Fall Harvest Festivities in Lane County, Oregon

At the end of summer, fall harvests abound in the Pacific Northwest. Nowhere is this more true than Lane County, Oregon — where the season's yields are celebrated in the form of farmers markets and festivals, tastings, tappings, and hayrides. So break out those sweaters and have a hay-day. Autumn is nearly here.

Lane County Farmers Market
Local farmers and food artisans display their harvest every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday through September at the Lane County Farmers Market. The market is open on Saturdays year-round (except January), with Thursday dates running June - September, and Tuesdays May - October. Expect dozens of vendors, showcasing everything from berries and beers to honey, pasta, mushrooms, wine, and more.

Tap & Taste
Bring $15 - $20 to Springfield in exchange for live music, tasting tickets, and a souvenir glass on August 27, 2016. Fill your glass with beer or cider, and sample a variety of food vendors at this first annual outdoor event in Downtown Springfield. Tap & Taste will be held at 5th and A streets, near the Springfield Library.

Farmers Market Feast
For the second year in a row, Lane County Farmers Market is celebrating harvest season with the Farmers Market Feast. For $25 - $35 (depending on when you purchase a ticket), foodies gain access to a massive farm-to-table menu. Apple and hickory smoked pig and brisket, baked beans, cornbread, green bean salad, coleslaw, ratatouille, marinated lentil salad, tossed green salad and a seasonal fruit dessert are in store this year, along with one free drink from a local brewery, winery, or cidery. Proceeds help raise funds for the Double Up Food Bucks program. It all goes down at the Lane County Farmers Market Site on August 28.

Colonial Harvest Days
Head down to Northern Lights Christmas Tree Farm in October for Colonial Harvest Days. This month-long autumn celebration features a corn maze, massive pumpkins, farm animals, hayrides, pony rides, pie-eating contests, and tons of family fun. Kids can learn about the pilgrims' voyage to America by sailing on the "Hayflower", a life-size Mayflower replica.

Valley River Inn
Need a place to crash? Stay at the centrally-located Valley River Inn in Eugene. Since opening in 1973, this 257-room hotel on the Willamette River has hosted such rockstars as Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, and Willie Nelson. Today, the star of the show is River Cat — the hotel's adopted kitty. Check their Specials page for family vacation deals and breakfast packages.

Brandon Fralic is a Bellingham-based freelance writer. With a focus on the outdoors, travel, and craft beer, he contributes to a handful of publications including Washington Trails, WhatcomTalk, and Outdoor Project.