Must-Do Summer Events
You’ve got surf, sun and 363 miles of public coastline — what more could you need for a quick summer trip to the Oregon Coast? How about a festival? Whether it’s kite-flying or chainsaw carving, dory boating or beer tasting, a diverse cross-section of visitors come together for these family-friendly events hosted by the Coast’s small-town communities all summer long. Here are a dozen worth exploring.
BBQ, Blues & Brews on the Bay
This celebration is all about the love of barbecue, with fellow carnivores on the South Coast gathered at the Mill Casino for some of the messiest, tastiest smoked meat and around.
Brookings Harbor Azalea Festival
Take in the pink, white, red and purple blossoms at their peak during this four-day Memorial Day weekend gala — complete with an art show, quilt show, car show, Party at the Port and Stout Mountain Railroad trains.
May 31-June 2
Yachats Pride Weekend
Get all dolled up for a prom, drag-o-thon, Loud & Proud Jamboree, best in show (pets and people) contest, lip sync and dance contest, transgender tea party and more at this unique celebration in the friendly town of Yachats.
Chainsaw Carving Championships
Now in its 19th year during Father’s Day weekend, this event draws visitors thrilled to watch carvers from all over the world produce awesome sculptures from a 10-foot log — everything from eagles and totem poles to knights and princesses.
Life’s a beach for dads to get to sample the craft beers, cider, wine and food vendors on tap during Father’s Day weekend on the sand at Wulfy Beach, on the shores of Tenmile Lake in Lakeside.
Also on Father’s Day, the food, drink, parade, royal court, kid zone, raffle prizes and slug races — yes, slug races — will be sure to delight at this 63rd annual event in small-town Waldport, next to scenic Alsea Bay.
Summer Kite Festival
Beginners to experts and everyone in between flock to Lincoln City’s D River State Recreation Site for two days of high-flying fun. Fly a kite, make a kite, be in a kite parade, meet kite experts and watch the sky filled with their enormous creations.
Toledo Summer Festival
What’s better than fireworks in the summer, even after the Fourth of July? Come for a major fireworks display as well as logging contest, carnival, food and crafts booths, beer garden, live band and parade during this action-packed weekend in this portside town.
Dory Days Festival
The dory boats are the main attraction at this 60th annual celebration — dory boat operators will be on hand to display their boats and meet visitors. But there’s also live music, kids’ activities, a fish fry and more.
The parade and royal court are quite a spectacle, but a number of other activities round out the weekend well — a movie in the park, fun run through downtown Astoria, rose planting, food, drink, music and a kid zone with inflatables.
Tillamook County Fair
Here, you’ll see cows and chickens, fill up on fair food, enjoy carnival rides and have a chance to win bragging rights to the Ugliest Cake Contest or a Dairy Dessert Bake-off, so get those recipes going.
Pirates Treasure Hunt
Teams of four at this quirky event get to don pirate costumes, gather clues, compete to find secret treasure around Depoe Bay and enjoy the company of their fellow mates in Oregon’s whale watching capital.
— Jen Anderson
Lincoln City Kite Festival photo by Cody Cha