Willamette Heritage Center Sheep to Shawl

Gardens, festivals and wine tasting

May is here! Head to the lake for a fishing derby, go downtown for a brew festival or wander through acres of peonies near Salem, Oregon, this month.

1. Adelman Peony Gardens
Adelman Peony Gardens, in Salem, is open daily in May and through mid-June. The garden has more than 25 acres of peonies and a two-acre display garden.

2. Birding and Wildflower Festival
The 41st Annual Silver Falls State Park Birding and Wildflower Festival, in Silverton, Oregon, is May 11-12. There will be wildflower and birding walks, nature sketching classes and Mother’s Day crafts. The event is free, but parking costs $5. 

3. Brooks Gardens Peonies
Brooks Gardens, in Brooks, Oregon, will also celebrate bloom season every day from May 1 to June 15. Explore three acres of iris gardens or wander into the peony fields, where more than 100 varieties of peonies bloom.

4. Cinco de Micro Brewfest
The Cinco de Micro Brewfest is back for its eighth year featuring a plethora of local and Northwest brews May 3-4 at the Salem Convention Center. Along with beer, there will be local eateries, distilleries and live music. The event is for ages 21 and older. Tickets are required.

5. Detroit Lake Fishing Derby
The annual Detroit Lake Fishing Derby, a highly-anticipated, family-friendly event in Detroit, Oregon, is May 17-19. The lake is stocked with thousands of rainbow trout, 10 of which are tagged for cash prizes.

6. Digging in the Dirt
Enjoy a day of planting flowers at the Oregon Garden, in Silverton, on May 11. Afterwards, sit back and relax in the beautiful garden with a brunch buffet, live music and bottomless mimosas. Tickets are required.

7. Festival Chorale Oregon: “The Queen Symphony”
“The Queen Symphony,” composed by Tolga Kashif and inspired by the music of Freddie Mercury, will be performed by Salem Symphonic Winds and Festival Chorale on May 19 at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre. This musical interpretation will feature many fan-favorite melodies, including “We Will Rock You,” “We Are the Champions” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Tickets are required.

8. Food Truck Frenzy
The Willamette Humane Society’s Spring Food Truck Frenzy is May 17 in Salem. Enjoy food from more than 10 food trucks, let your dog play in the fenced yards and meet the animals of the shelter.

9. Free Tastings for Mom at Cubanisimo Vineyards
Moms can enjoy a free tasting on May 12 at Cubanisimo Vineyards in Salem. The tasting room is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

10. “Friends! The Musical Parody”
This show will poke fun at the television show “Friends” on May 2 at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre. The show is recommended for mature audiences, and tickets are required.

11. Harry Potter Pairings Dinner
Attend a magical pairings wine dinner at Willamette Valley Vineyards, in Turner, Oregon, on May 15-16. The menu will feature Hogwarts-inspired dishes. Tickets are required.

12. John R. Stahl: Oregon Artist at Hallie Ford Museum of Art
Starting on May 11, the Hallie Ford Museum of Art will showcase the work of John R. Stahl, including paintings, assemblages and works drawn on paper. The exhibition will run through Aug. 11.

13. KeizerFEST
The annual Keizer Iris Festival is May 16-19 in downtown Keizer, Oregon. Partake in a weekend full of live music, brews and wine, parades and carnival attractions.

14. Memorial Day Weekend in Oregon Wine Country
Kick off the summer wine tasting season over Memorial Day Weekend as more than 150 Willamette Valley wineries, including Airlie WineryCoria Estates and Redhawk Winery, host special events and tastings. Taste new wines, listen to live music and enjoy food pairings from May 25-27. Events and dates vary by location.

15. Mother’s Day Brunch at Left Coast Estate
Take mom to enjoy a special Mother’s Day brunch at Left Coast Estate, in Rickreall, Oregon, on May 12. The meal will be paired with wine. Tickets are required.

16. Mother’s Day Mimosa Weekend at Eola Hills Wine Cellars
Eola Hills Wine Cellars will offer a complimentary sparkling wine flight for moms and a specialty mimosa bar at both tasting rooms on May 11-12. The tasting rooms will also host activities throughout the weekend at select times, including manicures and pedicures and a flower arranging workshop.

17. On Your Feet Friday
Walk or run through downtown Salem at “On Your Feet Friday” on the second Friday of each month, May through September. Along the way, stop at eight checkpoints to discover local businesses and attractions.

18. Oregon Symphony Association: “Peer Gynt”
The Oregon Symphony Association in Salem will perform “Peer Gynt” on May 10 at Willamette University in Salem. Tickets are required.

19. Salem Downtown Markets
The Salem Saturday Market, Hospital Market, Wednesday Farmers Market and Thursday West Salem Farmers Market will be held every week in May. The Saturday Market is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 865 Marion Street. The Hospital Market is held every Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Salem Hospital. The Wednesday Farmers Market is 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at 530 Chemeketa Street. The Thursday West Salem Farmers Market is 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at 1260 Edgewater Street. The markets feature local produce, flowers, food, crafts and more.

20. Schreiner’s Iris Gardens
Take in 10 acres of blooms May 10-31 during bloom season at Schreiner’s Iris Gardens. The display gardens are planted with more than 500 iris varieties and countless companion plants. Join the garden for special events throughout the season, including a Mother’s Day celebration, Memorial Day Weekend events and an artist fair.

21. Sheep to Shawl
Sheep shearing demonstrations, live music and animals are just a few things to expect from the 34th Annual Sheep to Shawl Festival on May 11. The free festival celebrates the history of the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill at the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem. Admission is free.

22. Silverton Pet Parade
Hundreds of pets, from snails to llamas, as well as marching bands and floats will parade through Silverton on May 18. Take your four-legged family member to join the parade or sit back and watch.

23. Spring Victorian Tea
The Brown House, a historic home in Stayton, Oregon, will host an afternoon tea on May 18. Tickets are required.

24. “The Odd Couple, Female Version”
Be ready to laugh with Enlightened Theatrics at the crazy misadventures of Florence Unger and Olive Madison at Salem’s Historic Grand Theatre on select dates through May 19. Tickets are required.

25. The Winery Comedy Tour
Find out which local wines pair best with hysterical laughter at the Winery Comedy Tour at Cubanisimo Vineyards, in Salem, on May 17. Tickets are required.

26. The FarmHouse Show
Find retro, vintage, antique, repurposed and handmade treasures at The FarmHouse Show on May 1-4. The show will take place at the Oregon Christian Convention Center in Turner.

27. Timbers U23
Cheer on the Timbers U23, an amateur soccer team affiliated with the Portland Timbers, on May 24 and May 31 at McCulloch Stadium in Salem. The team consists of standout players from collegiate and youth programs throughout the country. Tickets are required.

28. Uncork Polk County
Uncork Polk County is a series of events across Polk County on May 18-27. It's a chance to kick off the summer season with fun and unique events, discover authentic farm fresh food, and relax with a glass of world-class wine.

29. Willamette Master Chorus: Mendelssohn Elijah
The Willamette Master Chorus’ spring concert is May 4-5 at Willamette University in Salem. This masterpiece of the classical period depicts events in the life of the biblical prophet Elijah. Tickets are required.

30. Willamette Valley Marathon & Wine Festival
Starting at the Oregon State Capitol, the Willamette Valley Marathon will take runners through the heart of Salem and along the banks of the Willamette River. The event on May 19 will feature a marathon, half-marathon, half-marathon relay and 10K. Afterwards, the public is invited to celebrate with runners at the Willamette Valley Wine Festival at Salem’s Riverfront Park, where you can taste wine from several award-winning wineries.