Fall Events Guide 2023: 30 fun outings to liven up your fall season (2023)

Once summer winds down and the bulk of the fair season is complete, fall almost seems tame in comparison. Sure, there’s plenty of art events and on-stage shows kicking in including Visual Arts, Theater, Dance, and Classical Music, but with the turn in the weather, fairs, festivals, and outdoor events might seem in short supply. But fall is the season of Oktoberfests, including the return of the popular Oaks Park Oktoberfest!

And if German culture and beer isn’t your jam, we’ve also included plenty of indoor and outdoor entertainment options. Head to the beach for a fall kite festival, or out to Pendleton for the Roundup. Rose City Comic Con is back in September, and several art festivals take place prior to the holiday season. We’ve gathered a list of 30 events to liven up your fall calendar.

Fall Events Guide 2023: 30 fun outings to liven up your fall season (1)

Mount Angel Oktoberfest: The small Willamette Valley town of Mount Angel hosts what is arguably the key Oktoberfest of the season. Each year thousands travel to the farming community to enjoy live German music, plenty of brats and beers, and strolling the streets lined with food and art vendors. There are activities for children, street dances, a car show, wiener dog races, as well as beer and wine gardens.

Thursday-Sunday, Sept. 14-16, in Mount Angel, some attractions charge admission; oktoberfest.org.

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Pendleton Roundup: The line-up of events for the annual Roundup is as long as your arm. Sure, you can see cowboy sports from bull riding to calf roping, but there’s also a huge parade through downtown on Friday, that doesn’t allow any motorized vehicles, but instead highlights modes of transportation from days gone by including full oxen teams, mules, and of course, horseback riders. There’s also an outdoor cowboy breakfast each morning, live music concerts, and vendors.

Wednesday-Saturday, Sept. 13-15, Pendleton; ticket prices vary; pendletonroundup.com/p/tickets1.

Seaside Sandfest: Eight professionals create works of sand art over the course of four days. There will also be sand sculpting workshops, live entertainment, and food vendors.

Thursday-Sunday, Sept. 14-17, on the Prominade at First Avenue, Seaside; free admission; Seasidesandfest.com.

Elktoberfest: If you’re not into driving down to Mount Angel, the Vancouver area has a popular German festival this month as well. Enjoy beer, sausages, and live music as the Elks of Vancouver host the third annual weekend of German merry-making. Along with live music, the Elks offer yard games during this annual membership drive open to all ages.

Friday-Saturday, Sept. 15-16, in the backyard of the lodge, 11605 S.E. McGillivray Blvd., Vancouver; free admission; elks823.org/events-2.

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SOLVE’s Statewide Beach and Riverside Cleanup: Several site around the state will get a sprucing up this fall as SOLVE once again hosts a selection of clean up projects focusing on beaches and riversides. Portland-area clean up site include Hagg Lake, Alton Baker Park, Cathedral Park, and the Concordia neighborhood. Check the website for a site near you, or create your own! Beach locations are also available along the Oregon coast. The event is held Sept. 9-17, but the main events are generally held Sept. 16.

Saturday, Sept. 16. See website for locations and schedules; free; solveoregon.org/beach-riverside-cleanup.

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Wings Over Willapa Festival (Long Beach, Wash.): Head to the southern Washington coastline for four days of bird watching at one of the most scenic parts of the Washington coast. The Friends of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service join forces for a bird and art festival held during the height of the fall migration season. Take a guided bird walk or a barge trip to Long Island, or learn about wildlife tracking. The art show includes works in pottery, ceramics and needle felting. Registration is requested in advance.

Friday-Sunday, Sept. 22-24, along the peninsula at 7112 67th Place, Long Beach, Wash; free. For details and directions call 360-642-3860.

