EVENTS: Ag fest, Awesome 3000 and more to do in Salem this weekend

There’s ample opportunity this weekend to make the most of the sunny weather, from fun with animals to plant collecting and a fun run.

More of an indoor creature? A one-night musical performance and roller derby doubleheader are also on tap.

Here’s your weekend roundup from the Salem Reporter crew.

Get in the dirt

Check out the Oregon Ag Fest, a weekend-long celebration of the state’s agricultural industry, at the Oregon State Fairgrounds, 2330 17th St. N.E. The event aims to “bridge the gap between urban and rural life, and to share the wonder and abundance of Oregon’s bountiful and diverse harvest.” Attendees can ride ponies, watch sheep shearing, plant seedlings, see farm equipment on display and more.

The event runs Saturday from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is free for kids 12 and under, and $9 for teens and adults. Get tickets online here. Parking is free.

Fans of Bush’s Pasture Park can stop by the Mission Street Parks Conservancy’s spring plant sale, held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, April 28, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 29, on the park’s soapbox derby track off Southeast Mission Street. Plants on sale include natives, annuals, perennials, herbs and edible plants. Proceeds support a joint project with the city to turn a portion of the park into a garden. Read more here.

Visitors say hello to goats in the livestock barn at the Marion County Fair on Friday, July 9, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Run for local schools

The Awesome 3000 returns this weekend from a three-year hiatus. The Saturday event at McCullough Stadium kicks off with the middle and high school race at 8:15 a.m., finishing with a 12:25 p.m. run for toddlers.

Registration is $25 per student and includes a t-shirt. Proceeds support a grant fund for schools in the Salem-Keizer School District.

Register online until Friday. Spectators can watch the races for free, and volunteers are still needed.

Will Krause holds his medal after completing the Awesome 3000 in 2009 (Courtesy/Karma Krause)

Catch a Sondheim show

Northwest Broadway Productions will perform Stephen Sondheim’s award-winning musical, “A Little Night Music,” in concert with the Salem Orchestra on Saturday night. The musical is set in 1900 Sweden and follows several love triangles that are tangled and untangled, according to the production description.

The show starts at 7 p.m. at the Elsinore Theatre, 170 High St. S.E. Tickets start at $28 and are available online.

Watch roller derby

Cherry City Roller Derby has a doubleheader game Saturday evening featuring four northwest teams. The action kicks off at 4:30 p.m. at the Madhouse, 1335 Madison St. N.E.

First, the Alter Egos (Hood River) will play Strawberry City Roller Derby (Marysville, Washington), with several Salem skaters participating. Then at 7 p.m., the Cherry City adult team will take on Bend’s Lava City Roller Derby.

Tickets are $12 in advance or $30 for two adults and any children under 13. Buy tickets online.

Corban’s Spring Showcase

Watch Corban University’s band, orchestra and choir present a variety of music Friday night.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at the university’s Psalm Center, 5000 Deer Park Dr. S.E. Admission is free.

Have an event you’d like included in our weekly roundup? Reach out to Managing Editor Rachel Alexander at [email protected]. Please include the date, time, cost and a link to or information about buying tickets, if required.

STORY TIP OR IDEA? Send an email to Salem Reporter’s news team: [email protected].

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Rachel Alexander is Salem Reporter’s managing editor. She joined Salem Reporter when it was founded in 2018 and covers city news, education, nonprofits and a little bit of everything else. She’s been a journalist in Oregon and Washington for a decade. Outside of work, she’s a skater and board member with Salem’s Cherry City Roller Derby and can often be found with her nose buried in a book.