Like most cities, summer is prime-time for events in and around Eugene. But if you’re visiting Eugene or maybe thinking about relocating to Eugene, then there’s something you should know: For the Willamette Valley’s fortunate inhabitants, summer continues well into the fall. Expect sunny skies and warm temperatures through September and quite possibly into October.
Know also that there’s plenty to do and see year-round. So much, in fact, that it can be hard to get a handle on it all. Don’t worry: we’ve combed through all the options to bring you what we think is truly the best.
Eugene bills itself as “A Great City for the Arts and Outdoors.” But we urge you to put the slogan to the test: get out there, and enjoy all that the area has to offer.
Our business is real estate, but we’re passionate about our local communities. We want to do what we can to share that passion. So without further ado, here’s Eugene’s top events for Fall 2018.
(Not yet ready for the summer to end? Then check out our Summer Events Guide.)
Ducks Football and Tailgating at Autzen Stadium — September 1, 8, 15, 22, October 13, November 3, 17
If you know about Eugene, you probably know about the Ducks. For a half-decade or so starting in early 2010s, the Ducks were an NCAA Football powerhouse. Though the team’s fortunes have waxed and waned, Ducks games are still a quintessential Eugene experience.
September is going to be an especially busy month for Ducks fans, with a whopping four home games. With September’s sublime weather, that’s great news for tailgaters. Pull your car up to Autzen stadium and let the fun begin, or head across the street to Essig Field for food carts, live music, and a sports bar with ten beers on tap.
Even if you don’t like football, or think that you don’t like football, you owe it to yourself for the cultural experience. Go Ducks!
Eugene River Festival and Salmon Paddle Race — September 9
Okay, so when it comes to life’s simpler pleasures, maybe football isn’t your thing. You might rather spend your weekend relaxing in or by the water. The Eugene area has a lot of that: the Pacific Ocean is just an hour’s drive away, while Fern Ridge Reservoir west of town has you covered for swimming and boating. You may just decide to walk or bike down to the Willamette River, though, with intertube in tow.
If you love the river and want to throw some friendly competition into the mix, definitely mark this one on your calendar. A race will begin at Alton Baker canoe canal, proceeding down a portion of the Willamette. There’s plenty of fun for the kids too, with demo kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, educational booths, youth races at Alton Baker pond, and more. The festivities start at noon.
Pacific Northwest Marathon — September 15
Missed the Eugene City Marathon in the Spring? No problem–this is Track Town U.S.A., after all, and there’s no shortage of long-distance running events year round. The event is a pre-race qualifier for the Boston Marathon, and there are half-marathon and 5k races as well. Click here for more info.
Concerts at the Cuthbert Amphitheater
Dropkick Murphys + Flogging Molly — September 21 / Miguel — September 24 / Deadbeats Tour 2018 — October 6
Speaking of the Willamette River, Eugene’s premier outdoor concert venue, the Cuthbert, is located just off of it. Three concerts are lined up for the fall.
We’re most excited about the first one: there’s just something about Celtic punk that just feels deeply appropriate for Eugene. It is the “Emerald City” after all, but there’s also a fiery energy lurking underneath the surface.
Miguel’s performance is also not to be missed. With the passing of Prince in 2016, some would say that Miguel is one of the artists helping to carry on his torch. Agree or not, this is a rare opportunity to see a contemporary popular music sensation in Eugene.
Don’t overlook the Deadbeats Tour either. Curated by renowned Canadian electronic act Zeds Dead, the Eugene leg of the 2018 tour will also feature Ganja White Night, 12th Planet, Midnight Tyrannosaurus, and Champagne Drip. Expect the whole city of Eugene to be throbbing to the bass these folks will be pumping out. Grab your tickets while they’re hot.
Lane County Master Gardener Fall Festival — September 22
Eugenians love to garden. Rich soil, hot summer temperatures, and a boundless local knowledge base make this a great place to plant your own garden. Several community garden spaces mean that even if you’re in an apartment, you can still enjoy the pleasures of planting and harvesting your own vegetables. And even if you don’t have a garden of your own, you’ve probably enjoyed the bounty of local produce at the Farmer’s Market, or perhaps an armful or few of your neighbor’s zucchini.
