makers and others display their works, while a caravan of food vendors offers diverse entree selections, snacks beverages and desserts. Beer and wine will be available for adults, and the Kid’s Zone offers crafts and face-painting activities for kids of all ages. $3 admission fee; kids 6 and younger get in free. 541-672-2532.
RIDDLE SAWDUST JUBILEE — July 3-4. This annual Fourth of July celebration boasts South Douglas County’s largest fireworks display. Expect annual traditions such as a parade, outhouse race, barbecue, car show, food and game booths and music at this year’s jubilee, which has been moved back to Main Street. 541-643-2758.
GRAFFITI WEEKEND — July 9-13. The celebration marks its 33rd year in 2014. Roseburg flashes back to the 1950s and early ’60s for this celebration, patterned after the car-crazy youths in the film “American Graffiti.” Auto events include show-and-shines, a poker run, a car auction, antique and working truck show, cruises in downtown Roseburg, Winston and Sutherlin, and a fun run from Roseburg to Seven Feathers Casino Resort in Canyonville. Other events include a barbecue at Sherm’s Thunderbird, music, booths and downtown sidewalk sales. 1-800-444-9584 and graffitiweekend.com.
OCEAN FESTIVAL — July 18-20. The sea takes center stage for this coastal celebration in Reedsport and Winchester Bay. Enjoy the Bayside Bazaar, a three-block area filled with arts, crafts, collectibles, food, live entertainment and more in Winchester Bay. There are handmade quilts, village-wide yard sale, myrtlewood projects, Coast Guard rescue demonstrations. And, as always, a seafood barbecue. Children’s ocean-themed games have been added with dunk tanks, crab pot stacking contests, sand castle building and eel tosses. 541-662-6088.
MYRTLE CREEK SUMMER FESTIVAL — July 25-27. Numerous food booths, games and arts and crafts vendors gather in Millsite Park. Includes an arm-wrestling contest, a Saturday morning parade and evening fireworks. Sponsored by the Myrtle Creek Lions Club, the event also features live music and theater performances. 541-733-4985.
NORTH DOUGLAS COUNTY FAIR — July 25-26. Celebrating its 92nd year, this event is touted as the longest continuously running fair in Oregon. The old-fashioned country fair is celebrated in the historic timber community of Drain. Music, food, crafts and dance are planned at the Drain Civic Center, with a parade. Past events have included a carnival, reptile exhibit, pie auction, arts and crafts exhibits, live music with area bands and merchants drawings. 541-836-2330.
DUNEFEST — July 30- Aug. 3. Thousands of ATV enthusiasts are drawn to Winchester Bay, the heart of the Oregon Dunes, for American sand drag races, poker run and more. In addition to all the action on the sand, there are vendor booths, food, music and exhibitions featuring the latest products and vehicles. Show buggies and quads are also on display and for sale. Burger and dog feed, sand dune treasure hunt, tire toss, show and shine, monster truck rides, raffle and prize patrol. 541-271-3495 or 800-247-2155 or dunefest.com.
CELTIC HIGHLAND GAMES — Aug. 16-17. Bagpipe music and jigs await those who attend this celebration of Scottish, Welsh and Irish culture in Winston’s Riverbend Park. Ethnic food, along with various competitions and games, will provide entertainment for the entire family. Edged weapons competition, youth athletic competition, and caber toss and hammer toss. 541-673-7463 or dcscots.org.
SUTHERLIN BLACKBERRY FESTIVAL — Aug. 15-17. Event celebrates its 26th year and kicks off on Friday night with a cruise-in dance and barbecue. There are a car show and cruise on Saturday and mud races on Sunday. The festival features a variety of entertainment, a blackberry cooking contest, a chili cook-off, BMX bike races, diaper derby, lawn mower race, Saturday night cruise, a motorcycle show, mud volleyball and a car raffle. Food and craft booths are part of the fun at this event held in Sutherlin’s Central Park. 541-459-5829, 541-459-3007 or blackberry-festival.org.
CANYONVILLE PIONEER DAYS — Aug. 21-23. Old-fashioned, small-town fun is the backbone for this community event held at Pioneer Park, now in its 48th year. Past Pioneer Days have offered barbecues and pie auctions, cake walks and bingo, a parade, bed race, frog jumps, tug of war, lawn mower race, an antiques and collectibles show, and dances. 541-839-4291.
KOOL COASTAL NIGHTS — Aug. 22-23. Classic car enthusiasts from around the Northwest cruise to Beach Boulevard in Winchester Bay for this event, which includes more than 400 classics, a muffler rapping contest, burnout and open header contest, a show-and-shine and Parade of Champions, ’50s harbor cruise, poker walk and street dance Saturday night. Free to the public; registration fee for car show and contest. 541-236-2600.
ELKTON FORT UMPQUA DAYS – Aug. 30-31. A Saturday morning parade marks the beginning of a two-day celebration of country life. Featured are crafts and food booths, art show, games, Fort Umpqua tours, historic activities, music, pancake breakfast, barbecue dinner, butterfly release, bass tournament and a historical pageant. Held at the Elkton Community Education Center on Highway 38 West. 541-584-2692.
WINSTON-DILLARD MELON FESTIVAL — Sept. 12-14. Dillard’s claim to fame used to be its melon production. Today, contestants face off in a contest to see who can swallow the most melon chunks. Other contests and competitions are scheduled and a variety of live entertainment is offered as well as food, craft and game booths. This will be the 46th Melon Festival. Held at Riverbend Park in Winston. 541-679-0118.