Harrisburg is affectionately referred to as “Mayberry” by people who know its idyllic charm. The comparison to the fictional idyllic town made famous by the “Andy Griffith Show” is easy to understand when you watch a father and son walking with their fishing poles down to the Willamette River. Or when there is an outdoor concert going on at the Gazebo and you see a family sitting on a blanket while they listen to the music and eat a picnic dinner. Or when you see the pride in a mother’s smile after her daughter came in third in the gunny sack race on the Fourth of July.
Harrisburg is full of small-town charm, but it also provides its share of “Wow!” Like the Old Fashioned Fourth of July celebration. The locals say it is the best Fourth of July celebration around. The day begins with a Pancake Breakfast at the Fire Hall. It continues with a parade, children’s games and activities, and outdoor concerts. The festivities end as they should – with evening fireworks that reflect off the river.
Other things you will want to enjoy in Harrisburg:
* Check out the Harrisburg Area Museum at 490 Smith St., which is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. It has an amazing display of tractors and other farm-related memorabilia. It is best known though for its display of miniature buildings and other creations made from wood by the late Bruce Witmer. You will not find a display like this anywhere else.
* For the active set, check out the world-class skate park built by Dreamland Skateparks. It is located at 550 Smith St.
* On Tuesday nights in July, sit along the Willamette River and enjoy free outdoor concerts at the Gazebo; or, on Friday nights in August enjoy free outdoor movies. Learn more atwww.summersounds.info.
* On the second Saturday night in December, come for the Christmas Light Parade, followed by the Holiday Open House at the Picnic Pavilion at the Museum.