October 2021 Event Roundup

Updated: Nov 5, 2021

It’s finally fall and we’re welcoming the new season with a month-long roundup of great events happening in Oregon. There are a lot more than just Halloween happenings this month, so be sure to check below for all kinds of fun to experience all throughout October. There’s the usual haunted houses, spooky dance parties and costume contests, but there’s also live comedy, craft workshops and more live music than you can count on all your claws. Read below to discover the best of what Oregon has to offer for the month of full autumn.

It’s important to note that indoor and outdoor mask requirements are in effect, so it’s on you to verify the status of each venue’s social distancing guidelines. We did our best to research and indicate, but these things can change day-to-day.

Be sure to share this event roundup with the art-lovers in your life and check back later in the month for when we add even more spooky and artistic fun to this list.

Have a safe (but scary) month, Curbsiders.


Spirit of Halloweentown

All month

Spirit of Halloweentown - 275 Strand St. - St. Helens, OR

If you’ve never heard of this month-long celebration of the Halloweentown movie, well, you may have been living under a rock all these years. The beloved Disney Channel movie was filmed right here in Oregon, in beautiful St. Helens. The town goes absolutely buck wild during the month of October, and this year features both in-person events and virtual offerings so you can take in all the frightful and fun events that will be happening throughout the month.


Portland Film Festival

All month

Virtual - Portland, OR

Dubbed “The Storyteller’s Film Festival,” the all-virtual Portland Film Festival lives up to its title by showcasing a diverse range of voices and topics. This year’s edition features dozens of documentary and feature films that tell stories from people of color, LGBTQ+ folx, activists, and artists. While all-access passes cost $100, you can buy specific packages of films whenever you’re ready to watch them online. Xfinity cable and internet customers get free access!


Annual H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival

Friday, Oct. 1 through Sunday, Oct. 2

The Hollywood Theatre - 4122 NE Sandy Blvd - Portland, OR

The haunted time of year tends to be associated with certain writers, from classic eras to modern celebrity authors like Stephen King. One of the writers who will always be celebrated during October is H.P. Lovecraft, whose horrific sci-fi has shaped the monsters and movies we’ve all come to know and love throughout the years. This film festival is a celebration of the author’s mark on modern horror and will offer an entire weekend of viewing for film-lovers all over the state.


Live Music & Comedy ($5 advance, $7 door)

Friday, Oct. 1 - 7 pm to 11 pm

Apogee Events - 4755 Lancaster Dr. NE - Salem, OR

As we said up top, it’s not all spooky and surprising this month, there are also plenty of live music shows and other types of performances to catch, too. This show combines two into one, with both live music and stand-up comedy hitting this small community events hall. Pick up advance tickets for both a cheaper price and the benefit of letting the organizers know how many people to expect.


Connor Reese

Thursday, Oct. 7 - 7 pm to 9 pm

The Copper Plank - 454 Highland Dr. - Medford, OR

Reese is described as both a talented musician and comedic performer. It seems like he offers a hybrid show that’s two parts music and one part insightful yet humorous commentary. If you make it down to Southern Oregon and want some live entertainment in your evening, see for yourself.


Portland Pancakes & Booze Art Show ($10 advance, $15 door)

Saturday, Oct. 9 - 8 pm to 2 am

Hawthorne Theatre - 1507 SE 39th Ave. - Portland, OR

It kinda says it all in the title, doesn’t it? If you like pancakes (who doesn’t?) and you want to get a little drunk during your late-night breakfast, this is definitely the event for you. Of course, this article is for art events, so you better believe this is also a pop-up art show, with many different kinds of media to take in while you enjoy some beverages and flapjacks. Again, early purchase will save you some money at the door. The pancakes are all-you-can eat and come with the price of the ticket.


