Marjory Hamann

Marjory Hamann is the executive director of the Elkton Community Education Center.

The town of Elkton is putting out the welcome mat Labor Day weekend for our annual Fort Umpqua Days Celebration.

Festivities begin Saturday at 7 a.m. with a pancake breakfast by the Elkton Lions Club at the Elkton Community Education Center (ECEC).

Claim your seat on River Drive for the 10 a.m. parade, then follow the parade back to ECEC to watch historic Fort Umpqua come to life.

Historic re-enactors from throughout the Pacific Northwest are traveling to Fort Umpqua to demonstrate blacksmithing, banjo playing, spinning, weaving, butter churning, wooden spoon carving, cider making and bead work.

Visit a trappers’ camp, learn Native American sign language, visit the petting zoo, enjoy kids’ activities and tour the trading house and barracks to see how the original fort residents lived in the mid-1880s.

The fun spills out beyond the fort walls with artisan booths, an antique bike display, wine tasting and tours of the butterfly pavilion at ECEC. The band Contra Swings performs at 11 a.m. Saturday, followed by a lively pie auction at 1:00 p.m. with auctioneer Sam Lee. Joe Ross performs Sunday at 11:30 a.m., and you can enjoy lunch by the Elkton Baptist Church both days.

Down the road, Farm Pickins Mercantile is showcasing more than 30 local artisans and craftsmen who reflect a unique Pacific Northwest lifestyle and aesthetic. Locally made goods include Cabin Fever’s original lavender products and gifts; youth entrepreneurs’ Trevyn Luzier and Gabe Williamson’s hand-forged iron works and hand-tied fishing flies; as well as original artwork, pottery and wood products.

Farm Pickins Mercantile, a home goods store featuring vintage and repurposed finds, farmhouse décor, espresso drinks, Umpqua ice cream, and delicious desserts, is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in downtown Elkton.

Elkton’s wineries and restaurants will be open all weekend. Look for wine specials around town, like Brandborg Vineyard & Winery’s “Fort Umpqua” package which includes one bottle each of Riesling and Gewurztraminer wine for $20 (a $34 value).

Back at ECEC, find the Defy Industries booth to learn how business owner Alan Mooney is bringing glass and plastic recycling back to North Douglas County. Kids can “upcycle” plastic bags into usable items like jump ropes and wallets, and build a custom doll with artist Samantha Fitzgibbon.

The booth is also a drop-off site for electronic recycling including computers, printers, cell phones, household batteries and ink cartridges.

A highlight of the two day event is ECEC’s 20th birthday party Saturday evening. The party starts at 5 p.m. in the outdoor amphitheater and features light comedy, music, memories from ECEC founder Carol Beckley and others, a pulled pork “Chuck Wagon” dinner by Brandborg Winery and a special performance by musical headliners The Slow Ponies.

Admission to the party and concert are free (donations encouraged). Dinner is $15 for adults; no charge for kids 10 and under.

Plan your trip to Fort Umpqua Days at where you’ll find an event calendar and links to area businesses. Event admission and parking is free and RV parking is available.

See you in Elkton!

Marjory Hamann is the executive director of the Elkton Community Education Center.

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