Seems odd to celebrate the last days of summer when summer weather truly just arrived in Portland. Oh, well. Any excuse to eat peach pie at the Peach Celebration and Country BBQ. The close of summer also means the onset of harvest season and that means corn maize time. It also means it’s time for the Vaux’s swifts to return to the Chapman School, where they will gather and shoot into the chimney to the delight of thousands of Portlanders. Another tradition in town for the holiday weekend: the Portland Pirate festival. Avast ye, Portland parents! Set sail for some end-of-summer fun.

In Town

Vaux’s Swifts at Chapman School
Join Portlanders on the lawn at Chapman School most evenings in September for a spectacular display of Vaux’s Swifts as they gather to roost in the school’s chimney. Volunteers from Portland Audubon will be present with information about the swifts, binoculars and a spotting scope for viewing. Through September. Chapman Elementary School. 1 hour before sunset. Free. All ages. Event details.

Pumpkin Patch Annual Harvest Festival
Celebrate the grand opening of the Corn Maize. Activities include visiting animal friends, riding a giant slide, eating caramel apple, and conquering the giant hay pyramid. Sat-Mon, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. The Pumpkin Patch. Free. All ages. Event details.

OMSI Reptile and Amphibian Show
Get hands-on at this display featuring over 100 exotic animals, including a large variety of captive-bred snakes, lizards, turtles, alligators, and more. Sat-Mon, 9:30 am – 7:00 pm, all ages. Event details.

Out of Town 

Peach Celebration and Country BBQ
Celebrate the holiday with a country BBQ soplete with smoked ribs, pulled pork sandwiches or chicken, pear coleslaw and apple cider baked beans. Or go straight to dessert and enjoy fresh-baked peach pies, cobblers, crisps, or a frosty peach milkshake. Sat-Mon. Apple Valley Store, Hood River. 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. Free. All ages. Event details.

Portland Pirate Festival (pictured)
This festival is full of entertainment for younger scallywags, including a few acts especially for kids, cannon and sword fight shows, inflatable rides, free balloons and tattoos for kids, historical reenactments, and games and activities for the whole family. Sat-Sun. 10:00 am. Historic St. Helen’s Waterfront. See listing for prices. All ages. Event details.

Oxbow Old Time Music Show
This lively show immerses the audience in the musical heritage of American pioneers along the Oregon Trail. Instruments and household items such as the musical saw, Jew’s-harp, spoons, banjo, ukulele and washtub bass are included as part of this informative, fun-filled presentation. Oxbow has 67 campsites with picnic table, fire pit and lantern pole, available on a first come, first-served basis. Fri. Oxbow Regional Park, Gresham. 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm. $20 camping fee. All ages. Event details.

– Cheyenne Terbrueggen