Bead & Creative Arts Festival - $5

Saturday, Oct. 9 - Sunday Oct. 10

DoubleTree by Hilton - 1000 NE Multnomah St. - Portland, OR

If you’ve never considered beads to be an artform then you are in for a treat. Artisans can make truly marvelous little sculptures that are also beads, perfect for jewelers or hobbyists looking for a way to spice up that necklace or earring set you’ve been working on. This year’s event is more than just amazing beadwork, though, it’s also an art show and market featuring all kinds of crafters and painters. If you’re even kind of interested in the world of arts and crafts, this event is a bit of a must-see and for a very reasonable price.


McMinnville Scottish Festival

Saturday, Oct. 9 - 9 am to 10 pm

Yamhill County Fair & Rodeo - 2070 NE Lafayette Ave. - McMinnville, OR

This is the time of year when many towns celebrate their Scottish heritage by hosting their very own Highland Games festivals. One of the biggest in the entire state happens in McMinnville, drawing people from all over Yamhill County and the surrounding areas. Come for the kilts, the haggis, the scotch, the music and, of course, the games themselves. If you’ve never seen a log toss before, you’re really missing out.


2nd Saturday Art Walk

Saturday, Oct. 9 - Noon to 8 pm

Angi D. Wildt Gallery - 106 10th St. - Astoria, OR

The town of Astoria is one of Oregon’s prime examples of a community that really finds outlets for its creative residents to shine. That’s why downtown galleries and venues join in on the 2nd Saturday Art Walks, providing numerous options for folks to take in exhibits at local galleries and even some live music at participating cafes and restaurants. If you feel like heading over to Oregon’s iconic Northern Coast this month, this may be the day to do it.


Bot Making with Artist Gary Hirsch - Free

Sunday, Oct. 10 - 11 am

Awake Coffee and Art - 7325 SE Milwaukie Ave. - Portland, OR

Artist Gary Hirsch has perfected ways to draw robots, and he’ll teach you the simple techniques to draw some of his iconic cartoonish bots at this workshop. If you want to learn how to make cute little bot friends to liven up your space with, you can come join in on the fun for free.


Indigenous Peoples Day

Monday, Oct. 11 - 2 pm to 6 pm

Oregon State Capitol - 900 Court St. - Salem, OR

It’s always great to see Oregon utilize the campus of our capitol to showcase the many different cultures that make up the Beaver State. This event coincides with Indigenous Peoples Day, offering a chance for the greater Salem community to learn some native dancing and singing. This outdoor event is meant to celebrate the art and religion of indigenous peoples, as well as cause us all to reflect on how we live on stolen land.


The Jazz Kings - $32

Thursday, Oct. 14 - 7:30 to 9:30 pm

John G. Shedd Institute - 868 High St. - Eugene, OR

The Emerald City Jazz Kings are bringing a tribute to vocalists Johnny Hartman and Lena Horne. Both were accomplished big band singers in the height of the jazz era, with catalogues of hits that are sure to be packed into this two-hour performance. Not only do jazz-lovers get a night full of swinging tunes, the event will also help the Shedd Institute -- a Eugene staple -- bounce back from a hard-hitting pandemic year.


Grants Pass Porch Fest

Saturday, Oct. 16 - 2 pm to 7 pm

Northwest Washington Boulevard - Grants Pass, OR

While the annual Porch Fest in Grants Pass is usually a little earlier in the year, this outdoor music festival is providing excellent options to check out local musicians in Southern Oregon. The event will have live music played from the porches of historic homes, with vendors and other options set up along the closed-down streets.


Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea

Saturday, Oct. 16 - 10 am to 4 pm

Lincoln City Cultural Center - 540 NE Hwy 101 - Lincoln City, OR

What’s better than creative pieces of art? Creative pieces of art that help clean up Mother Earth, of course! This is an art exhibit composed entirely of items that have washed up along the Oregon Coast. Local artists turn found plastics, glass, rubber and other materials into beautiful works of art -- a way of cleaning up the earth while simultaneously reusing some of the waste that humankind litters our oceans with. It may be a relatively small amount of cleanup compared to the massive amount of solid waste that floats in the Pacific Ocean, but it’s a worthy effort and a cool artistic medium.