Minstrels, sword-swallowers, falconers?all were common sights on the streets of 16th-century European villages. Now, over the course of 13 days, a talented band of players descends upon The Oregon Renaissance Festival of Hillsboro to recreate those days of yore. Schooled in the methods of improv theater, actors inhabit their roles as fairies, sword-fighters, and members of the royal court, among others. Members of RoundTable Productions even suit up in knight's armor to compete in a joust attended by fair maidens and correspondents from ESPNMedieval.
While warhorses charge at one another, artisans in the marketplace hawk handmade clothing, jewelry, and wooden crafts. Ditto the festival's food purveyors, who satiate pre-industrial appetites with spinach pies, turkey legs, bread bowls of hearty soup, and steak on a stake. After a bite, hop aboard hand-powered rides or perform chaste dances to English rounds crooned in five-part harmony.
The course itself carries on that fun vibe, too. Winding through city streets and local parks, the 5K route is dotted with hydration stations that dole out hot chocolate. Holiday music, a giant Santa inflatable, and snow blowers help to set
Two of Christian music’s most iconic artists, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith join forces to spread the good news, leading congregations in melodious worship on their 2 Friends Tour. Since 1982, this dynamic duo has engaged millions to flock to their catchy, ecclesiastical pop music, sharing a musical camaraderie as impenetrable as a fortress with abandonment issues. Amy Grant, author of No. 1 hits such as “El Shaddai” and “Baby Baby,” has shared her gift of song for more than 30 years, selling more than 30 million albums, garnering six Grammys, and earning a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Michael W. Smith has earned countless accolades with his tremendous songbook of head-bobbing hymns and choir-rousing hits. Sharing the stage for the first time in two decades, Amy and Michael thrill fans with new psalms and favorites from their sonic scroll, merging their sets with joyful duets and chemistry that crackles like Abbott and Costello after getting struck by lightning.
For 30 years, The Bite of Oregon has rolled out its tents, tables, and stages every summer for a multiday celebration of the state?s food, culture, and residents. Attendees raise their forks to the idea that ?Life Tastes Better Here,? a mantra the festival lives up to by offering a culinary bounty crafted by some of Oregon?s most talented chefs. From small plates to full meals, vendors distribute their creations and, in between bites, regional wines and craft beers splash both new and familiar flavors across palates. As visitors wine and dine, local and national bands provide the soundtrack from multiple stages.
Demonstrating its respect for the community, The Bite of Oregon strives to be a Zero Waste event, each year producing less waste by lining its grounds with recycling stations and hiring unemployed goats to eat everyone?s napkins.
The Holiday Food & Gift Festival brings together exhibitors, food vendors, and a slice of Santaland. Artisans forge jewelry, crafts, sculptures, pre-packaged fourmet food, and photography that pile atop exhibition tables to form glittering mountains of potential presents. Handmade toys and the irrepressible sparkle of Christmas d?cor capture the attention of thousands of annual attendees.
The North Meets South Food & Drink Jubilee brings together local and national wineries, breweries, distilleries, and restaurants for a weekend of delicious activities in an elegant atmosphere. Pepper your palate with complimentary samples of delicious edibles and intoxicating imbibements from national and international vendors— including Southern Oregon Brewing, Willamette Valley Vineyards, Enchanted Cupcakes, and Whole Foods Market—as well as talented regional chefs.