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Portland is the state's festivals hub, with many events taking place downtown on the city's scenic Willamette riverfront, but you'll find plenty of engaging festivals elsewhere. Also keep in mind that Oregon is wild about farmers' markets—most towns in the state have one from spring through fall, and Portland has dozens. There's often live entertainment, arts and crafts, and prepared food at these bustling outdoor markets.
Portland's Cinco de Mayo festival celebrates its sister-city relationship with Guadalajara, Mexico, and runs a full weekend in early May.
Among the many big waterfront gatherings in Portland each summer, check out Portland Gay Pride in mid-June, the Waterfront Blues Festival over Fourth of July weekend, the Oregon Brewers Festival in late July, and the Bite of Oregon food festival in early August.
Arguably the most famous event in the state, the Portland Rose Festival consists of numerous events and parties throughout June, culminating in a huge parade. Look high in the sky for evidence of the colorful Tigard Festival of Balloons in June—hot-air balloons soar above this Portland suburb throughout the weekend. Jacksonville's Britt Festivals bring fans of high-caliber outdoor musical and theater performances to this historic Victorian town all summer long. Wine lovers flock to McMinnville, in the Willamette Valley, to sample fine regional vintages in late July and early August during the International Pinot Noir Celebration. Autumn is just around the corner with the arrival of the Oregon State Fair in Salem in late August and early September.
The Pendleton Round-Up is one of the most prestigious and downright fun rodeos in the country, drawing more than 50,000 participants and spectators in September. In coastal Bandon each October, the Cranberry Festival comprises a fair and parade. The Sisters Folk Festival brings top-name artists to this scenic mountain town near Bend, which hosts its bustling Bend Fall Festival in mid-September.
Although it sounds like a short-term seasonal event, Ashland's famed Oregon Shakespeare Festival actually runs from mid-February through early November. In mid-February, Bend WinterFest celebrates the region's winter sports with a mix of outdoors activities and indoor concerts. Late February's Newport Seafood and Wine Festival is a tasty time to visit the coast. Also at this time is the acclaimed Portland Jazz Festival.