Here in Oregon, we're lucky to live a short drive from both the beaches of the coast, and the slopes of Mt. Hood. So, as the colder months begin to set in, it's time to abandon our surfboards and start unpack those boxes of winter gear stored in the basement instead. Though not all the ski areas have opened up yet, that doesn't mean we can't get pumped for the inevitable snowfall. And you won't have to travel far to celebrate the winter playgrounds of our distant backyards. Dubbed Portland's ultimate celebration of snow sports, Snowvana 2019 will make its way to the Oregon Convention Center Nov. 22-23.
With the season right around the corner, it's the perfect time to stock up on gear, pick up a season pass, and feel the anticipatory excitement of another winter of snowfall in the Cascades. They have all that and more at this packed weekend of preparation for winter fun. At Snowvana, they've got mountain-goers covered with thousands of new skis, boots, poles, apparel and accessories on sale at ski swap prices. Plus find lodging packages, and crazy cheap deals on lift tickets for Timberline, Mt Bachelor, Skibowl, Hoodoo, and Mt Hood Meadows. And the best lift ticket deal is for the eager beavers: the first 100 people to walk through the door get a lift ticket to Mt. Bachelor.
But Snowvana isn't just to fawn over the latest gear released or plan out your winter adventures for the next few months—the hype only continues around the weekend's many events set to light up the convention center. The sound of bluegrass, acoustic, roots, soul, and honky tonk music will be heard throughout the venue, as the 10 Barrel Music Stage will supply nonstop music to the shredders and newcomers among us. Portland artists like Redray Frazier, Sarah Gwen, Germaine, Eagles of Freedom and more will appear.
Included with your Snowvana tickets, stop by the Mt. Hood Film Fest, and enjoy more than 12 hours of cinema from top filmmakers in the U.S. and Canada. Each film's unique approach and style make this an experience to write home about, but together, these nine films seem to share a unifying message—they're a celebration of the outdoors, of ski and snowboard culture, and of extreme athletics. Both days will have screenings, including Fire on the Mountain by Teton Gravity Research, a cinematic collaboration with the Grateful Dead and narrated by Bill Walton. (You can see the full film schedule at snowvana.com/film-fest.)
Beyond the walls of the film fest, this large venue is home to over 70 vendors and activities that will make this weekend enjoyable for every member of the family. Support local artists at Crater Lake Spirits Alpine Artist Gallery, Snowvana's own exposition of arts and crafts from paintings to jewelry to ice carvings. Check in with North Lake's physical therapists for advice on how to best prepare your body for time at the mountain, and learn stretches to prevent injury. Then stop by Ablis CBD for advice on how to treat those aches and pains. The weekend wouldn't be complete without an homage to local beer, and the Snowvana Brewfest offers just that, with samplings from Crater Lake Spirits, and seasonals and favorites from 10 Barrel Brewing.
For the kids, head over to the dog sled rides and watch as they jump for joy over the 80-foot track. A mini skate park, learn-to-ski ramp, and mountain bike skills course and a ski themed virtual reality lounge make this event one that not only prepares the little tikes for outdoor activities throughout the year, but also inspires excitement for these less-traditional sports. Kids 12 and under receive free admission to Snowvana, making this a cost effective family outing.
Whether you're an avid mountain-goer, you're looking to give it a try, or you simply enjoy live music, good food and beverages, and a chance to dive into the local Portland culture, Snowvana 2019 has more than enough to offer.
Go to Snowvana, happening Friday Nov. 23, 4–9pm, and Saturday Nov. 24, 10am–8pm. Tickets cost $10 in advance for adults includes free souvenir Snowvana beer mug, kids 12 and under free. Learn more at snowvana.com.