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Members' Favorite Small Town Celebrations

Via readers share their favorite small town celebrations in the West.

Via Readers
boy with close-up look at slice of cherry pie at Montana pie eating contest, picture
Photo credit
Photo: Valley Journal File
Photo caption
Pie-eating skills at a Montana cherry festival.

"I nominate the annual Butterfly Parade & Bazaar in Pacific Grove, Calif., in October, which honors the migration of monarch butterflies. All the public schools in the city join a march through downtown, followed by a bazaar. Very cool!" —Steve Uchida

"September's Genoa Candy Dance began in 1919 with a dance and homemade candy sale to finance street lighting in Nevada's first permanent settlement. Today 300-plus vendors and nearly 40,000 visitors take part. The candy sells out fast." —Tori Windsor

"Every June, the Fairfax Festival & EcoFest in Fairfax, Calif., highlights local musical acts on three stages and offers crafts and flea-market treasures, wholesome food, organic winetasting, and a children's play area. People come from all around the San Francisco Bay Area." —Debbie Matson

"The Polson Main Street Flathead Cherry Festival in Montana is one of the sweetest. Arts, crafts, entertainment, and games add to the July celebration of the harvest. Red-stained fingers abound, as cherry products are served, sampled, and honored." —Shirley Best

"Pear lovers flock to the tiny town of Courtland, Calif., in July for the annual Pear Fair, a salute to the local Bartlett harvest. Treats include pies, pear-tinis, ice cream, and fritters. The fun continues with a parade, a pie-eating contest, and a pear-centric historical exhibit." —Robin Johnson

"California's Twain Harte Summer Art & Wine Festival in July tops any list. Talented musicians, vendors of delicious food, a classic car show, and a wine-tasting plaza make for an upbeat, friendly scene." —Patricia Harrelson

"In 1932, merchants in Silverton, Ore., organized the Kiwanis Pet Parade to honor Bobbie, a Silverton collie that walked just over 2,000 miles home after being lost in Indiana. Now the May event has the longest continuous history of any pet parade in the country." —Judith Kent

"At the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, Ore., more than 1,200 quilts draw 15,000 viewers in July. The free event educates the public about the art and heritage of the craft, and you don't have to be a quilter to be in awe of it. I should know!" —Bill Leininger

"Picture the world's largest shortcake—enough to feed 15,000—at the Strawberry Festival in Lebanon, Ore., in June. Volunteers deliver 1,000 pieces to folks who can't attend, and the town hosts two parades, a run/walk, and a carnival." —Christina Malango

"For more than 80 years, the Verboort Sausage Dinner has taken over a village about 25 miles west of Portland with handmade sausage, baked goods, and crafts. But the real treat each November is an all-you-can-eat dinner served by cheery maidens wearing traditional Dutch garb." —Jimmy Radosta

"Enjoy sweet scents at July's Willamette Valley Lavender Festival in Newberg, Ore. Sample infused chocolates or buy sachets, soaps, lotions, and more. A plein air art show highlights works by local artists." —Jordana Leeb

This article was first published in Summer 2017. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.