Autumn festival takes over Orenco Station this weekend
Masskrugstemmen, October's extreme sport of choice, will return to Orenco Station this weekend as OrenKoFest takes over Jerry Willey Plaza.
In its third year, OrenKoFest is expected to eclipse previous attendance levels and draw as many as 6,000 visitors to the heart of the Orenco neighborhood.
"The first year we had flooding because of so much rain, and we still had 4,000 people," said Iris Ringer, Hillsboro's Special Events Supervisor. "Last year we had about 5,000, and this year with the sunshine I'm anticipating more. The vendors see a lot of traffic, and they're happy with the turnout."
The market, which includes 38 vendors of hot food, crafts, treats, wine and various area organizations, opens at noon. Live music begins at 12:30 p.m., with a break at 4 p.m. for Masskrugstemmen, where competitors attempt to hold a full beer stein at arm's length for a long as possible.
The festival includes a Kid's Korner with pumpkin painting and other hands-on activities, including face painting and balloon art.
Ringer said the festival has added vendors from previous years, but not much has changed about the festival itself.
"It has been smooth sailing," she said. "We have a partnership with Tuesday Night Market, and we've reached out to them because they have a lot of contacts with vendors. It's been good working with a local agency that knows how to produce a market."
OrenKoFest helps to fill a void of public events in the fall, Ringer said, after a busy schedule during the summer. City officials hoped to highlight the new space at Orenco Station, and an autumn festival — despite the Bavarian spelling of OrenKo, it's not an Oktoberfest — was a natural fit.
"It's more of an overall fall harvest festival," Ringer said. "There's one one focus of beer or pumpkins or apples — it's just a chance to celebrate fall and the harvest."
The beer garden, though, has been a popular portion of the event. Beer, wine and cider are provided via Golden Valley Brewery, which is based in McMinnville but opened a Beaverton location in 2012.
Entry to the event is free, though you must be 21 to enter the beer garden or buy entry to participate in Masskrugstemmen. The festival is scheduled to wrap up at 7 p.m.