Corvallis Fall Festival: The first Corvallis Fall Festival was held in 1973 and this year’s event will mark 50 years of free family fun in the mid-Willamette Valley city. Stroll through artists booths and discover new works in paintings, ceramics, glass, jewelry, metal, photography, textiles, upcycled art, and wood working. There’s live music all day from funk to gospel. The event also includes fun runs of varying lengths. The Art Discovery Zone is a family area that promises puppet shows, storytelling, harp music, an interactive drum circle, youth performers and other performances.

Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 23-24, Central Park, downtown Corvallis, 650 N.W. Monroe Ave.; corvallisfallfestival.org (no pets allowed).

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Lincoln City Fall Kite Festival: Lincoln City’s fall Kite Festival is a longstanding family tradition across the Pacific Northwest. Sure, schools back on, but there’s still plenty of great weather to be had (not guaranteed, of course) along Oregon’s beaches. Watch two days of kite-flying activities, see demos by experts, learn to make your own kite, or just sit in the sand and take in the colorful spectacle.

Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 23-24, D River State Recreation Site, Lincoln City; free; oregoncoast.org/events/.

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Oaks Park Oktoberfest: It’s been a minute since Oaks Park hosted its popular Bavarian-themed fall festival. But it’s back for the first time since 2019, and guests can expect plenty of beer, brats, and bands. Come dressed in your favorite pair of lederhosen (What? You don’t have several pairs?) and dance to oompah bands and sing along to polka tunes. Cheer on your favorite hot dog during the wiener dog races.

Friday-Sunday, Sept. 22-24, Oaks Amusement Park, 805 S.E. Oaks Park Way; gate admission $5-$7 (there is also a parking fee); oakspark.com/oktoberfest.

Buoy Beer Oktoberfest (Astoria): Beers, brats and oom-pah highlight this one-day event that includes a stein-holding competition. Free admission, and all ages are welcome.

Saturday, Sept. 23, Astoria Armory, 1636 Exchange St., Astoria; newschoolbeer.com/oregon-festival-calendar.

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Rose City Comic Con 2023: Portland’s fall pop culture convention happens late September and includes three days of family-friendly comics, gaming, sci-fi, cosplay, anime, fantasy, and chances to meet some of top celebrities including Zoe Saldana from “Guardians of the Galaxy,” as well as authors and comic book artists.

Friday-Sunday, Sept. 22-24, Oregon Convention Center, 777 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd; tickets start at $48, kids ages 3-10 tickets $15; rosecitycomiccon.com/badges/.

Bend Fall Festival: This annual fall event in downtown Bend is one of the biggest of the year. Stroll through more than 80 booths offering fine art and crafts including pottery, photography, fiber arts, 2D fine art, 3D fine art and sculpture, and home and garden pieces. The festival also features live music daily and food booths.

Friday-Sunday, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, Downtown Bend; free admission; bendfallfestival.com/schedule-of-events.

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Leavenworth Oktoberfest: It’s a bit of a drive from the Portland area, but well worth it for a visit to this charming Bavarian-themed town set in the mountains of central Washington. There are three weekends of Oktoberfest fun, but lodging books up early, so make your plans now.

Fridays-Saturdays, Sept. 29-30, Oct. 6-7, & 13-14, Leavenworth Washington; leavenworth.org/oktoberfest.

Oregon Potters Association Fall Fair: This market-style event offers work by more than 30 area ceramic artists hosted by Cornell Farm Nursery & Café. Browse everything from kiln-fired plates, bowls, and mugs to one-of-a-kind sculptures, as well as many other types of handmade pieces. Along with the ceramic show, guests can check out the photo-worthy pumpkin patch featuring locally-grown pumpkins and handcrafted scarecrows.

Friday-Sunday, Sept. 30-Oct. 1, Cornell Farm Nursery, 8212 S.W. Barnes Road, free admission; cornellfarms.com.

