Below is a partial listing of yearly events held in the Winchester Bay, Reedsport, and the surrounding area. For more information regarding any of these events please visit one of the following:

Recreation Guide

Whale Watching

The gray whale spring northern migration from the waters off Mexico’s Baja Peninsula to Alaska’s Bering Sea reaches its peak in late March, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.  The whales move more slowly and closer to the beach during the spring migration because there are calves in the pod.  About 18,000 gray whales pass by the Oregon coast.  The peak for the south-bound return trip is the end of December and the beginning of January.

During annual “Whale Watch Weeks” volunteers are stationed at viewing spots along the coast, including the Umpqua Lighthouse, to help visitors spot whales.  To watch the migration, it is best to pick a calm day and find a view point that is high enough to spot the spouts.  When warm, moist air exhaled from the whale’s lungs meets the cool air at the ocean surface, it creates the column called a blow or spout.  A gray whale’s blow is up to 15 feet high.  Each blow is visible for about five seconds.  Anticipate that the whale will dive for three to six minutes, then surface for three to five blows in a row, 30 to 50 second apart, before diving deep for three to six minutes again.


LA Times Travel writer Hugo Martin calls it an “adrenaline jolt” that’s a world class thrill.  Sandboarding is one the newest – and coolest – sports on the Oregon Coast.  The idea is similar to snowboarding:  you stand on a board and slide down a hill.  Only on the Oregon Coast the sport isn’t season dependent and the hill isn’t covered with powdered snow.  It’s a dune of dry, fine sand.  That’s a great difference.  You don’t have to deal with freezing weather and bone-jarring falls on iced-over slopes and it’s inexpensive because you don’t need a lift ticket or costly gear.

Sandboarding is an international sport, with enthusiasts in Australia, South America, Africa and Europe as well as the United States.  The Sandboarding World Championships are held annually in Germany.  According to Wikipedia, professional boarder Erik Johnson holds the Guinness World Record for speed on a sandboard at 51 mph and unofficial speeds of 60 mph have been clocked.

The first “sandboarding park” was founded in Oregon in 2000.  Sand Master Park, a few miles north of Reedsport on Highway 101 in Florence, is a 40-acre dune park with portable jumps, rails and board rentals.  It is said to have drawn 10,000 boarders in 2009.

The Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area provides plenty of free slopes where you can test your technique.  As long as the sand is dry, hike a dune, wax your board and make your run down a sand mountain.

Umpqua Lighthouse

The Umpqua Lighthouse towers above Winchester Bay.  The 65-foot tower contains a distinctive lens which emits a red and white flash, visible 21 miles out to sea.  The lighthouse and adjacent museum are operated and maintained by the Douglas County Parks Department.

The original lighthouse, visible only as ships approached the river, was lit in 1857.  Erosion led to its collapse in 1863.  In 1892, the new tower, a virtual twin to the Heceta Head Lighthouse, was built 100 feet above the river.  Lit in December 1894, the lighthouse’s Fresnel lens features 616 hand cut prisms from the firm Barbier & Cie in Paris, France.  Its clockwork mechanism was restored in 1985.  The structure was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.

Umpqua Lighthouse State Park is located less than a mile from Salmon Harbor on Winchester Bay.  The campground and developed day use areas are centered around beautiful Lake Marie.  Access to this small, freshwater lake is provided for angling and non-motorized boating.  There is also a small, sandy beach for swimming.  The is centered in the stretch of towering dunes protected by the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.  The dunes, many of which reach heights of 500 feet, are ideal for the off-road enthusiasts, or for anyone who enjoys the wonders of nature.

Forest Hills Country Club

This beautiful green golf course is open to the public and is one fine 9-hole layout with four sets of tee boxes. The course is rated for several tee combinations for both men and women to meet the needs of all skill levels. The greens are pristine, set amongst mature spruce and alders, is well wind protected. Prices are very reasonable and the course can be walked or rental carts are available. Wildlife abounds! Staff is friendly and professional.

Spring Whale Watch (March)

People come from all over to learn about the gray whales that migrate past the Oregon coast each year. The Whale Watching Spoken Here® program places volunteers at great whale watching sites during watch weeks so they can help others spot the whales. For more than 30 years, our trained volunteers have helped visitors watch whales at 24 sites in three states along the Pacific Northwest coast. We definitely know whale watching.

