4th of July in the Willamette Valley is a dazzling time of year and it’s not just because of the fireworks. The ways America celebrates its independence are as diverse as the country itself. That holds true in McMinnville and the surrounding Willamette Valley, where a host of intriguing and festive events are unfolding the week of the Fourth.
The Evergreen Aviation Museum is hosting We Three, McMinnville’s own beloved home town pop stars. Known for their recent America’s Got Talent success, the trio of siblings creates emotive, heartfelt pop. The show marks the end of a national tour for the band. Father of the siblings that make up We Three, George Humlie, is featured in our Drawing Room silhouette series and is a beloved member of our McMinnville community.
In addition to live music from the much buzzed-about band, there will be family-friendly activities, a corn-hole tournament, beer and wine stations and, of course, a fireworks display.
Yamhill winery Fairsing Vineyard is putting on a family-style lunch fit with estate wines and bites from chef Rebecca Clarke. The winery is set in the lauded Yamhill-Carlton appellation and is known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, on top of its sustainable growing practices. Kick off the holiday in wine country style with this tantalizing outing just a short drive from the Atticus Hotel. Reservations are required for this limited-access gathering
The St. Paul Rodeo is one of the biggest and best attended of its kind in the northwest. Set in nearby St. Paul, the weekend-long gathering dates back to the 1930s. It’s been dubbed one of the best rodeos in the nation by those in the know. In addition to nightly fireworks and dramatic bull riding, the 84th annual rodeo will feature a bevy of kid-friendly activities, various roping competitions, live music, a barbecue cook-off and much more.
If you’re not near your own grill this year you can still enjoy great barbecue. Ribslayer on 2nd Street can outfit you with all of your primal needs in a to-go format. Storrs Smokehouse in Newberg is fantastic, turning out choice meats along with Pinot Noir-infused barbecue sauce and handmade ice cream. It is the sister operation of popular wine country restaurant Painted Lady.
Rooftop real estate will be in high demand on the Fourth. Fortunately, McMinnville has a few options for taking in area fireworks. The Rooftop Bar at nearby Hotel Oregon is a good option. The patio seats at Grain Station may not be elevated but the open surroundings of the Granary District offer fairly expansive views of the sky. The Barberry’s open-air top level sister restaurant the 1882 Grille is another prime downtown spot.
We encourage the more adventurous to pack some snacks and head out to one of many hillside roads in wine country and stake out a viewing perch. Just be mindful of private property and stick to the public roads and pullouts.
Regardless of what you choose to do, there are always plenty of ways to celebrate in McMinnville!