We love Oregon’s capital any season of the year, but Summer is high time in Salem, so to speak. In addition to the natural splendor of the Central Willamette Valley and its bounty of produce and wine, you can enjoy outdoor festivals, foot races, movies on the lawn and any number of other beloved attractions.
And of course, we feel there are a couple of very special ways you can equip yourself for maximum fun. Chill out and enjoy “The Cherry City” with Have a Heart’s roundup of fun things to do in Salem when high!
Things to Do in Salem: Summer 2019
Salem Run for the Climate
Now in its second year, this event raises funds for Marion-Polk Food Share Youth Farm, a program that teaches youth ages 13-18 farming and leadership skills through hands-on education on a 6-acre farm. It’s sponsored by 350 Salem, an organization dedicated to community education efforts to address climate change.
Oregon State Fair
One of our favorite annual things to do in Salem, the State Fair brings together loads of fun (and eyebrow-raising) activities. Want to take in the thrill and majesty of All-Alaskan Racing Pigs? They got ‘em! The resplendent, purple-suited musicians of The Beat Goes On marching band? Naturally. And you’d be downright foolhardy to miss the Fire Dance Finale!
Egads! A new strain of madness has struck Fordyce Farm, they say. Survivors call it Mud Madness, and you’re invited to participate in this combination 5K race and mud-spattered obstacle course. The event is kid-friendly, but adults have been known to break down and act like children here too. Frankly, we love the idea of running through this sticky, mud-filled and generally insanely fun family event.
Movies in the Garden
Though it’s technically in Silverton, Movies in the Garden is one of our favorite warm-weather things to do in Salem! Combining many of our favorite things, including the outdoors, movies, and pie—yes, it’s sponsored by the Willamette Valley Pie Company—this event is great fun for all ages.
Woodburn Fiesta Mexicana
Located just up Interstate 5 in lovely Woodburn, this beloved festival is in its 56th year. Bringing together delicious food, amazing entertainment, a carnival, the pomp and celebration of the “Fiesta Court Coronation,” a parade, car show, and soccer tournament, it’s no surprise that folks from all over Central Oregon flock to this yearly showstopper.
Salem Public Saturday Market
This venerable market operates all the year round, but summer is arguably the best time to sample the farm-fresh produce and treats like organic coffee, local meats and eggs, and much much more. It’s a time-honored celebration of the do-it-yourself spirit that powered the early Oregonians.