Best Fall Events In the Willamette River Valley

Fall is right around the corner and it’s just about that time to slip on a pair of boots, get out the flannels, and plan for the annual fall fun experiences like pumpkin picking, corn mazes, fall festivals, and more. Oregon is a beautiful place to celebrate fall as the leaves change colors and it serves as a perfect backdrop for your fall excursions and photos. If you find yourself along the Willamette River in Oregon this fall, here are some of the best fall events in the river valley for fall fun!

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Willamette River Fall Events: Corvallis Fall Festival (Corvallis)

Best For A Full Weekend Of Fun
There is nothing quite like the annual fall festival! Renowned throughout the Pacific Northwest, the Corvallis Fall Festival has drawn people to the Willamette River Valley for almost fifty years. Artists and vendors from the region arrive each year to sell their creations like art pieces, artisan foods, jewelry, and more. There are also food booths, musical entertainment, an Art Discovery Zone for kids, a young artist’s marketplace, and the Fall Festival Run. If you can imagine yourself wandering through art and food booths in a leaf-covered park with a crepe and a coffee, or running in a 1K, 5K, or 10K on a brisk fall morning, then this might be one festival you won’t want to miss out on.

Corvallis Fall Festival Trip Tips
Ticket Or Pass: None, Location: Central Park, Month: September, Popular Activity: Trying Artisan Foods, Nearby Attractions: Riverfront Commemorative Park, Breweries, Local Tourism Guide: Visit Corvallis

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Willamette River Fall Events: E.Z. Orchards Harvestfest (Salem)

Best For Pumpkin Picking
In addition, if you’re traveling with kids, the E.Z. Orchards Harvestfest is a family-friendly event held throughout the month of October. Located in Salem, Oregon, south of Portland, E.Z. Orchards throws their Harvestfest each year with lots of fun fall activities and experiences. You can pick your own pumpkins in the pumpkin patch, head into the corn maze, go on a hayride, and visit the farm animals. Kids will also have fun with games like Steer Ropin’ Ring Toss, pedal tractors, and more. After  you’ve enjoyed Harvestfest, you may also want to stop into the farm market to buy delicious apple cider, pumpkin donuts, and other goodies made by E.Z Orchards.

E.Z. Orchards Trip Tips
Ticket Or Pass: Admission Fee, Location: E.Z. Orchards, Month: October, Popular Activity: Pumpkin Picking, Nearby Attractions: Gilbert House Children’s Museum, Local Tourism Guide: Travel Salem

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Willamette River Fall Events: Pumpkin Regatta (Tualatin)

Best For Unique Fall Experience
Similar to the annual harvest fests and fall festivals, the Oregon city of Tualatin holds its annual West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta event each year. Held at Lake Tualatin Commons, the event draws thousands of people nation wide to watch  few lucky contestants wearing costumes paddle 1,000 pound pumpkins around the lake in a variety of wacky races. Pumpkin and Pints is also a part of this fun day of fall activities. This event holds a contest for the local growers of giant pumpkins and other vegetables. Held at Stickmen Brewing Company, you can stop into this fall event for great local beers and pizza, and to watch the Pacific Giant Vegetable Growers’ Terminator Weigh-Off. The big pumpkins and other vegetables are judged to choose cash prize winners in a fun day of friendly competition. If you’ve never seen a giant pumpkin (or someone riding in one on the water) in person, this may be one fall event you might want to check out.

Pumpkins and Pints Trip Tips
Ticket Or Pass: None, Location: Stickmen Brewing Company, Month: October, Popular Activity: Giant Pumpkin Contest, Local Tourism Guide: Tualatin Chamber Of Commerce

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Willamette River Fall Events: The Corn Maize On Sauvie Island (Portland)

Best For Difficult Corn Maze
If you love a good corn maze, the one on Sauvie Island in Portland may be a fun fall excursion for you. Part farmland and part beach, Sauvie Island hosts seasonal excursions such as fruit picking, pumpkin patches, and corn mazes. Each year the maze is designed into a different pattern that is both difficult to navigate and pleasing to public art fans. Corn maze visitors are greeted with 8 acres of twists and turns and two large observation bridges that offer scenic views of the island, Mount Hood, and the maze. Other activities include a hayride to the pumpkin patch, a visit to the farm animal petting zoo at Topaz Farm, or stopping at the Big Red Barn. Before leaving, visitors like to stop into the gift shop, warm up with lunch in the café, and just enjoy time spent with family and friends.

The Corn Maize Trip Tips
Ticket Or Pass: Admission Fee, Location: Sauvie Island, Month: August to November, Popular Activity: Corn Maze, Nearby Attractions: Topaz Farm, Apple Picking, Local Tourism Guide: Travel Portland

Willamette River Fall Events: McMinnville Scottish Festival (McMinnville)

Best For Unique Fall Festival
For a fall festival like no other, plan to attend the McMinnville Scottish Festival! The festival celebrates Scottish and Celtic culture with Scottish games, authentic dress, craft beverages, food, dancing entertainment, and more! For example, the main events are the athletic competitions traditionally called the Scottish Games, an important part of their heritage. You can watch as novice and Titan athletes try their hand at caber-tossing, sheaf toss, and many more challenging events. Other fun festival events include listening to authentic bagpipe and drum music, live entertainment, scotch tasting, and craft beverages. After that enjoy dancing, authentic food, vendors, and other exhibits of Scottish and Gaelic culture. Many participants and festival goers will be dressed in kilts and other authentic dress, and you can expect a fun filled atmosphere.

McMinnville Scottish Festival Trip Tips
Ticket Or Pass: Admission Tickets, Location: Yamhill County Fairgrounds, Month: October, Popular Activity: Scottish Games, Nearby Attractions: Craft Beverage Tasting Rooms, Mason-Rivera Sculpture Garden & Art Gallery, Local Tourism Guide: Visit McMinnville

Content Writer and Social Media Coordinator. I paint, listen to music, and play with my dogs a lot. When I’m not doing all that, I love to read and try new things.

Maeve Miller

Writer, River Travel Magazine