Hop into spring with festive events
Spring has sprung in the Mid-Willamette Valley! Take in warmer weather and the valley’s natural beauty while partaking in local events. Here are 30 things to this month:
1. Cayla Skillin-Brauchle: Super Speed
A small exhibition of artist Cayla Skillin-Brauchle’s recent work opens April 15 at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. Skillin-Brauchle’s multidisciplinary practice spans drawing, video, installation, performance and social practice. The exhibition will be on display through May 14.
2. Cherry City Comic Con
Comic Con is coming to Salem April 8-9! Cherry City Comic Con will be held at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. The event will feature talent from the worlds of illustration, writing, science and acting. Enjoy gaming tables, comic book grading, costume contests, speaker panels and vendors.
3. Dallas Public Library’s Adult Coloring Night
The Dallas Public Library is hosting an adult coloring night April 20. Relax and enjoy conversation, cookies and coloring. The artistic materials will be provided.
4. Deer Creek Nature Park Tour
Pack a lunch and enjoy a free tour of Deer Creek Nature Park, led by Dave Hanson, on April 29. The county park, located between McMinnville and Sheridan, contains one of the largest wet prairie ecosystems in the Willamette Valley.
5. Diabuddies Dash
Join the 5k or 10k walk and run on April 22 at Keizer Rapids Park to support the Chris Dudley Foundation and raise diabetes awareness. Dudley, who had Type 1 diabetes, played in the NBA for 16 years.
6. Dinner with a Ghost at Bayou Mansion
Ghost Town Operations hosts “Dinner with a Ghost” at the Bayou Mansion in McMinnville on April 7-8. This unique experience is a blend of history, fine dining and paranormal investigation. The event is complete with fine china, theatrical lighting and riveting history about the spirits in the mansion.
7. Draw Near
Bush Barn Art Center’s exhibit “Draw Near” runs through April 22 and features sculptures by internationally-known artist Heidi Preuss Grew. Combining animal and human features, her artwork straddles real and fictional worlds.
8. Earth Day at the Oregon Garden
The Oregon Garden celebrates Earth Day with free admission on April 22! Bring the family to enjoy a day of free education and entertainment. A $5 donation is encouraged.
9. Easter Brunch at Eola Hills Wine Cellars
Join Eola Hills Wine Cellars on Easter, April 16, for a buffet-style brunch in Rickreall. One glass of wine for those 21 and over is included with admission. Reservations are recommended.
10. Easter Egg Hunt in Dundee
A free Easter egg hunt will take place in Dundee Billick Park on April 15. Kids up to 11 years old can take home as many eggs as they can gather, and there will be a special golden prize egg! All children and families are welcome.
11. Easter Wine Hunt at Youngberg Hill
Youngberg Hill, in McMinnville, will host an adult-only Easter wine hunt on April 15. Wine bottles will be placed throughout the estate. Prizes will include wine tastings, bottles, glasses, overnight stays and more.
12. Farm Fest and Plowing Competition
Visit the Yamhill Valley Heritage Center in McMinnville to watch more than 20 teams of draft horses and mules in a plowing competition, see demos and meet the teamsters. There will also be a children’s area, historical displays and music. This event is April 8.
13. Friends of Bush Gardens Plant Sale
On April 21-22, the Friends of Bush Gardens will hold its bi-annual plant sale at Salem’s Riverfront Park Pavilion and North Meadow. Some of the Willamette Valley’s most dedicated growers will be selling organic vegetables and herbs, fruits and plants.
14. Gaiety Hollow Garden Tours
The Lord & Schryver Conservancy will open the Gaiety Hollow gardens to visitors for an open garden on April 9 and guided tours on April 22. On the guided tour, trained docents will walk visitors through the grounds and discuss the history and design of the gardens. Volunteers will be on hand to answer questions during the open garden.
15. The Hemp & Cannabis Fair
Head to the Oregon State Fair & Exposition Center for a celebration of legal marijuana April 1-2. You'll find hemp and cannabis products, accessories and tools, grow and harvest equipment and more. There will also be legal discussions and educational sessions on growing and medicinal benefits. The event is for ages 21 and over.
