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Music, food and old-fashioned fun

The Applegate Valley has plenty of attractions. Along with its namesake river and lake, and numerous hiking and biking trails, there is the annual Granite Man Triathlon at Applegate Lake, paragliding and hang gliding at Woodrat Mountain, plus a plethora of wine-tasting rooms in the region's vineyards.

A new event will take place this weekend. Applegate Valley Days will be held Saturday and Sunday, June 23-24, at Cantrall-Buckley Park. Hours will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

"We've got all kinds of beautiful things in the valley," says Applegate Valley Days Director Ed Temple. "It's a great destination for tourists."

Cantrall-Buckley Park sits near the center of the valley. To get there, follow Highway 238 past Ruch and turn south on Hamilton Road.

All aspects of the Applegate Valley will be apparent at the new event: arts and crafts, gold panning, paragliding, logging, wine-tasting, live music and more.

"It has a swimming area, campground, a children's play area, beautiful lawns and a large amphitheater," Temple says. "Whether you are 4 years old or 104, there will be something of interest. I'm talking about history, natural beauty, recreation, good food, excellent wine and good, old-fashioned fun."

Cantrall-Buckley Park is owned by Jackson County. A nonprofit group of residents, who call themselves the Greater Applegate Community Development Corp., funds and maintains the park.

"The park would have been closed if it hadn't been for those folks," Temple says. "The day-use fee is $4, and camping is $10 a day. That's just not enough for the restorations that are needed at the park."

Proceeds from this weekend's event will go toward improving the campground and adding RV parking.

"An RV park would attract visitors to stay and visit our wineries and other attractions," Temple says. "It would be sweet if people could drive out in their RVs and stay for a week."

Admission to bApplegate Valley Days is $5, or $15 for a family. Admission to the live music costs $10.

Call 541-846-7769 or see www.applegatevalleydays.org.

Other weekend events in the Applegate Valley include McKee Bridge Day, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 23, at McKee Bridge Park. Admission is free.

To get there, turn south on Upper Applegate Road and follow it 8.7 miles to McKee Bridge.

There will be information about the history of the old, covered bridge and about plans to restore it. The Applegate Lions will offer a lunch of tri-tip sandwiches or hot dogs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Root-beer floats and ice cream also will be available, along with raffles for books and other items. The McKee Bridge Historical Society will host a bake sale, and there will be live country and gospel music by singers and songwriters Christina Duane and Connie Gray from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Guided tours of old, hydraulic mining sites along the Gin Lin Trail will start at 9:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The afternoon hikes are more vigorous. The hikes are free, but donations will be accepted.

Various Applegate Valley vineyards will offer specials throughout the weekend, and Hummingbird Eco-Home, Studios and Bed and Breakfast will host an open house from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days.

Finally, a community yard sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 23, at Ruch Elementary School, 156 Upper Applegate Road.

Michael Underwood, 13, of Ruch swings into the Applegate River at Cantrall Buckley Park. - Photo by Bob Pennell