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Portland Marathon: Lace up your running shoes and join your jogging buddies for this annual race through the streets of Portland, including running over four bridges, past the Portland Japanese Garden, along the south waterfront, and on Portland’s Eastbank Esplanade. There’s also a half-marathon options for those who prefer it. Non-racers should be ready for some street closures on the event date. There’s still time to register.

Sunday, Oct. 1, staging at Waterfront Park between Southwest Salmon and Columbia streets along Naito Parkway; registration $150-$180; portlandmarathon.com/register.

Portland Greek Festival: After six decades, the Greek Festival has a great reputation for sharing Greek Orthodox faith and rich culture with more than 15,000 guests annually. The festival has been designated as an Oregon Heritage Tradition by the Oregon Heritage Commission, and each year a portion of proceeds benefit philanthropic endeavors in the greater Portland community. Check it out this October and fill up on the sights, sounds, and tastes of the Greek isles.

Friday-Sunday, Oct. 6-8 at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 3131 N.E. Glisan St.; admission $5, ages 12 and younger free; portlandgreekfestival.com.

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Portland Tattoo Expo: Have you been thinking of getting a tattoo, but don’t know where to start? The annual Tattoo Expo is the perfect place to see artist create live art each day of the event. You can meet the artists, see what type of style they have, and even get a new tattoo during the event. If you’re not quite ready for that, meet artists, get inspired, and make an appointment for your own body art at some point in the future.

Friday-Sunday, Oct. 6-8, Expo Center, 2050 N. Marine Drive; day pass $20 advance $25 day of; portlandtattooexpo.com.

Kennedy School Octoberfest: Just when you thought all the Oktoberfests were done with (they’re generally held in September -- long story) the Kennedy School offers a fun family festival that features handcrafted ales, polka dancing, German food, and plenty of live music. Sample 24 beers and ciders from Germany as well as some local German-inspired brews.

Saturday, Oct. 7, Kennedy School, 5736 N.E. 33rd Ave.; $30 advance, $35 at door, includes 10 drink tokens; mcmenamins.com/events.

Oregon Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: The 16th annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony includes a concert featuring The Delines, formed in Portland in 2014 with Richmond Fontaine’s Willy Vlautin, Sean Oldham and Freddy Trujillo along with vocalist Amy Boone. The event honors “Oregonians who significantly influenced the world of music from here in Oregon.” It’s also a benefit for music education in the state. The evening is often a “who’s who” of music notables.

Saturday, Oct. 7, Aladdin Theater, 3017 S.E. Milwaukie Ave.; general admission $30; etix.com/ticket.

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Great Columbia Crossing 10K (Astoria): Run or walk the longest continuous truss bridge in North America and take in the spectacular scenery where the Columbia River spills into the Pacific Ocean. The race starts at 8:45 a.m. with shuttles running from locations in Astoria, Oregon and Chinook, Washington to the start line at Dismal Nitch, Washington.

Sunday, Oct. 8, parking and shuttle locations are explained on the website. Early registration is recommended as the number of race participants it limited; registration $50; oldoregon.com/the-great-columbia-crossing.

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Annual Hood River Valley Harvest Fest: Stroll through stands full of produce including apples, pears, squash, flowers, plants, herbs and more. If you normally get your apples from a grocery store, you may be wonderfully surprised to taste the explosion of flavor and feel the real crunch of an apple recently plucked from a tree. Stock up for the season. There will also be live music daily, arts and crafts booths, and plenty of food.

Friday-Sunday, Oct. 13-15, Hood River Event Site, Portway Ave., Hood River; admission $10-$12, kids 12 and younger free; hoodriverharvestfestival.com.

Sitka Art Invitational: Those who like to get a jump on their holiday shopping for the nature lover on their list can score some amazing gifts during The Sitka Art Invitational, a juried art exhibition and sale held in October. The event brings together work by more than 100 nature-inspired regional artists including pieces in sculpture, ceramic, metalwork, glass, book arts, fiber arts, mixed media, photography, prints, and paintings. Art sales are split 50/50 between the artist and the Sitka Center. Organizers say more than 2,000 art collectors and enthusiasts attend the show each year.

