The legend of Robin Hood has been retold countless times, but the best version of all may be the one your children recant after frolicking with the Merry Men themselves at the Sherwood Robin Hood Festival (July 20-21).
A two-day celebration of renaissance fun, this free annual event takes place in Sherwood, Ore., a 30-minute drive south of downtown Portland. Featuring a knighting ceremony, castle-building contest, parade, food, crafts, live music and a teen dance, it’s every bit as exciting as the secret outlaw hangout in ye olde England — only far safer and much closer to home. The highlight of the event, which is always the third weekend in July, would have to be the archery contest, an international competition between the Nottingham Archery Society in Nottingham, England, and local bowmen who sling arrows for the honor of the festival.
Regardless of who hits the bull’s-eye, its fair to say that the locals have been legendary in their effort to keep Robin Hood’s spirit alive and well in the forests of Oregon. First held in 1954, the event has been a family favorite for generations, leaving each one with a story to tell.