By Bonnie Glidewell

Last month you got a taste for what the summer can hold in Southern Oregon. How about diving into some more fun events for this high temp month of July? This month, the historic Jacksonville's Britt Festival has 14 shows to offer music lovers ranging from big names such as The Decemberists, Boz Scaggs, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Easton Corbin, John Butler Trio to the the opening night of the annual Classical Festival. There is so much to love about this lush and hilly outdoor venue such as the pack-your-own-picnic date night, exquisite sunset view and the short distance to local fine dining and various wineries. Not up for a show or simply up for more? Try out some of these weekend suggestions throughout the month of July.  

On the 4th of July, head over to Ashland to celebrate the 100-year-old tradition of their prolific parade. Each year, this lovely town hosts one of the best parades one can imagine. An estimated 20,000 spectators will be roaming around from 10 a.m. on. After the parade commences, they will rush to the scenic Lithia Park for craft and food booths galore. This year’s theme: “Be Active, Live Healthy!” 


Next up, taking place on July 11 & 12:  King of the Rogue. This is a multi-lap, class IV (expert) whitewater event for 4-person rafts, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards (SUPs). Designed by Olympic Gold Metalist Oliver Fix and Greg Snider, this white-knuckle river journey will serve not only as a kick-butt weekend outing but also a fundraiser for the local community of Gold Hill. It will kickoff with a fishing derby on Friday then will follow with the whitewater events the next day. Of course, there will be some beach parties in-between, featuring a boating demo, beer garden and live music. 


During the same weekend as the extreme river competitions mentioned above, you can make your way out to the Applegate Valley Lavender Farm if you would like to partake in the Lavender Festival.  From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the fields will be open for full-bloom viewing and you-pick arrangements. This weekend will be the last of the season to see the lavender in full bloom before the harvest starts. The English Lavender Farm will be open for U-pick, a lavender lunch and snack menu from the mouth-watering Rogue Seasonings. One last thing(s) to entice you would be the wreath making class paired with lavender ice cream through Sunday. Not an ice cream fan? Try the lemonade! Don't miss the lavender short bread cookies. They are my absolute favorite! The valley of the Oregon Lavender Association has a hand full of fields participating in this upcoming farm tour. Do yourself a favor...bring your camera and go on a self-guided tour.


Grants Pass will be hosting their 25th Annual Back to the Fifties Celebration from July 20-25. This week-long gathering is filled with family and adult happenings from poker runs, diner night, karaoke contest, ice cream socials, free movie night, concerts and dancing! Last but not least, attendees will see Oregon’s biggest classic car cruise and numerous jaw-dropping rides. 


On July 25 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., the Historic Hanley Farm is hosting a Farm-to-Table Gourmet 4-course farm dinner with sample wine pairings, historical presentation, Hanley House tours and winemaker cocktail hour. Hanley Farm was a working family farm for 125 years, from 1857 to 1982, owned by three generations of the Hanley Family. Today, this rustic garden venue serves as a location for many events ranging from weddings, garden and plant fairs, children's festivals, summer camps and holiday craft fairs. Personally, Hanley holds a very special place in my heart as my own wedding will be held there in just one month! 


 Do you have an idea or event you want to share with Bonnie Ryan for her Out & About column? Send her your thoughts.


Do you have an idea or event you want to share with Bonnie for her Out & About column? Send her your thoughts.