As children, nothing beats the last day of school before summer begins. Waking up with the sun in your window, your favorite outfit laid out for the day, and the whole summer of freedom ahead of you. At school we signed each other's yearbooks, made plans with friends, and said "see you next year" to classmates. Every summer my family headed to the coast to throw crab nets in the Alsea Bay and eat salt water taffy on the Yaquina Bay docks as we watched sea lions bark at each other. Summer activities filled the weekends. Camping trips, visits to the Oregon Zoo and Oregon Coast Aquarium, and swimming at the lake were on every summer's to-do list.
The Willamette Valley has many summer traditions to celebrate with friends and family this year:
At Monteith Riverpark in Albany, you can taste local cuisine from the food trucks of an outdoor concert called River Rhythms every Thursday afternoon. For nearly 40 years, River Rhythms has held concerts in the park with many great artists taking the stage. To include, Matt Kearney, Smash Mouth, Sugarland, and Dixie Chicks.
See who will be on stage this summer on Thursday nights at 7:00pm:
In Lebanon, the first weekend of June has been filled with events and activities for over 100 years at the Strawberry Festival! Witness the Grand Parade, cheer for your favorite race car number at the Willamette Speedway Napa Strawberry Cup, listen to the lead singer of Journey, and eat cotton candy at the Strawberry Festival carnival.
Tickets are for purchase at:
Northwest Art and Air Festival
Flying with my Grandad in the summer was definitely a highlight for me as a kid. I couldn't wait to ask my neighbor if he could see me fly over the first time I spotted my house from the plane. We also took up R/C plane flying at the Brian Unwin Field in Adair Village, where we met WW2 pilots who taught me how to fly my R/C plane.
Have your kids take flight this summer from the Albany Municipal Airport on a free flying experience that will last a lifetime during the Northwest Art and Air Festival. You can also view the world from a hot air balloon ride, listen to music in Timber-Linn Park, enjoy the displays of local art, and witness the glow of the Festival's Night Glow Event:
Oregon Jamboree Music Festival
The Oregon Jamboree Music Festival in Sweet Home is also a guarantee for fun at the end of July. Music and events for this year's Jamboree are found at:
River Float Rentals and Shuttle
Many events have taken place on the Valley's river over the years. I grew up watching fun, creative, and wacky boats attempt to stay afloat during Corvallis' Da Vinci Days and heard stories of people floating canoes, drift boats, and home-made rafts from Corvallis to Albany during the Slack Water Drift event in the 80's.
This summer we hope to start a new and exciting tradition with a river float rental and shuttle service on the Willamette River every Saturday and Sunday in Corvallis. Kayaks, rafts, and river tubes will be available to rent with a shuttle included. Willamette Tides will have multiple floats to choose from along with a self-guided camping trip on the river.
Book your float on our site: