By Bonnie Glidewell

Rogue Winterfest 

November 10th, 2014


In the next month, Grants Pass will be hosting their 12th Annual Rogue Winterfest, on December 4- 8, 2014. This spectacular five-day festival with four incredible events…a mix of creative artistry, exceptional culinary,  award-winning wine and beer tasting's, family holiday activities, top entertainment, and silent & live auctions.  This is a fundraiser to help children, adults, and families with mental health needs at Options for Southern Oregon, Kairos and Family Solutions. Josephine Counties Largest Holiday Festival is held at Evergreen Federal Bank’s Bear Hotel, 2101 NE Spalding Ave., Grants Pass, OR. 

Calendar of Events:

Rogue Winterfest Gala & Grand Auction, Thursday, December 4 - Exquisite tree and art auction, Oregon Bounty Dinner sponsored and prepared by Taprock Northwest Grill with food donated by local culinary establishments, local wines, and entertainment by Pat DeBellis Band.

Rogue Winterfest Golden Social –Friday, December 5 - A private event for guests over 55 years of age.  Light appetizers and desserts sponsored by Highland House and Royale Gardens, entertainment, and holiday tree and art viewing.  

Rogue Winterfest Weekend Holiday Events- Saturday, December 6 and Sunday, December 7 - This is a holiday event for the whole family. The public is invited to view creatively decorated trees and locally produced art along with Evergreen Federal Bank’s legendary Christmas on Mars Exhibit. Visit Santa and Mrs. Claus; engage in family activities and games; enjoy live entertainment; and vote on the People’s Choice Award. Activities include Fishing at the North Pole, coloring and letters to Santa, holiday building project with Home Depot, Fantasy Face Painting, and taking that perfect photo in the spectacular Christmas on Mars setting. Every 45 minutes, the entertainment on the big stage will change, ranging from bands to choirs to individual singers to classical performers during this live musical mash-up.

Rogue Winterfest Culinary Christmas Classic and Silent Auction – Monday, December 8 - Savor culinary tasting's from Southern Oregon’s finest restaurants, caterers, wineries, and breweries. Enjoy creatively decorated trees, shake it up with live music by The Ben Rice Band, and bid on unique Silent Auction items. 

Purchase tickets on line or in person at Evergreen Federal Bank, 969 SE 6th Street, Grants Pass.  Advance reservations required for Gala, Culinary, and Golden Social Events. Weekend Event Holiday tickets sold only at the door.

Major Sponsors: Evergreen Federal Bank, Taprock Northwest Grill, Highland House, Royale Gardens, Mid Rogue IPA/CareSource, Asante Three Rivers Medical Center & Asante Foundation.


Looking back...

Last year, I attended this event not only as a guest but also as a volunteer. Two years ago, I had the pleasure of attending for my first time and decided to write a blog about it. Please read all about it, as it will entice you to attend this year's 12th annual event! 

2012 Rogue Winterfest – 10th Annual

Each year, Evergreen Federal Bank donates the use of its Bear Hotel Annex in Grants Pass for the Rogue Winterfest Festival where 4,000 people attend. This December, the warehouse was transformed into a winter wonderland filled with 25 adorned holiday trees, stunning art displays, thousands of hanging sparkling lights and Evergreen Federal Bank’s magical Christmas on Mars 3-D Display. When I say “It is like Disneyland in Grants Pass” it is an understatement. Thousands of 10 foot strips of lights adorn the ceiling throughout makes it quite a beautiful site. Their incredible donation and outstanding staff adds so much to the success of the Festival year after year.

The Festival consisted of five individual events and was held on December 6th through the 10th. The Gala Event and Auction, Golden Social, Weekend Holiday Events, Culinary Christmas Classic and Silent Auction all serve as not only fundraising efforts but a great way to have fun with those in your surrounding workforce and community. Fundraising efforts are made possible through event admission tickets, silent auction sales, a holiday tree and art auction, and sponsorships. Contributions and participation in this community fundraising event will help thousands of people get the care they need to improve the overall health of our community.

On one end of the room were excellent entertainers and on the other you were surrounded by 40 foot purple creatures, spaceships and ice tunnel. In between these opposing ends were dozens of food and wine vendors as well as community members showing their appreciation and support.
Wondering what the weekend agenda looked like? Check it out!

Gala Event and Holiday Auction (Opening night)

Let the bidding begin!!! Catered Southern Oregon Bounty Dinner by Taprock Northwest Grill. Featuring Chef Dennis, live entertainment by Dos Gardenias, Southern Oregon wines and the grand holiday tree and art auction. Oh what an opening night! Taprock Northwest Grill provided the Southern Oregon Bounty Dinner during the Gala Event and Auction. Comments were heard all night regarding their exceptional food and service. Keeping to the Southern Oregon theme parts of the dinner were donated by Southern Oregon’s Fresh Express, Rogue Creamery, Rising Sun Farms, and Applegate Valley Wineries. 24 trees and 9 art pieces were auctioned designed, created, and decorated by local artists and designers. Absolutely gorgeous!!! The talent that is in this valley is truly spectacular.