As with so many things in life, what comes out from your garden depends upon what you put into it. Luckily, Eugene’s active community of master gardeners is here to help you get the most out of your soil. Come to River Road Park between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. for an assortment of workshops, and hang around for a while drinking apple cider fresh-pressed from local trees.
Lane County Home Improvement Expo — October 12-14
Eugene is a do-it-yourself kind of place, and home improvement is no exception. Wondering where to start? Look no further than Eugene’s 36th Annual Home Improvement Expo. With over 250 exhibits and 40 “how-to” seminars, you’re sure to come out with an idea or few.
For more info, go to the event website. Thinking of selling your home and not sure which improvements to do before you put it on the market? Our team can help. Contact us, or click here for a totally free, no-strings-attached home valuation.
Reefer Madness the Musical — October 26-November 3
As you probably well know, reefer madness has been the status quo in Eugene for a long time in the form of easily-accessible cannabis. (Want to know which Eugene neighborhoods are best and worst for cannabis? Then this article might interest you.)
But well before cannabis became mainstream, there was the propaganda film “Reefer Madness,” a classic of unintentional comedy best enjoyed under the influence of the herb. Well, the folks of the Actor’s Cabaret of Eugene will carry on the legend two weekends this fall, and there’s going to be dinner service to boot. We won’t offer any particular pre-show suggestions, but you’re probably thinking along the same lines that we are already.
Mount Pisgah Arboretum Mushroom Festival — October 28
It seems we’ve gone straight from reefer madness to mushrooms. But this isn’t those kind of mushrooms we’re talking about. The Pacific Northwest’s lush rainforests contain an incredible bounty of edible mushrooms, and fall is prime mushroom-hunting season.
Mount Pisgah’s family-friendly Mushroom Festival features as its centerpiece an enormous exhibition, with over 300 species of mushrooms. Add music, wine, fresh-pressed apple cider, kids’ activities, and culinary demonstrations and you’ve got a recipe for an amazing fall day.
After you’ve learned to identify the edibles and throw out the Death Caps and Destroying Angels, head into the woods around Eugene to prepare your next feast of fungi. Morels and chanterelles are relatively common, and you may even get lucky and snag yourself some prized matsutakes.
Eugene Comic Con — November 10-11
All hail EUCON, mighty lord of regional comic book festivals. Really, it’s about more than just comic books: Eugene Comic Con is a broad celebration of popular culture, with in-depth panels, video games, toys, guest writers and artists. Of course there’s plenty of comic books too.
Legendary WWE wrestler Booker T and renowned artist/inker Mike Royer will be on hand to add a special flair. For the true EUCON experience, come in costume for a cosplay of the ages.
Holiday Market — Weekends from November 17
Eugene’s Saturday Market is a spring and summertime staple. Hundreds of local artisans showcase their handcrafted wares, and across the street, local organic farms, ranches, dairies, bakers and more provide an epic farmer’s market experience. Eugene’s residents and visitors show up en masse for food, shopping, music, relaxation, conversation, and people-watching.
Well, now the Saturday Market’s pleasures are available well into the winter too. Starting November 17, with temperatures dropping and rains becoming threatening, many of the Market’s vendors head for the shelter of the Lane County Events Center, where Saturday Market transforms into Holiday Market.
There’s no drum circle, but there’s plenty of music, both holiday and otherwise, and the Farmer’s Market is right next door. For that warm and fuzzy feeling you get during the holiday season without the rampant consumerism, look no further.
2018 Celebration on the Territorial Wine Trail — November 23-25
In case you weren’t aware, the Eugene area is a growing mecca for wine lovers. The Southern Willamette Valley features more than 100 vineyards and 25 wineries. Wine Enthusiast Magazine even named it the 2016 wine region of the year.
If you’re not familiar with what the area has to offer or want to give special thanks for the region’s bounty of wine, this is the event for you. The Territorial Wine Trail is a majestic 40-mile drive through the heart of Oregon’s wine country. During the Thanksgiving weekend, several of its wineries, including Sweet Cheeks, King Estate, and Iris Vineyard will offer free tastings, special food pairings, live music and more.