16. “Macbeth” at Willamette University
Enjoy Willamette University Theatre’s production of “Macbeth” from April 13-29. Shakespeare’s tragedy tells the story of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The pair has an overwhelming will to power, which moves them to obliterate all obstacles and transgress boundaries of fealty, family and fundamental human kindness.
17. McMinnville Art & Wine Walk
Stroll through the beautiful Historic Downtown District in McMinnville at the Art and Wine Walk on April 15. Follow the event flags to participating businesses for art talks, exhibits, live performers and wine tastings.
18. Micky Dolenz and the American Metropole Orchestra
Actor, singer, director, producer, writer and performer, Micky Dolenz will be performing at Western Oregon University on April 15. He will share the stage with the American Metropole Orchestra in a show of classic pop music from the 60s, including tunes from The Monkees, The Beatles and Harry Nilsson.
19. Mid-Valley Quilt Show
Enjoy threads, fabrics and quilts at the Mid-Valley Quilt Guild’s Quilt Show at the Polk County Fairgrounds April 20-22. There will be demonstrations, a silent auction, featured quilters and more.
20. Monmouth Easter Egg Hunt
The Monmouth/Independence YMCA is hosting a free, family-friendly Easter egg hunt on April 15. The event will be held at Gentle Woods Park, where there will be two rounds of egg hunts for children up to 12 years old. The Easter Bunny will also be available to take photos.
21. Monster Cookie Metric Century
The Monster Cookie is considered the third best bicycle ride in Oregon. The ride starts at the Oregon State Capitol on April 30 and takes riders over back roads to Champoeg State Park and back to Salem. The ride is open to bicyclists of all levels.
22. Newberg Camellia Festival
The Newberg Camellia Festival celebrates its ninth year on April 8! The festival features a 5k and 10k run or walk, performances, food vendors, crafts and jewelry. Trolley Tours will give visitors a look at Newberg’s favorite historic sites. Plant sales will run throughout the festival, offering gardeners an opportunity to purchase unique plants and garden art.
23. Oregon Ag Fest
The Oregon Ag Fest is April 29-30 at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. The activity-filled festival provides attendees with an opportunity to touch, taste and experience life on the farm.
24. The Oregon Symphony Association: Debussy’s “La Mer”
Listen to the works of Debussy, Hosokawa and Mendelssohn at Willamette University on April 21. Renowned violinist Simone Lamsma will also perform Britten's Spanish Civil War-inspired Violin Concerto.
25. River of Gems Show
The 62nd Annual River of Gems Show will be held at the Polk County Fairgrounds April 14-16. Rock and gem collections from across the globe will be on display. The event will also feature craft demonstrations, a children’s treasure hunt and vendors.
26. Rock Boxx Climbing Gym
Salem’s first indoor bouldering gym offers fun for the whole family and climbers of all skill levels. Sign up for classes for fitness or yoga, go for a climb or just relax while watching the climbers. The gym has 5,400 square feet of climbing walls.
27. Spring Tea Party with Peter Rabbit
On April 23, Salem’s Riverfront Carousel will host a spring tea party with Peter Rabbit! Listen to stories told by Mr. Rabbit himself while enjoying a variety of tea sandwiches, pastries and desserts. Take a keepsake photo and enjoy rides on the carousel. Reservations are required.
28. Wednesday Film Series: “The Wizard of Oz”
Take a trip to the magical Land of Oz on April 5 at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre. When Dorothy is swept away from a farm in Kansas by a tornado, she arrives in Oz and embarks on an adventure with her new friends to see the Wizard and return home. Tickets are $6.
29. Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival
Stroll through 40 acres of beautiful tulips while enjoying expansive views of vineyards and mountains. The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm will be open daily to visitors March 24-April 30. Each year the flowers are arranged in a new pattern. There will also be food, wine tastings and children’s activities.
30. Yoga at Brooks Winery
Start the day with a free yoga session at Brooks Winery, in Amity, on April 23. Call the tasting room to RSVP.