It's late July, the sun is out and there is a flurry of activity in Memorial Park and other venues in southern Newberg – it must be time for the Newberg Old Fashioned Festival.
This annual summer rite has for decades been a staple of life in Newberg, providing all manner of delights for the four senses: the grand parade is a visual and audible treat, while the midway promises tasty treats and aromas to lure even the most stubborn of attendees. Take a trip to the carnival and you will witness the delighted shrieks of youngsters enjoying the rides, while the scent of various food carts and vendors is undeniable.
There's a little something for everyone who makes the short trip to Memorial Park, Renne Field and a few other venues. Activities are kicked off on Thursday morning when the Street Chalk Art event unveils at the Chehalem Cultural Center. Anyone with an interest in putting chalk to pavement can attend and supplies will be on hand.
Thursday evening is when things really get rolling via two events: the festival queen's coronation on the main stage in the park and the kids parade that winds from the school district office on Sixth Street through neighborhoods and back to its starting point.
A little later is the Chehalem Park and Recreation District's dog costume contest, staged at the Renne Field tennis courts and a favorite of dog owners and others that are sans canine companionship.
Exhibits, food and vendors will be on hand in Memorial Park Thursday through Saturday evening, as will the carnival in Renne Field.
On Saturday morning, festival-goers can stoke their internal furnaces with a plateful of pancakes, sausage and eggs via the annual Rotary Pancake Breakfast in Memorial Park.
That will get them ready for the grand parade, set for 10 a.m. and winding from the school district office through neighborhoods to its primary display point on Second Street and then back to the district office on Sixth Street. Get there early as prime spots on the route get snatched up quickly as onlookers vie to take in the pageantry and spectacle of one of the signature events of the festival.
A Boy Scout expo will run throughout the weekend adjacent to the carnival on Sixth Street and include family-friendly activities centered around outdoor recreation and scout games.
The festival's International Stage will run from 4 to 10 p.m. Thursday and feature folkloric dance performances, Mexican live music, prizes, dancing, street food and more.
The Cruise-In & Car Show will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday and promises dozens of vehicles ranging from rare European models to hot rods, dragsters, rat rods and more. Sixth Street will also be the venue for that event.
On Saturday evening there will be Old Fashioned Friday Night, where folks can sample food, wine, beer and other offerings from participating merchants on First Street.
The second signature event of the festival will begin with a bang at 10 p.m. Saturday as the fireworks show commences at Renne Field. Thousands of people traditionally fill the grass venue and cast their eyes skyward for what is arguably the greatest display of fireworks in the area – it is not to be missed.
The festival is capped off on Sunday with a growing display of fire apparatus at Renne Field. Ancient trucks, tenders, engines – some who have been meticulously restored – will be on display.
This year's event, festival organizers said, is being dedicated to Al Blodgett, a longtime staple and former chief of the Newberg Fire Department who passed away earlier this month.
Blodgett was also instrumental in organizing the Old Fashioned Festival and shepherding his charges in the fire department, who for years provided security throughout the night for vendors' booths at Memorial Park.
If you're new to the area and haven't attended the Old Fashioned Festival before, you owe it to yourself to expose yourself to this annual rite of summer in Newberg. If you're an old hat who's attended many times, pick your favorite activity and join the rest of the community in the fun.
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