About Veneta, Oregon

Explore the rural ambiance of the Veneta area, where the foothills of the Coast Range meet the South Willamette Valley. Located just west of Eugene - Springfield, minutes from the Eugene Airport, and only an hour from the Pacific Coast, Veneta - Fern Ridge comprises the smaller communities of Alvadore, Crow, Elmira, Lorane, Noti, Triangle Lake, Veneta and Walton.

Veneta Countryside by Traci Williamson

Veneta Countryside

Photo: Traci Williamson

Veneta was established in 1912 by Edmund Eugene Hunter who named the town after his daughter. It's post office opened just a few years later. Present day Veneta is best recognized for its prime birding and natural offerings.

FERN RIDGE RESERVOIR 

Fern Ridge Reservoir is a major attraction in Veneta. It was formed when the Long Tom River was dammed in 1941. It is managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers for flood control encompassing an area of 12,000 acres (4856 ha). It is 5 miles (8km) wide and 5.5 miles (8.6 km) long with tributary streams including Amazon Creek and Coyote Creek.

There are multiple waterfront parks suited for barbecues and picnicking, sunbathing, swimming, volleyball, sailing, kayaking, water-skiing and fishing. There is also hiking, cycling and birding trails; and RV and tent camping. Fern Ridge Reservoir hosts many regattas, triathlons and other special events.

SUNSHINE DAYDREAM

Veneta is also known for its iconic counter culture celebration, the Oregon Country Fair (OCF). It began in 1970 as a costume and craft fair to raise funds for a local school. The private wooded acreage where the event was held was originally dubbed the Oregon Renaissance Faire Grounds. It quickly metamorphosed.

In 1972, the Grateful Dead performed a memorable, all-day concert in record-breaking August heat on the fair grounds. The concert's purpose was to benefit the Kesey family's Springfield Creamery (Nancy's Yogurt), which need a financial boost. The event was emceed by "Merry Pranksters" Ken Kesey and Ken Babbs and was documented with a live recording and film footage dubbed "Sunshine Daydream." It is estimated that 30,000 people attended, and the show has become legendary - referred to as both "the first field trip" and "the last acid test." The Grateful Dead played here again in 1982.

Oregon Country Fair Sunflower

Photo: Brittney Reynolds

Today, the OCF's annual three-day July event attracts approximately 45,000 people in a colorful array of self-expression. There are craft booths, food vendors and 18 stages featuring all types of entertainment from music to dance. The OCF operates its own village-like systems from communications to safety. It's self-sufficiency and sustainability measures are implemented by a large volunteer crew. The OCF is truly a unique experience.

POPULATION

Veneta - Fern Ridge - 5,271

Source: 2021 Population Research Center, Portland State University

MAP IT

Veneta - Fern Ridge Chamber of Commerce

  • 24949 Hwy 126, Veneta OR 97487
  • P: 541.935.8443
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City of Veneta

  • 88184 8th St, Veneta OR 97487
  • P: 541.935.2191