Downtown Coos Bay Third weekend in September www.bayareafunfestival.com
Just as summer is winding down post-Labor Day, the Coos Bay Downtown Association throws one last bash—the “greatest last party of the summer,” as it’s billed—in the form of the multipronged Bay Area Fun Festival. Thousands of locals and visitors from afar come to enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes of beautiful Downtown Coos Bay and surrounding areas for this popular event— and usually at this time of year, in mid-September, the south coast shows off its typically awesome early autumn weather.
Bay Area Fun Festival Coos Bay – USA Festivals Photo Gallery
The Fun Festival kicks off with what is perhaps its signature event, the bustling Prefontaine Memorial Run, an Oregon State Championship 10K race that attracts many dozens of runners to the hometown of legendary track star Steve Prefontaine, who died tragically at age 24 in 1975, at the height of his career. This memorial race also features a two-mile fun run/walk and a 5K event for high school cross-country teams (the 5K is sanctioned by the Oregon State Athletic Association). All races begin Saturday morning, with their start times staggered. For full details, visit www.prefontainerun.com. Runners and other festival attendees can visit the Prefontaine Memorial Gallery at the Coos Art Museum, the permanent collection of Pre’s awards and memorabilia, along with numerous photos highlighting his illustrious career at Marshfield High School, the University of Oregon, and on the international stage.
Early afternoon, after the footraces, the Fun Fest Parade courses up 4th Street and winds through downtown to the delight of throngs of onlookers lining the sidewalks, and on Central Avenue, the huge Fun Festival Vendor Market includes arts, crafts,
The Bay Area Fun Festival is billed as “the greatest last party of the summer.” edibles, and other wares. The festival has a dedicated food court with myriad choices, as well as a beer and wine garden. Live music—the Bay Area Fun Festival RockFest—entertains the masses thanks to local K-DOCK 92.9 radio and a host of sponsors. On Saturday evening, nearly 500 exquisitely restored vintage automobiles make their way through the streets of downtown during the Cruz the Coos event organized by the Coos Bay-North Bend Rotary Club. The festival offers a variety of other events, such as a rock and gem show and a quilt show, and culminates with the popular and entertaining Bay Area Teen Idol finals on Sunday afternoon at the RockFest stage on 4th and Central (the semifinals are held during the Blackberry Arts Festival in August).
The Bay Area Fun Fest is a family-friendly affair, and a great opportunity to explore Coos Bay and the surrounding region—from the many fun restaurants and shops around town to the historic bayfront, to the gorgeous hidden beaches just to the west, near Charleston.
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