EVENTS: Walking tour, local markets and Qingming Festival this weekend

If you venture downtown Friday or Saturday, you’re likely to see high school theater students out and about as the Oregon Thespian Festival comes to town.

Friday is also the monthly First Friday Art Walk in downtown Salem, with a number of businesses hosting pop-up art exhibits, wine tastings and other special events. Learn more here.

Aside from that, you’ll find plenty to do on local stages and gardens this weekend. Here’s a guide to what’s happening around Salem from Friday, April 5, to Sunday, April 7.

Explore storied gardens

Learn about Salem’s historic trees with a free walking tour through Gaiety Hollow, Bush’s Pasture Park and Deepwood Gardens. Meet at 10 a.m. Saturday at Gaiety Hollow, 545 Mission St. S.E. “Along the way, you will learn about historic trees, the efforts to preserve such trees, how climate is affecting not only the existing trees but the decisions on selecting new trees,” the event says. It’s organized by the nonprofit Mission Street Parks Conservancy.

Unique shopping

Pentacle Theater hosts a script sale Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its downtown rehearsal space, 197 Liberty St. S.E. More information here.

Blast off Vintage hosts its Underground Market Saturday from 3-7 p.m., with about 30 local vendors who offer handmade products and services like tarot readings and massage. The thrift shop is located at 860 High St. N.E.

The Cherry City Flea Market will be held on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Salem Center Mall, 401 Center St. N.E. The event will include vintage and handmade clothing, art, jewelry and decor from local “makers, curators and collectors,” according to its website. Admission is free.


Comedian Larry the Cable Guy will perform standup Saturday at the Elsinore Theatre, 170 High St. S.E. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $59 to $125 and will cost $5 more on the day of the show.

Infinity Room has two comedy shows this weekend featuring local bands.

On Friday, local educators who are also comedians perform “The Teacher Show: Comedy from the Classroom.” On Saturday, catch “Gay Old Time: A Queer Comedy Show.”

Both shows start at 7 p.m. at the venue, 210 Liberty St. S.E. Tickets for both start at $15. Learn more and buy tickets online.

Watch basketball or roller derby

The Salem Capitals have two home games this weekend at the Salem Armory, 2310 17th St. N.E. The Capitals play the Wenatchee Bighorns Friday at 7:30 p.m., and the Vancouver Volcanoes Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are $6.

Cherry City Roller Derby hosts a juniors tournament, Petal to the Metal, bringing seven teams from four states to compete in Salem. Games are held Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with tickets starting at $12. All games are at the Madhouse, 1335 Madison St. N.E. For specific times and more information, see the event page.

Cultural celebrations

Salem’s Qingming Festival has multiple events this weekend, including a celebration Saturday at Pioneer Cemetery, 2201 Commercial St. N.E., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (entrance off South Hoyt Street and Skopil Avenue). Learn more on the city website and read more about Qingming in Salem in our article below.

The cherry blossoms at State Capitol State Park remain lit at night through April 6. View them at 155 Waverly St. N.E.

Arts and museums

April brings new exhibits to most Salem galleries and museums. Catch our roundup of what’s on display below.

Coming up

Festival Chorale Oregon performs Dvořák’s best known sacred work, “Stabat Mater,” on Sunday, April 14, at 4 p.m. at the Elsinore Theatre. The work puts to music the liturgy of Mary’s suffering during the crucifixion of Jesus. Get tickets here.

Pentacle Theatre’s newest play, “Ripcord,” opens April 19. It’s a comedy about a conflict between two women in a nursing home. Visit the theater website for showtimes and tickets.

Salem is hosting the International Uranium Film Fest on Friday, April 19, and Saturday, April 20, with screenings of films about nuclear weapons both evenings at the Ike Box. The event is sponsored by Nuclear Abolition Now and seeks to highlight the impact of atomic weapons and perspectives missing from the blockbuster film “Oppenheimer.” A schedule of films is here.

Chemeketa Community College will host Boston Brass on Tuesday, April 23, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for students and $30 general admission. More information here.

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.