Coos Bay area festivals light up the southern Oregon coast with food, music and arts

Posted 4/5/22 10:55 PM PST
By the staff of the Oregon Coast Beach Connection

(Coos Bay, Oregon) – Spring and summer are soon to sprout on the southern Oregon coast, and ahead are summer festivals with an abundance of food, music and real outdoor action. Look for big events celebrating music and food, parts of the South Coast Culture Tour, as well as the return of the Farmer’s Market to the Bay Area. There’s rock ‘n roll, classical, jazz, new art forms and lots of barbecue and fresh produce.

Coos Bay will not shy away from civilized fun as well as the most rudimentary means of rest and recreation.

On May 4, you’ll start seeing the downtown Coos Bay Farmer’s Market regularly every Wednesday through October. The market takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 50 Central Avenue, Coos Bay, Oregon. It may be the largest on the southern Oregon coast, with nearly 90 vendors selling fresh produce, drinks, and all kinds of unique foods.

There will likely still be masking requirements: check the website to find out what new rules, if any, are being implemented.

Among those returning favorites is ElkHorn BBQ. Prepare your bibs.

Call (541) 266-9706 to find out more.

The South Coast Culture Tour is the big date on the Oregon South Coast, with half taking place in Curry County from April 28-May 1, then in Coos County from May 6-8 ( Bandon and Coos Bay area).

There are three categories at this unique festival: Taste, Create and Explore. It’s six days of different classes, workshops and activities offered in each category, where participants can sign up for as little or as much as they want.

Taste is all about food. Digging for Dinner will take place on May 8 and attendees will spend the morning in Coos Bay with expert advice and instruction in sustainable shellfish mining. Participants will collect enough items for their meal and then travel to the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute, where they will spend the afternoon with an award-winning chef who will guide them through the preparation and cooking process culminating in a delicious meal.

Also head to Coos Bay for a World Tour Paddling Film Festival to showcase some of the best paddling films.

Also in the area, hop off and take walks at Whiskey Run Trail Head, Coos Bay’s Sunset Bay State Park, and the Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor. Something new for these spots will be the voluntourism opportunities.

From May 6-8, you get an officially sanctioned disc golf tournament at two Bandon and Coos Bay courses.

From April through the end of May, the festival hosts the South Coast Culture Tour Geocaching Challenge across the entire southern Oregon coast, including Coos Bay, North Bend, and Charleston. The perfect combination of high-tech problem solving and outdoor adventure, geocaching is a global phenomenon that challenges players to find treasure, or caches, armed only with a smartphone and their wits.

On May 20, look for cover band Aurora at local restaurant and bar The Coney Station. They also play later in the summer. They perform many classic rock and Top 40 tracks. The show runs from 8 p.m. to midnight. 295 S. Broadway, Coos Bay, Oregon. (541) 269-6948.

On May 28-29, fill your bellies and ears with North Bend’s Mill Casino BBQ event, Blues & Brews on the Bay, back in full swing. Lots of craft beers to explore, bands to discover, and lots of food and beer samples will be given away. The finale is the barbecue contest at the end. The Mill Casino – Hotel and RV Park. 3201 Tremont St. North Bend, Oregon. 800.953.4800, 541.756.8800.

Later in the summer comes the Oregon Coast Music Association Music Festival. This is the 44th annual Music Festival facility, which runs from July 16-30. It’s a heady mix of classical and jazz art forms, taking place at venues around the bay such as Shore Acres Garden, the OIMB Boat House, beautiful Mingus Park and a host of library seminars. It will be two full weeks of exceptional sound art. The Festival Orchestra will give three concerts at the Marshfield Auditorium, with Music Director James Paul at the helm and pianist Darrel l Grant among the guests.

The vast majority occurs in July, but some highlights appear a month or two earlier:

Redfish Piano Trio on April 29 at 7 p.m., Hales Center: performances by the Mozart and Mendelssohn trios. Tickets are $25 for adults; free entry for the first 50 students upon prior registration.

Aaron Johnson Quartet May 8 at 2 p.m., Umpqua Hall. The New York-based band returns with a mix of jazz and classical pieces. Tickets are $25 for adults.

Throughout the Coos Bay area. (541) 267-0938.