Memorial Day Weekend

The Reedsport/Winchester Bay Chamber of Commerce invites you to join us in celebration of Memorial Day & Parade in Reedsport, Oregon.  Memorial Day Weekend is a big event for the locals and our visitors. Come and help us celebrate a Memorial Day, you’ll be glad you did.
For additional information call the Chamber office at 541 271-3495 or 800-247-2155

Oregon Invitational Chainsaw Sculpting Championships

Each Fathers Day Weekend Professional chainsaw sculpture carvers will gather at Rainbow Plaza in Reedsport. Main event is 17 hours of carving large cedar sculptures with daily timed “quick-carve” events. Come and meet the artists. Save on the super sales for carvings, and experience a great Father’s Day on the coast!

Fireworks Over The Bay

Fourth of July Fireworks Over The Bay The largest and most spectacular fireworks display on the south coast. Visitors and locals grab a spot, fire up the barbecue, or picnic and settle in for a night of fun. A Car Cruise & other events round out your weekend stay.

Dune Festival

Dune Festival This 5-day event held August 8-13, 2023 brings ATV enthusiasts to Winchester Bay, the heart of the Oregon Dunes. Events include drag races, TSD rally, poker run and more. In addition to all the action on the sand, you’ll find vendor booths, food, music and exhibitions featuring the latest products and vehicles. Some spectacular “show” buggies and quads are also on display.  For more information regarding Dune Fest visit:

Kool Coastal Nights

Kool Coastal Nights – August 26, 2023. The fun starts on Friday with the Tailgate Party, Muffler Rapping Contest, Burnout and Open Header Contest – hope you like LOUD cars and LOTS of smoke!! Saturday the cars are powdered and premed for the Show ‘n Shine and Parade of Champions. There’s also a Harbor Cruise for those who are nostalgic for the 50’s. Bring your favorite gal or guy and shake your stuff at the Street Dance. Don’t forget the famous Sea Food BBQ and the Pancake Breakfast. Come Kool off at the coast and enjoy all the HOT cars!

Salmon Contest

S.T.E.P. SALMON DERBY  Labor Day Weekend

Sponsored by Gardiner/Reedsport STEP (Salmon-Trout Enhancement Program) this event is timed to coincide with the fall Chinook salmon run. Daily prizes awarded for the biggest salmon. Local tackle shops have registration forms and rules.   

Art by the Bay (September)

In September artists from all over Oregon will be participating in their crafts at the fifth annual Art by the Bay festival. You will have a chance to observe styles & skills of Potters, Painters, Carvers, Jewelry and more. You will be able to observe artists sketching all that the Winchester Bay waterfront has to offer.  It all takes place at Bay Front Loop in the village.  This Event is sponsored by Friends of Winchester Bay and The Winchester Bay Merchants Association with the assistance of the Reedsport Winchester Bay Chamber of Commerce. Proceeds are used to sponsor Art Classes in the area for all ages. For more information and to participate call Phyllis Dever at 541-271-1510.

Oregon Old Time Fiddlers Jamboree

The Oregon Old Time Fiddlers Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to perpetuate and promote Old Time Fiddling and Old Time music and to encourage everyone, especially young people to play the fiddle and appreciate Old Time Fiddling and Old Time music. The jamboree is held each year in late August at the community center. For more information visit the OOTFA at

Holiday Bazaar (first weekend in December)

Local crafters sell their creations. Located at the Reedsport Community Center, 451 Winchester Ave. Reedsport
Theresa Chickering CDABA Holiday Bazaar Chair 541 271-4608 or

Reedsport Skate Park

One of Oregon’s best parks, not just because of the funnel but because it is an excellent blend of street and tranny. It has its big bowl, an element of pool, a fluid street section, and of course the funnel.

Other activities around the Reedsport/Winchester Bay area that are on-going and with flexible dates:

May – October  Old Town Farmer’s Market

June – August  Riverfront Rhythms Concert Series at Umpqua Discovery Center

Old Town Art Walk