2nd Street and Old Oregon Trail
Last Saturday in July
In celebration of wild huckleberries, which grow profusely high in the surrounding Wallowa and Elkhorn Mountains, the tiny far-eastern community of North Powder annually throws this summertime bash that offers something for everyone. The North Powder Huckleberry Festival gets underway with a community breakfast and all-classes school reunion beginning at 7 am, followed by the Huckleberry Festival Parade at 11.
North Powder Huckleberry Festival – USA Festivals Photo Gallery
Meanwhile, at 8 am the starting gun sounds for the popular Huckleberry Hustle 5K and 10K fun run/walk, and the Huckleberry Hot Rod Show & Shine begins, with automobile enthusiasts rolling out a bedazzling assortment of beautifully restored classic cars. The city park hosts live entertainment throughout the day, including regional bands. The lineup of activities changes slightly year to year, and for a time the festival hosted a popular and raucous mud volleyball tournament, and may offer something similar in the future (perhaps sand volleyball).
During the afternoon, the kids’ activities get underway (including a Dragon Theater Puppet Show), and the huckleberry dessert contest judging begins—and in case you’re drooling in jealousy, wishing you were among the huckleberry dessert judges, worry not: festival attendees can try various huckleberry delights available from food vendors, and in the evening the local fire station hosts a benefit BBQ and huckleberry dessert contest auction. Craft (and food) vendors are available all day, followed by the North Powder Rural Fire Department BBQ dinner, and finally the popular festival nightcap, the annual street dance featuring live music. Attendees interested in participating in the fun run and volleyball tournament (if it is revived) should register early.
Vintage automobiles line the streets of North Powder during the Huckleberry Festival.
High in the nearby mountains, wild huckleberries are coming into season in late summer, so the festival makes a great highlight to a weekend of exploring the Elkhorn Range just a short drive west from North Powder. Consult the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest for access information and other details.
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