The Cranberry Festival is coming!
Bandon has a long tradition of cranberry farming. The tart red berries have been grown in bogs here since the 1860s, and the town has celebrated the annual harvest in through the Cranberry Festival since 1946.
The schedule for this year’s Cranberry Festival is similar to those of the past few years with a couple of changes and additions. This 71st festival runs Friday, September 8 through Sunday, September 10, and with the pirate theme “Shiver Me Cranberry,” it’s sure to be a fun one. The weekend kicks off Friday morning at 11:00 with the Blessing of the Harvest at the cranberry bogs at the corner of 2nd St. NE and Ohio Ave NE where local clergy members will say a few words to wish for a successful harvest and pour ceremonial cranberry juice on the earth.
Sporting events will be the highlight of the rest of the day. New this year, there will be two Cranberry Volleyball games in the Bandon High School gym. JV plays at 3:30, and the varsity game starts at 5:00. Kickoff for the Cranberry Bowl football game is at 7:00 at the football field on 9th St. SW. The Bandon High School Tigers will play the Riddle High School Irish.
Running most of the day on Friday will be the Craft Bazaar & Bake Sale at the VFW Hall on Highway 42S & Bates Rd from 9-3 and the Queen of the Kitchen Cooking Contest from 10-4 at the Old Town Marketplace.
The Queen of the Kitchen Cooking Contest is a tradition almost as old as the Cranberry Festival itself. Cooks of all ages are invited to submit their best cranberry concoctions, edible or drinkable, and judges will determine the best in three categories: Queen of the Kitchen (best overall), Aspiring Chef (age 11-18 years), and Jr. Queen of the Kitchen (age 10 and younger). For more information and to register, see this form.
Saturday is the festival’s big day, staring with an 8 a.m. Cranberry Ride, a 12 mile conversational bicycle ride that treats riders to views of cranberry farms, the Coquille River, and the ocean. No worries, participants will be back in time for the parade!
The Cranberry Festival parade begins at 10 a.m. The route goes down Highway 101 into Old Town and is best viewed from the highway and on First St. SE.
Festival activities will be happening all day from 10-5 in Old Town. There will be live music, a Kids’ Corner with a bouncy castle, corn hole free play, a wide variety of food for purchase, and shopping in Old Town. Shops will be open, and vendors selling fun and interesting items will be set up at the festival market at the west end on Alabama St.
The first round of the Cranberry Eating Contest will happen on the Main Stage at 2nd St. and Delaware in Old Town at 2:00. This contest is not for the faint of heart as the cranberries are fresh and unsweetened!
The Queen of the Kitchen Cooking Contest continues from 10-3 at the Old Town Marketplace as well as the Craft Bazaar & Bake Sale from 9-3.
Also happening all day is another of the Cranberry Festival’s highlights, the Cranberry Cruise-IN Car Show. Cars and Trucks of all years, makes, and models will be on display. This is a fun opportunity to see some classic and unusual vehicles, all in splendid condition.
This exciting day will be capped off with the Cranberry Street Dance at the Main Stage, beginning at 7:00. Border Patrol will supply the music, and happy festival goers will supply the dancing at this family-friendly event.
Sunday is a day of contests for the Cranberry Festival. The Corn Hole Tournament happens from 12-5 on 2nd St. Players are asked to arrive by 11:45, but spectators are welcome to come see the cutthroat competition anytime in the afternoon!
Registration for the Bandon Lions Club Cranberry Run begins at 1:00 at the Bandon City Park. All ages are welcome to participate in a 1 mile, 5k, or 10k walk/run that treats participants to a beautiful run with views of the river and ocean.
Beginning at 1:00 and 2:00 are the last two rounds of the Cranberry Eating Contest at the Main Stage. This will be your last opportunity to compete or for photo ops of eaters with cranberry faces!
Every Cranberry Festival is full of fun and excitement, and this 71st year will be no different. Shiver Me Cranberry!