Wasco, Oregon

Let’s face it, most people don’t know much about the John Day River or the amazing country through which it winds. That is a frustrating fact for the businesses that operate here, offering services and goods to visitors.
The Painted Hills have been getting attention lately, thanks to a starring role in the Seven Wonders of Oregon, a very successful marketing campaign by Travel Oregon, the state tourism marketing and development agency. And the Old West Scenic Bikeway is drawing cyclists to the territory’s undulating highways, scenic vistas and bicycle friendly towns.
To build on that foundation and draw further attention to the region’s locally grown food and beverages, outdoor recreation and specialty lodging, the John Day River Territory tourism marketing partnership is planning a festival this September 12, at Cottonwood Canyon State Park. They are inviting food and beverage producers and culinary businesses, recreation outfitters and guides, ranches and farms that offer lodging, tours or recreation, artists, museums and other visitor attractions to sign on as vendors for the event.
Taste of Oregon’s Old West is a family oriented festival designed to showcase the locally grown food and beverages, recreation, specialty lodging and dining, culture and landscape of the John Day River Territory of Oregon. Attendees can taste the flavors of this vast region, ranging from honey and wheat snacks, to succulent natural beef, microbrews, wine, peaches and pears. There will be homestead skills and recreation demonstrations.
They can find information on cabins in the woods, ranch stays, agriculture tours, rafting and hunting outfitters, farm stands and unique culinary experiences. Art and music from the region are highlights, as are horseback rides along the John Day River and a guided hike to experience the area’s amazing natural wonders. Admission is free. Samples and activities may require a small fee.
Vendors must be located within or adjacent to the John Day River Territory (Gilliam, Sherman, Wheeler and Grant Counties). We want to exhibit the variety, authenticity, and home-grown character that make the Territory unique. To sign up as a vendor, contact Jaclyn McCurdy, vendor coordinator, 541.739.2321 or cityhall@cityofrufus.com.
For general event information, contact Janet Dodson, janetd@eoni.com or 541.786.8006, or go to www.johndayriverterritory.com. Sponsors are needed. Please contact Janet for details.