By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Two festivals will fill Mac with music

Two music festivals will fill McMinnville with tunes over Labor Day weekend, one of them downtown on Friday and Saturday and the other on the Evergreen museum campus Saturday and Sunday.

Organizers of both festivals said they want to bring more musical opportunities to McMinnville.

“Music is a universal language,” said James Tate of Northwest Food & Gifts, who is putting together the second-annual McMinnville Music Festival at Third and Evans streets. “Music brings the community together.”

“We want to bring musicians to McMinnville that wouldn’t play here otherwise,” said Ossie Bladine, organizer of the Walnut City Music Festival, now in its eighth year and returning after a two-year pandemic break. “It’s great to have a nice mix of local bands and those that have a national stature.”

Bands that tour and record nationally, such as The Stone Foxes and Thrown-Out Bones from San Francisco, MAITA from Portland and the Black Tones from Seattle, will be among the 15 acts featured at the indie rock/folk Walnut City Music Festival Sept. 3 and 4 at Evergreen.

Gates will open at 12:30 p.m., with music starting about 1 p.m. and running until 11 p.m.

The schedule for Saturday includes: 1:30 p.m. Manitoba Road Crew; 2:30, Missing Mars; 3:30, Acousta Noir; 4:45, Rum River Cult; 6 p.m., Falcon Heart; 7:10, J. Graves; 8:30, The Black Tones; 10, Hillstomp.

Sunday’s show includes: 1:15 p.m., Interstate-5; 2:20, Bootleg Jam; 3:20, Buffalo Kin; 4:45, MAITA; 5:35, Harpers; 6:55, Thrown-Out Bones; 8:20, The Black Tones; 9:50, The Stone Foxes.

The family-friendly festival’s new location is the oak grove behind the Boy Scout monument on the Evergreen campus. Previously, Walnut City took place in lower City Park.

The new site features plenty of free parking and shady areas under the trees, where listeners can set up chairs or spread out blankets. Three food trucks will offer meals and snacks, and locally made beer and wine will be available for purchase.

Tickets for the Walnut City Music Festival are $20 for one day or $30 for both days in advance for adults; at the door, they are $5 more. Admission for students 13 to 18 is half price and free to children 12 or younger.

Day parking is free. Overnight RV parking is available for a charge.

Proceeds will be split between Willamette Valley Cyclists, which is planning to bring a pump track to McMinnville, and supporting future music productions.

“Our goal is to put on a unique, music-centric event and to build a major music festival to attract visitors from around the Northwest and benefit the local economy,” Bladine said.

Bladine said volunteers are still needed. For tickets and more information, or to volunteer, visit

The free, all-ages McMinnville Music Festival will run Friday afternoon and evening and all day Saturday, Sept 2 and 3.

The McMinnville Downtown Association’s Dine Out(side) program also will be going on at that time. Visitors can shop or buy food and beverages at nearby restaurants as well as enjoy the music, Tate said.

Food trucks and beer gardens also will be set up near the Third and Evans stage. There will be plenty of open space for dancing, Tate said.

Friday’s line-up includes: 3:30 to 5 p.m., Hayley Lynn, an indie pop performer; 5:30 to 7:30, Surefire, a rock group; 8 to 10 p.m., Robert Henry Band, country.

Saturday’s schedule is: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Ronni Kay, folk; 1 to 2:30, Mick Overman, indie Americana; 3 to 5, Conjunto Alegre, salsa; 5:30 to 7:30, Motown Jimi Hardin, soul; 8 to 10 p.m., Catherine Loyer Strawberry Roan, country.

NW Food & Gifts and Florian Raqueno Productions are organizing the festival along with nearby businesses such as McMenamins Hotel Oregon, Serendipity and the Pinot Vista tasting room.

Tate said organizers want to build the festival, so it grows larger every year. In addition to music, they would like to add a carnival and other attractions, making it a major Labor Day weekend event.

Volunteers are needed to help set up the stage Friday morning, Sept. 2, and take it down the following evening. For more information, go to


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