A light shines bright on a stage, kids frolic under the sun at parks and camps, fairs and festivals spring up and entire small towns close down for parades.
At the end of the tunnel that was the worst of the COVID pandemic — a dark and frustrating burrow we all had to go through these past two years — signs of life large and small have been growing since early this year. The surge of activity is welling for the summer months, and Lane County residents are ready to gather to celebrate the simple fact that they can gather in person, not virtually.
That’s not to be taken for granted.
Eugene Weekly is here to help you navigate the multitude of listings that dot the landscape, with many events that are staples of Lane County now returning in person after a two-year absence.
For example, we welcome back the Oregon Country Fair in Veneta (July 8-10). It’s good to see you again, as well as FOOD for Lane County’s Chef’s Night Out (June 6 at the Lane Events Center) and Creswell’s all day 4th of July Celebration, complete with the morning parade. Then there’s the return of musicals at The Shedd (Lady Be Good, starting July 8, and The Pajama Game, starting Sept. 9) as well as the Oregon Bach Festival (June 17-July 5).
EW also welcomes a new multi-day local event to the Summer Guide issue, EarthDance: Re-evolution (June 17-19), a three-day music and camping experience at Havenroot outside of Veneta, and welcomes back to the area after a seven-year absence the Faerieworlds Music Festival at Cuthbert Amphitheater (June 17-19).
It’s good to see The Jazz Station, Oregon Contemporary Theatre, Cottage Theatre and many other venues now at full speed with music and plays this summer, too.
That’s just a sample. World class athletes come to Hayward Field this summer for the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 (July 14-25), the first time this event has been held on U.S. soil. Vehicle traffic may well be clogged up in the university area during those 10 days, but the action on the track should be spectacularly smooth.
Junction City takes a spin with its annual Function 4 Junction — Show ‘n Shine and Cruises (June 3-4), a fundraiser for the community and its children that showcases a bevy of contemporary and restored classic cars and trucks in parades in front of a throng of residents and out-of-towners.
Sadly, we will not see Art and the Vineyard for the third year in a row, but the Maude Kerns Art Center did have a fundraiser in early May, and it promises to hold more at its East 15th Avenue location this summer.
So step out and breathe in the atmosphere of a glorious time of year when the sun shines and kids and adults alike can frolic. You — all of us — deserve it.