Oregon Fourth of July, Independence Day: Small Towns Still Rule
(Salem, Oregon) – The big city firework displays of Vancouver, Portland, Salem and Eugene get much of the media attention each year, but it’s always the small towns that still rule with that irresistible sense of Americana each Fourth of July.
We’ve put together just a sampler, but this little trip will take you to tiny towns and interesting events on the Fourth in the Willamette Valley, Oregon wine country, the southern coast, the north coast, southern Oregon, central Oregon, the Gorge and all the way to the deserts of eastern Oregon.
- Amity Vineyards Fourth of July BBQ (Wine Country, near McMinnville). Food, wine and music by Josh Clauson - lead vocalist from Seattle-based band Flowmotion. An RSVP is requested from those wishing to attend. $5 per person. 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. 18150 Amity Vineyards Road. Amity, Oregon. 503-835-2362.
- Ashland (southern Oregon). A full day of fun, sun, music, art, food, and big booms at night. Dancing afterwards. Includes a parade and an early morning run. Fireworks near Garfield Park. Ashland, Oregon.
- Baker City (eastern Oregon). Oregon Trail Fourth of July. See how the pioneers celebrated the Fourth of July as they made their way along the Oregon Trail. Based on documentation from pioneer journals, the day will include making ice cream, festive foods, black powder shooting, music, children’s games, and more. This activity takes place at the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. Cover charge. 22267 Hwy 86. Baker City, Oregon. 541-523-1843.
- Bend. Pet parade at 9:30 a.m., where children bring all kinds of pets (they’ve seen llamas, horses, lizards, goats, and lots of stuffed animals). No rabbits or cats please – but kids get a keepsake Popsicle. July 4th Festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Drake Park, with craft and food booths, old fashioned games like three legged races, watermelon eating and water balloon contests as well as live entertainment. Massive fireworks at dusk. Free. Bend, Oregon. (541) 389-7275.
- Brookings – Southern Oregon Coast. Fireworks display over Sporthaven Beach at the Port of Brookings Harbor.
- More Oregon Coast Fourth of July listings here, including extensive information for Florence, Yachats, Newport, Depoe Bay, Lincoln City, Pacific City, Tillamook, Garibaldi, Rockaway, Manzanita, Cannon Beach, Seaside and Astoria.
- Cascade Locks Marine Park. (Columbia Gorge). Vendors, music, family fun, and fireworks. View the fireworks display while aboard the Sternwheeler Columbia Gorge.(fee for excursion). http://www.cascadelocks.net
- Gervais (near Salem). Civil War Reenactment. As many as 800 participants recreate the living conditions and battles of 1863. Battles are scheduled at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Demonstrations of period music, fashion show and more. (Event also takes place July 3 – 5). 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Cover: $5. Willamette Mission State Park. 10991 Wheatland Road NE. Gervais, Oregon. (866) 904-6165.
- Monmouth/Independence (Willamette Valley, west of Salem). There are numerous events coinciding with the holiday that begin on July 1. There are movies in Riverview Park that night. July 2 features a carnival, music, car show, motorcycle show and vendors at Main Street Park in Monmouth. Fireworks in Independence on July 3 and 4. There is a $1 admission for these displays.
- Prairie City (near John day). This tiny town that’s big on charm has a parade, flapjack breakfast, fishing contest, sawing contest, clay shoot, tug war competition, horseshoe tournament, strawberry shortcake and kids events. Fireworks at dusk.
- Salem. Willamette Queen Sternwheeler hosts a lunch cruise from noon to 1 p.m. Call for costs. 101 Front St. NE (riverfront park downtown). Salem, Oregon. 503-371-1103.
- Silverton. Old Stuff on Main Street - An American Antique Fair. Discover treasures from the past as vendors set up on Silverton's Main Street. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. 503-873-6555.
- St. Paul. 75th Annual St. Paul Rodeo - "Tough Enough to Wear Pink." Includes a carnival, barbecue cook-off; Fourth of July Parade and fireworks. 20025 4TH St. NE. St Paul, Oregon. 503-633-2011. Admission prices are charged. (503) 633-2011.