Chances are most Oregon Coast travelers this spring and summer will find their way to Cannon Beach. For good reason: from celebrated art openings to a fat-bike festival, this scenic city’s fair-weather months offer an action-packed calendar. Here’s a seasonal preview.

Fat Biking Festival

Lately, fat biking has become sort of an outdoor sensation. What is it, exactly? Bikes with oversize (i.e., fat) tires help you float across surfaces where other bike tires would sink — such as wet sand. As one of Oregon’s most popular beach towns, it’s no surprise that Cannon Beach will stage the Coast’s first fat bike-specific event. The Cannon Beach Fat Bike Festival (April 20-22, 2018) is set to be a weekend packed with pedaling fun. The schedule includes bike demos, bonfires, craft beer, games and, of course, beach rides.

Spring Unveiling

Art lovers will fall for the 18th annual Spring Unveiling Arts Festival (May 4-6, 2018), when Cannon Beach’s 11 galleries part curtains to reveal new pieces created by their featured artists during winter months. Each gallery is given 40 minutes for unveilings, affording guests the time to move from gallery to gallery. The galleries also feature artist receptions for a few hours on Saturday evening, replete with Oregon beer, wine and live music.

Sandcastle Contest

Hugely popular and formally recognized as an Oregon Heritage Tradition, the 55th annual Sandcastle Contest occurs Saturday, June 9, 2018. Master sand shapers will join amateur enthusiasts to sculpt amazing 3D art in the fine beige beach sand. Vying for cash prizes, the professionals will craft large, mesmerizing works, so don’t forget your camera. Aside from the marquee Saturday event, the weekend will offer plenty of other activities to engage the entire family for this classic start to summer.

Plein Air

Fans of nature won’t want to miss Cannon Beach’s en plein air (in the open air) event, the 10th annual Plein Air & More (June 22-24 2018), featuring nearly 50 artists creating unique paintings throughout Cannon Beach. Additionally, leading up to the weekend, there will be six workshops hosted by well-known plein air fine artists: Mike Rangner, Gretha Lindwood, the mother-son duo of Hazel and Brand Schlesinger, Josh Henrie, Linda Gebhart and Michael Orwick. If you have ever wanted to capture Oregon Coast scenery with a paintbrush while feeling the sun and sea breeze on your face, this is a special opportunity for hands-on expertise in the nuances of light, shapes, shadows and composition. A vast spectrum of art mediums will be on display, from ceramics to woodworking to jewelry to sculpture and carving, all in a kid-friendly atmosphere, with live music, a stilt-walker, an “Artist’s Swarm,” local grub and grog, even a raku firing on the beach.

By Michael H. Kew

Photo courtesy of Travel Oregon