EVENTS: Family fun, Hiroshima memorial and more to do in Salem

A free day of family fun is coming to Riverfront Park this weekend, along with a concert and several smaller events around Salem.

Here’s your guide to weekend activities for Friday, Aug. 4 – Sunday, Aug. 6.

Family Fest

Riverfront Park on Saturday will be filled with activities for kids and families, including fire trucks, face painting, an obstacle course and more.

Family Building Blocks’ annual Riverfront Family Fest runs Saturday, Aug. 5, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. It’s a health and safety fair aimed at giving families a place to build connections and spend time together. The event is free and open to the public. Learn more on the Family Building Blocks website.

Rally for peace

Peace advocates in Salem will gather Sunday, Aug. 6, to mark the anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima during World War II, and gather signatures in support of a treaty to ban nuclear weapons.

The gathering takes place at the North Meadow in Riverfront Park from 4:30-7 p.m. Children can learn how to fold paper cranes, and petitions will be on hand urging Oregon’s Congressional delegation to support the U.S. signing on to an international nuclear weapons ban.

“We will commemorate this anniversary with the presence of local peace organizations, a minute of silence, a speaker on behalf of local Marshall Islanders harmed by nuclear testing, peace songs, activities for young people, and information on how citizens can help ensure this never happens to another city again,” organizers said in a news release.

First Friday concert

Aug. 4 is the first Friday of the month, which means another local musician taking the stage at Riverfront Park’s Gerry Frank Amphitheater.

Jake and the Hill People will perform starting at 8 p.m. Friday. A number of downtown businesses also have special events or guests to celebrate First Friday.

Strange and unique shopping

Shoppers can peruse two markets with a variety of vendors this weekend.

The Market for the Strange is returning to the Salem Convention Center, 200 Commercial St. S.E., on Sunday, Aug. 6, from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Come browse wares from 65 vendors including art, handicrafts, crystals and poetry. The market is free and open to all ages.

See more, including a vendor list, on the event’s Facebook page.

Blast Off Vintage, 860 High St. N.E., is hosting its Underground Market Saturday, Aug. 5, from 3-7 p.m. Vendor spots are still open, and the event features local artisans and people who provides skilled services like tarot readings and massage, according to the event.

See more on the store’s Facebook page.

Jack Caroll, 3, enjoying his third birthday at the tractor pull during the Great Oregon Steam-Up at Powerland Heritage Park on Saturday, July 29, 2023 (Eric Schuman/Special to Salem Reporter)

Great Oregon Steam-Up

Powerland Heritage Park’s celebration of all things mechanical returns Saturday, Aug. 5, and Sunday, Aug. 6.

The festival, which is recognized as an “Oregon Heritage Tradition” takes place at 3995 Brooklake Rd. N.E. and runs from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days.

The all-ages event has plenty of things to do, including rides on miniature trains, pins to collect, a flea market and 14 on-site museums.

The demonstrations will show old farming methods, blacksmithing, flour milling, steam-powered saw-milling and a logging competition.

The parade of machinery at 1:30 p.m. each day of the event will feature steam engines, fire engines, trucks and tractors. A full schedule of the festival is online.

Tickets are $17 for adults, $12 for students and free for kids 12 and younger. This weekend, admission is free for veterans in uniform or with military I.D. Parking is $5.

Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.

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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.