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S. Oregon Coast's Bandon Cranberry Festival Kicks Up a Colorful Storm of Taste, Music, Fun

Published 08/30/22 at 5:02 AM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

S. Oregon Coast's Bandon Cranberry Festival Kicks Up a Colorful Storm of Taste, Music, Fun

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(Bandon, Oregon) – One heckuva party will be happening shortly on the southern Oregon coast, as the 76th Annual Bandon Cranberry Festival hits the lovely little town, with lots of the red morsels and a tradition that's closing in on a century. The Bandon Chamber of Commerce puts together the big event every year, and this one takes place on September 9-11, with most events located in Bandon City Park. (Photo courtesy Bandon Visitors Center)

Cranberry Country Jamboree is the theme this time around.

The annual festival whoops it up in honor of local cranberry farming, an industry that has put Oregon on the map as well as this section of the south coast, with a large variety of operations in Bandon, Sixes, Langlois and all the way down to Port Orford.

It's often said that Bandon cranberries are the tastiest in the country, and this rip-roarin' good time will be an example with not just plenty of food, but also a ton of entertainment, cranberry farm equipment, sports and shopping. Coronations of festival princess and queens from local schools are a large part of the tradition as well. Some parts of the festival are considered pre-celebrations and actually spread this massive party out to September 8, starting with a historical perspective of the Bandon Cranberry Festival at the Bandon Historical Museum.


South coast skies in a cranberry mood - photo Oregon Coast Beach Connection

The Bandon Crab Derby has been ongoing since July, where you catch a tagged crab for a chance to win a prize. That ends on September 11 with the close of the festival.

“Boasting 76 years of family fun, the Bandon Cranberry Festival is the longest running festival on the Oregon coast,” said chamber director Margaret Pounder. “The festival is a lively introduction to the Bandon community, as well as a time-honored tradition for residents.”

Kicking off the proceedings is the famous Cranberry Kitchen Contest at 9 a.m. on September 9. Judging of the entries starts at noon. Also then, the VFW Ladies Auxiliary Craft Bazaar & Bake Sale takes place at the VFW Hall in Bandon.

There's a quilt show that day, the Old Town Marketplace Farmers Market happens at the Port of Bandon Waterfront, and the entire town turns into “Cranberry City” with merchants around the burgh holding specials of different features.

On September 10, the Cranberry Festival Bike Ride happens at 8 a.m. , and the bake sales continue at the VFW Hall. Then there's the Cranberry Festival Parade: it begins at 10 a.m. at Bandon High School and heads up Highway 101. The Cranberry Festival Vendor Market goes from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., featuring all sorts of locally-made wares.

During all this, live music happens on two large stages, including bands such as Tiller of the Moon, Sly & Co, Rogue Strings and a finale by dance band The High Deductibles.

There's the Cranberry Car Show going on throughout the day, a kids' corner with all sorts of playthings, and the Cranberry Eating Contest.

On Sunday, look for many of the same features as the previous days, but now also including the Cranberry Festival Vendor Court. The Prancing Pet Parade starts at 11 a.m., there's another full roster of live music, another eating contest and the Bandon Lions Club Cranberry Run begins at 4 p.m.

The Bandon Cranberry Festival started in the '40s. The initial shindig happened in November, with the parade getting added the following year, also in November, to mark the end of the cranberry harvest. Eventually, the Cranberry Festival was moved from that chilly month to an earlier spot in the year, now basking in the warmth of the south Oregon coast's “Second Summer.”

The full schedule is available at the Bandon Cranberry Festival page.

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