Eugene Uketoberfest lures ukulele lovers from near and far with two full days of workshops, concerts, and strumming circles. Instead of pouring Pixy Stix into their ears, guests can treat their aural senses to the sweet sounds of Hawaiian string king Craig Chee, multi-instrumentalist Victoria Vox, and uke-toting doo-wop troupe The Refreshments, plus more than a dozen other artists. Many performers will host workshops, teaching traditional topics such as strumming techniques (Friday at 9:30 a.m.) and hammer-on and pull-off effects (Friday at 11 a.m. and Saturday at 2:10 p.m.), as well as unusual skills such as pizza-box drumming (Saturday at 1 p.m.). As adults ogle handcrafted ukes from Mya-Moe and SpruceHouse, plucky youngsters can rehearse tunes with a teacher and kids their own age. Grownup ukesters will also have ample chances to play with others, including identical twins Greg and Jere Canote, who will host a jam session and peanut-butter food fight on Saturday at 3:45 p.m.
The City of Eugene Recreation Services' dedicated staffers encourage locals to build strong relationships and muscles through diverse recreation programs offered year-round. They organize and lead snowboarding and kayaking programs for outdoor adventure-seekers, helm dance classes, and operate fitness facilities to provide indoor retreats for youth and families'. At Echo Hollow and Sheldon, staffers slip into indoor pools to lead aquatic fitness classes, or stay out of the water to monitor lap swims. In warmer months, the Amazon outdoor water arena allows swimmers to shoot down water slides at speeds faster than comets sprinkled with coffee. Aiming to make activities enjoyable to all partakers, the City of Eugene Recreation Services provides a bevy of adaptive recreation services for participants with disabilities as well as a variety of volunteer opportunities throughout the year.
The Rink Exchange at The Lane County Ice Arena furnishes a smooth sheet of frozen H2O on which skaters of all skill levels can hone their arabesques and glides during public skating sessions held on Tuesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Skating duos, quartets, or sextets can lace up a pair of rental skates and hit the frozen floor to show off their moves or carve rebuttals to the USA Today editorial page into the ice. A warm room above the rink allows spectators to comfortably observe ice skimmers below, and a passionate staff helps foster a family-friendly atmosphere. After successfully slicing blades through the chilly skating surface, patrons can head to the full-service snack shop to cool down with a rainbow popsicle or melt frost stuck to their eyebrows with a small hot chocolate.
The Lane County Fair, first run in 1859, fills the August air with live music, enticing aromas, and the twinkling lights of carnival rides. Gain inspiration for future shower concertos with performances by Tommy Tutone, Nashville's Eric Church, and Creedence Clearwater Revisited, formed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame rhythm section of Creedence Clearwater Revival, all of whom headline the lengthy list of mainstage performers. Biwheeled vehicles reach new heights in the Boost Mobile Freestyle Motocross Tour, and the eight All-Alaskan Racing Pigs trot merrily around their sawdust-covered track as bystanders watch. The fair's many carnival rides, including the new ground-dwarfing Vertigo, a brightly-colored adrenaline enhancer that cradles heights seekers in swings and whisks them up 100 feet high for a towering view of the lights below, attract revelers and seatbelt fanatics alike ($0.50/ticket, rides take multiple tickets). Local farmers and craftspeople await the bestowment of ribbons as they display their skill and handiwork in numerous exhibitions.