Oregon's second-largest city, Eugene (population 160,000), has an esteemed reputation for progressive politics and acceptance of gays and lesbians, it being the home to the University of Oregon and a hotbed of counterculture, eco-consciousness, outdoors enthusiasm, and education. Along with its considerably more conservative twin city of Springfield, the metro region has about 360,000 residents, which accounts in part for the popularity and relatively high turn out of the region's Pride celebration each year, the Eugene/Springfield Pride Festival, which takes place each August.
Eugene's Gay Pride Celebration Details
Eugene's Gay Pride celebration takes place in leafy Alton Baker Park, a 400-acre swath of greenery on the north bank of the Willamette River, which bisects the city. It comprises a festival on Saturday, August 11, lasting from noon until 6 pm. Features include live entertainment by a variety of local and national artists, a grouping of community vendors (businesses and organizations), a beer garden, a kids space, and food. Although the event is free, $5 donation is suggested.
Travel Planning Tips
Eugene's many gay-friendly and popular bars and restaurants tend to draw bigger crowds at this time. Check regional gay media, such as PQ Monthly, Portland's GLBT newspaper, as well as the progressive alternative newsweekly, Eugene Weekly and the University of Oregon LGBT resource site, for more on the region's gay scene.
Also take a look at the excellent LGBT travel section of the Eugene, Cascades & Coast Tourism Office website for helpful information.