Golden Social (new this year & sold out)

For seniors only. Sponsored by Highland House and Royale Gardens. A private viewing for our friends over 55 featuring music of the 1940s and 1950s performed by Bob Armstrong and Donna Tennaro. This event was only offered to our community members over 55 and was sponsored by Highland House and Royale Gardens.The Highland House blew us away with their quality of food and their friendly professionalism. They offered six types of desserts, cider and coffee and did an exceptional job. Everyone was impressed! A definite keeper for next year!

Weekend Festival Events

Fun activities for the entire family. The public is invited to view holiday trees and art along with Evergreen Federal Bank’s legendary Christmas on Mars Exhibit. Visit Santa, Mrs. Claus, and the Snow Queen; engage in family activities and games; enjoy live entertainment; and vote on the People’s Choice Award. Two days of fun for the entire family. Entertainment, activities, Santa and Mrs. Claus, face painting, photo opps with the Ice Princess,……and on and on….what a great weekend!

Culinary Christmas Classic

A taste of Southern Oregon. Savor culinary tastings from Southern Oregon’s finest restaurants, caterers, wineries, and breweries. Mingle among the creatively decorated trees, enjoy live entertainment by Living on Dreams, and bid on your favorite Silent Auction item. The Culinary Christmas Classic was sponsored by 25 of the top culinary establishments, wineries, and breweries in Southern Oregon. Samplings of food, wine, and brews were enjoyed by all.

Below is a list of our Culinary Christmas Classic sponsors.

Wineries, Breweries, and Distilleries:

• Brandy Peak Distillery
• Bridgeview WineryDel Rio Vineyards
• Plaisance Ranch and Winery
• Rosella’s Winery
• Troon Vineyards
• Serra Vineyards
• Schmidt Family Vineyards
• Wild River Brewing Co.
• Wooldridge Creek Winery

Culinary Establishments:

• Bohemian Bar and Bistro
• Cynthia’s Home Sweet Home
• Goodness Gracious Café and Catering
• Highland House and Royale Gardens
• Historic Prospect Inn, Hotel and Dining
• Homemade Confections
• Ma Mosa’s
• Orchid Grill
• Rogue Creamery
• Rogue River Lodge
• Rosso’s Trattoria
• The Vine Restaurant

Coffee Service by Jumpin’ Bean. Service provided by Taprock Northwest Grill and Grants Pass High School Culinary Department.

The Festival proceeds help children, teens, adults, and families with mental health needs and supports the non-profit mental health agencies; Family Solutions, Kairos , and Options for Southern Oregon. Research shows that mental health problems are linked with a host of societal concerns, including physical health outcomes. Josephine County is fortunate to have three outstanding mental health organizations that address the needs of the children, teens, adults, and families in our community. Family Solutions (formerly Family Friends), Kairos (formerly SOASTC) and Options for Southern Oregon were all founded by local citizens in response to community needs. These organizations have developed high-quality, innovative, and cost-effective services and supports over the past 30 years. Together, they serve more than 5,000 individuals annually, and approximately four times as many low-income individuals are eligible for services. During these tough economical times it is important that we all pull together to build a healthier community for us all. 2012 was an amazing Festival. The quality of the trees, art, entertainment, food, and service was outstanding and was said to be one of the most successful sold out Rogue Winterfest’s to date. The team of Event Planner and Coordinator “Price and Ashley” proved to be very successful. Rogue Winterfest has raised over $400,000 for children, teens, adults, and families with mental health needs in our community.

A huge thank you and successful congrats to the event planner, Sue Price of Southern Oregon Marketing Consultant, who is also an independent contractor for Travel Southern Oregon, Grants Pass Tourism, Ashland Springs Hotel, and Travel Medford. Also a big thanks goes out to Gigi Ashley, co-event coordinator. Over 100 volunteers, 75 entertainers, 15 restaurants and catering establishments, Southern Oregon wineries and breweries, 50 artists and decorators, and 60 sponsors help support and donate their services during the Rogue Winterfest. Other big thanks to mention are Chris Cauble of Cauble and Cauble Attorneys at Law, for their Diamond Sponsorship (cash donation, decorating skills, and volunteerism, we salute you); Taprock Northwest Grill, for sponsoring the Southern Oregon Bounty Gala Event and Auction; and Highland House and Royale Gardens, for sponsoring the Golden Social. Lastly, Michaels & Michaels Creative, LLC. can be given a big thanks for website updates and publication.


Make sure you see how you can get involved next year! Work is already underway for 2013! Mark your calendars for December 5- 11, 2013. For more information on the Rogue Winterfest or how you can get involved visit Sue Price, Event Planner or Gigi Ashley, Event Coordinator,