EVENTS: Celtic New Year, harvest festivals on tap for Salem’s weekend

From a slew of fall festivals and early Halloween festivities to the return of the Great Junk Hunt, there is something for everyone in Salem this weekend. This is your guide to events for Thursday, Oct. 19, through Sunday, Oct. 22.

Early Halloween fun

Powerland Heritage Park is continuing to host Halloween-themed activities every weekend through October.

Those who visit the park’s trolley car barn can take a time-traveling trip to Atlantis. “Guests are visiting the ‘Salem Time Travel Institute’ when an urgent request comes from Atlantis. The city’s shields are failing! Guests will need to deliver a time crystal in order to save the city. This is a non-scary, highly decorated and colorful experience. Kids use black lights to highlight items in the adventure,” according to Joe Tracey, the park’s marketing director.

Visitors can also pick out a pumpkin to take home, take a wagon ride pulled by a giant steam traction engine or go on unlimited trolley rides with a skeleton hunt – and anyone who finds  finds all the skeletons will get to spin a prize wheel.

The park at 3995 Brooklake Rd. N.E. will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults and $14 for kids, and they can be bought onsite or online.

The Nightmare Factory, Oregon’s longest continuously running haunted house, will also be open on Friday, Oct. 20 and Saturday, Oct. 21. It runs through early November.

It’s located at the Oregon School for the Deaf campus, 999 Locust St. N.E. Tickets cost $20 and are available online, at the gate or by calling 503-378-3827.

The haunted house is open from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Fall festivals

Fordyce Farm is continuing its Fall Fest through the rest of the month. 

Admission is free, as are most activities including a hay fort, indoor hay maze, playground, coloring stations and hay rides. A corn maze is $5.25 per person and free for kids 5 and under, the pumpkin patch is 55 cents per pound or 49 cents per pound for over 100 pounds, and apple picking for $1.15 per pound.

The festival is open from noon to 6 p.m at 7023 Sunnyview Rd. N.E.

There will also be a haunted corn maze every Friday and Saturday from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., which is not recommended for little kids. “We release the monsters for a scary night among the corn stalks,” an event listing said. Admission is $16.

But Thursday, Oct. 19 is family night in the corn maze until 9 p.m. “Take your family through the corn maze after dark, but without the monsters. Great for a spooky experience with no jump scares,” the listing said. That costs the regular daytime rate.

Bauman’s Harvest Festival also runs through Oct. 29 with mazes, obstacle courses, rides, farm animals and other family fun.

The festival is held at 12989 Howell Prairie Rd. N.E. in Gervais. 

The event is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with admission closing at 4 p.m. It’s closed on Mondays.

Tickets are $15 for admission to 15 festival activities or $30 for 30 activities.

A hay ride, pumpkin patch, petting zoo and corn maze will be among the festivities at this year’s Harvestfest, hosted by E.Z. Orchards Farm Market through Oct. 30.

The festival will be open on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets range from $4 to $10.

The market is located at 5504 Hazelgreen Rd. N.E. Find more information online.

Celtic New Year

The eighth annual Samhain Celtic New Year Festival will take place on Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Willamette Heritage Center, 1313 Mill St. S.E. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Samhain marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter in Gaelic culture. It traditionally takes place on Nov. 1.

Salem nonprofit Céilí of the Valley Society organizes the festival. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students and free for those 12 and under.

Additional information about the event can be found online.

Buy junk treasures, artisan products and native bulbs

The Great Junk Hunt returns to the Oregon State Fairgrounds this weekend with vendors selling vintage items, home decor and other goods.

“Plus no party is complete without cocktails, live music and aisles of junkin’ treasure,” an event listing said.

The event will be held on Friday, Oct. 20, and Saturday, Oct. 21, at the fairgrounds, located at 2330 17th St. N.E.

Tickets range from $10 to 20. More information is available online.

You can learn about what native and ornamental plants are best for pollinators, the life cycle of a mason bee, and gardening for hummingbirds and butterflies.

The West Salem Artisan Market is also back this Saturday, intended to “support and empower emerging artists focusing on people from historically marginalized communities,” according to an event listing.

The market hosts rotating vendors from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the first and third Saturday of each month at At The Corner Art Gallery & Community Creative Space, 1105 Edgewater St. SW. 

The Pollinator Symposium and Native Bulb Sale is scheduled for noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21 at the library, 585 Liberty St. S.E. The free event is hosted by the Marion Soil & Water Conservation District and Oregon Bee Project.

Proceeds from native flowering bulbs bought at the sale will go to the Stan Vistica Scholarship for students studying natural resources. The scholarship is provided by the water conservation district.

More information about the event, including an agenda, can be found online.

Catch a live show

A biannual live music event hosted by the Salem Art Association is back with “a unique mix of genres that you won’t see anywhere else,” according to an event listing.

Encore!, held every spring and fall, will be held on Thursday, Oct. 19 at the Elsinore Theatre, 170 High St. S.E. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m.

“Indie pop and contemplative folk singer/songwriter Raye Zaragoza! Latin dance beats from Pachanga will have you dancing in your seats! Hometown favorite Rich McCloud and funk soul music from Arietta Ward aka Mz. Etta. RiRi Calienté will be the emcee for the evening,” the listing said.

Tickets range from $29 to $49, with all proceeds going to charity. Find more information online.

Salem’s Pentacle Theatre will perform its final few shows of the musical comedy “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” this weekend.

The production, directed by Loriann Schmidt, will run between Thursday, Oct. 19 and Saturday, Oct. 21. It’s based on the book by Robert L. Freedman and music by Steven Lutvak.

It follows Monty Navarro, who discovers he’s ninth in line for an earldom and decides to jump the line for inheritance by killing his relatives.

“Despite the high body count, this delightful show will lift the hearts of all those who’ve been pining for what sometimes seems a lost art form: musicals that match streams of memorable melody with fizzily witty turns of phrase,” according to an event listing quoting The New York Times. “Bloodlust hasn’t sung so sweetly, or provided so much theatrical fun, since Sweeney Todd first wielded his razor with gusto many a long year ago.” 

The shows Thursday, Friday and Saturday will be at 7:30 p.m. The event runs around two hours.

The theater is located at 324 52nd Ave. N.W. 

Tickets range from $17 to $45, with more information available online. Check out our preview below:

Watch a roller derby bout

Cherry City Roller Derby’s Renegades and 8 Wheel Assassins will both compete on Saturday, Oct. 21 against the Rose City Wreckers.

Food and beverages will be available at the family-friendly event. It’s held at Cherry City Roller Derby, 1335 Madison St. N.E. 

Tickets $15 at the door and $16 with a credit card. Children 5 and under get in free.

Doors open at 3:30 p.m. 

The Renegades’ bout begins at 4:30 p.m. and the 8 Wheel Assassins begin at 7 p.m. 

Event volunteers are always needed and get free admission, according to the venue’s website. People who want to help can contact [email protected].

Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.

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Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.