The Heart of the Rogue Festival is an immersive two-day event celebrating all of the beauty that the Rogue Valley has to offer. This October 14 and 15 head to downtown Medford and experience the vibrant community of artists, musicians, creators and growers that together make the Rogue Valley such a special place. With a colorful confluence of food, wine, art, music and more, this free festival brings the best of the Rouge Valley right to you. Mark your calendars and take a sneak peek of what to expect when festival doors open this fall.
The festivities kick off at 4 p.m. Friday when the Blossom Lounge at Pear Blossom Park opens to the public. The Blossom Lounge will serve as the festival’s main gathering space, complete with lawn games, food and vendors. Browse a selection of locally crafted goods as you nibble on an artisan bite to eat from one of the various food trucks on site. The Rogue Valley is home to a robust farm-to-table movement, and many local chefs are using locally sourced meats, cheeses, produce and more in their dishes. The festival is a great place to sample some of these tasty foods.
The 21 and older crowd can pop across the street for something to drink from Wine Country Lane. Once you’ve made it through the ticketed entrance and received your tasting wristband, meander the street filled with local wineries, breweries and distilleries eager to give you a tasting. With a warm and dry climate, the Rogue Valley is an ideal climate for winemaking, and the number of vintners has grown steadily since the late 1960s. The Heart of the Rogue Festival is a great place to try the best craft sips that the area has to offer and learn more about the Rogue Valley’s extensive wine country.
The Blossom Lounge is also the best spot to enjoy live music performances at the festival’s main stage, with the Rogue Suspects kicking things off at 4 p.m. Composed of the region’s top vocal performers, actors, dancers and musicians, The Rogue Suspects put on a show that you won’t want to miss. The Danielle Kelly Project, a female-fronted retro dance party band that you can’t help but boogie to, will take the stage at 6:30 p.m. Night one wraps up at 8 p.m., giving you just enough time to get some shut eye before day two begins bright and early the next morning.
The Heart of the Rogue Festival has partnered up with the Rogue Marathon and Bikes & Brews to bring you some heart pumping fun to kick start day two. Those who are competing in the full marathon, a certified Boston marathon qualifier, will hit the ground running at 7 a.m. from Emigrant Lake in Ashland. The half marathoners will leave from Clearview Avenue in Talent and, and those competing in the 10k will begin at Bear Creek Park in Medford, both at 8 a.m. For active kiddos in the family, there will be a kids 1-mile race kicking off at 10:30 a.m.. All runners will cross the finish line at Pear Blossom Park so that the post race celebrations can begin straight away.
If running isn’t really your thing, there’s another way to work up a sweat Saturday morning with a biking event put on by Bikes & Brews and the Downtown Medford Association. With five different routes available there’s a ride perfect for every skill level, with routes ranging from the 4.2-mile beer cruiser to the 65.3-mile stout ride. Once you cross the finish line and whip that helmet off, pat the sweat from your forehead and get right into enjoying day two of the festival.
Post-race, vendors and food trucks will open up shop again, which means guests will be able to spend the entire afternoon checking out various craft goods, enjoying some lunch and playing corn hole on the lawn. The Brother’s Reed band, playing a contemporary blend of folk music, will kick off the live music of day two. Fogline, a country band considered to be one of the Rogue Valley’s best, will take the stage after, offering the perfect soundtrack for the remainder of the afternoon. The festival winds down at 4 but that doesn’t mean the party is over, head to the downtown brick and mortars which will be open and waiting for you. Keep the night going with drinks, dinner and some shopping as most establishments will be offering special promotions for the festival weekend.
The Heart of the Rogue Festival cannot wait to welcome festival goers with open arms this fall and show off all of the beauty and fun there is to be found in the Rogue Valley. Learn everything, from which vendors will be there to the best hotels to stay at to all of the official start times, at the Travel Medford website. Hope to see you all there!