Friday-Sunday, Oct. 13-15, Oregon Contemporary, 8371 N. Interstate Ave.; donations requested; sitkacenter.org/event.

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Portland Open Studios: Experience art creation up close during this two-weekend, free, art studio tour that takes place in venues across Portland. More than 100 artists have been chosen to open their studios to the public, demonstrating and talking about their process, and explain the tools they use when working on their craft. A free map will be available at portlandopenstudios.com closer to the event date.

Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 14-15 and 21-22 various venues; portlandopenstudios.com.

The Oddities & Curiosities Expo: This event for the lovers of the strange, unusual and bizarre returns in 2023. Browse through vendor booths that cater to all things “weird” from across the country. Take in a taxidermy class (additional fee, see website), visit the museum of oddities, and catch a live stage show.

Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 21-22, Oregon Convention Center, 777 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd; tickets $12; ticketswest.com/events.

Washington County Open Studios Tour: Welcomes art lovers to this annual free event happening in 50 studios across Washington County. Visitors simply show up at any of the venues during the event hours. No tickets required. A map of studio locations will be available closer to the event.

Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 21-22; free; washcoart.org/artists-and-galleries.

Portland QDoc Film Festival: Celebrating 15 years of LGBTQ+ documentaries and their makers, the QDoc Film Festival offers three days of independent films hosted by the Hollywood Theatre. According to the promotors, QDoc is the only festival in the U.S. devoted exclusively to LGBTQ+ documentaries. Programing and featured films will be announced later in the season. Organizers expect to highlight 10-15 curated films and welcome their makers to Portland early in November.

Friday-Sunday, Nov. 3-5, Hollywood Theatre, 4122 N.E. Sandy Blvd., tickets TBA; hollywoodtheatre.org/programs.

Portland Book Festival: Literary Arts hosts this celebration of books featuring author discussions, pop-up readings, writing workshops, kids’ story time, and an extensive book fair.

Saturday, Nov. 4, Portland Art Museum (and neighboring venues), 1219 S.W. Park Ave.; festival has not announced admission prices for 2023. Youth admission is generally free; literary-arts.org.

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Verboort Sausage & Kraut Festival: This is easily one of the oldest festivals on our list. The annual Verboort dinner is 89 years old this year and continues to welcome the community for a meal of homemade sausage, kraut, and applesauce made from local apples. The church crew serves about 14-16 tons of sausage and nearly 8,000 dinners each year. Sausage is also available “to-go.”

Saturday, Nov. 4, Visitation Parish, Northwest Visitation Road, Forest Grove; dinner prices to be announced; verboort.org/dinner.

Fall Events Guide 2023: 30 fun outings to liven up your fall season (15)

Disney on Ice -- “Frozen” and “Encanto”: Are you thinking of an early holiday gift for the Disney fan in your life? Disney On Ice comes to Portland in November bringing the magic and adventure of ice-skating versions of the popular animated films.

Thursday-Sunday, Nov. 9-12, Memorial Coliseum, One Center Court; tickets start at $25; ticketmaster.com/disney-on-ice.

43rd annual Wild Arts Festival: Head to the Portland State Viking Pavilion for a celebration of art, literature, and nature that traditionally features the work of more than 60 artist. The schedule of artist and authors will be on the website closer to the event. Purchases made at the festival benefit Portland Audubon, and its protection of birds, wildlife, and the environment.

Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 18-19, Viking Pavilion, 930 S.W. Hall St.; admission prices TBA; wildartsfestival.org.

- If you have events you’d like to see highlighted at OregonLive.com or in the weekly printed A&E section of The Oregonian, please email submissions to events@oregonian.com at least three weeks prior to the start of your event. Digital images or links to videos are helpful.

— Rosemarie Stein

503-221-4376, events@oregonian.com; @trafficportland

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