Downtown Coos Bay
Blackberry Arts Festival literally fills the streets of Downtown Coos Bay, with bay area residents coming out in force each year for this alluringly tasty late-summer street fair that, as the name implies, features all kinds of mouthwatering blackberry-inspired treats. But, launched in 1982, the Blackberry Arts Festival is no longer a local secret—each year, many outsiders head for Coos Bay to take in this family-friendly Saturday/Sunday event sponsored by the Coos Bay Downtown Association.
Blackberry Arts Festival – USA Festivals Photo Gallery
In addition to the yummy blackberry culinary specialties—pies and other pastries, jams, candies, and even wine—the Blackberry Arts Festival also includes a variety of other food vendors, and myriad arts and craft vendors lining Central Avenue between Fourth Street and Bayshore Drive. The art show is juried and features many genres, including painting, printing, jewelry, photography, woodworking, pottery, weaving, and more. Throughout the weekend, live music—the Blackberry Jam—entertains the crowds. The music lineup, sponsored by the local radio station, features a variety of regional artists, and the event also hosts the annual Bay Area Teen Idol semifinals. This buoyant festival also features a variety of special events, changing somewhat over the years. Favorites include the recipe contest and the children’s blackberry costume contest and parade.
The Blackberry Arts Festival includes a beer garden, sponsored in recent years by local 7 Devils Brewing, located just two blocks south of the Central Avenue, the festival grounds. A four-block-long stretch of Central Avenue is closed to vehicle traffic for the event, but parking is generally easy to find fairly close by if you arrive early in
Blackberry the day; the festival runs from 9 am to 6 pm on Saturday, and 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday. A number of Coos Bay restaurants offer blackberry specials during the festival—look for the blackberry character wearing sunglasses in the windows of the participating eateries.
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