friday 19 – sunday 21
It turns out that most of the shoes that Americans wear are not made by elves that sneak into cobblers' shops in the middle of the night. Nor are they even made in America. Most are mass-produced in China, yet there are still fine shoe-craftspeople here in the U.S.—even here in Oregon. Though there is no governing body for shoemakers in the U.S., William Shanor of Bonney and Wills School of Shoemaking and Design in Ashland and Marcell Mrsan of the Accessory Department of Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, who is known as one of the world's leading shoe-crafters, hope to create just that through events like this symposium. From "exotic hides like kangaroo leather" to sewing machines and parts, this event will equip novices, experts, or just "people who love shoes and want to learn more" with the materials and the knowledge they crave. You know what they always say—if the shoe fits, spend $5000 on it. See the full schedule at footwearsymposium.com. Ashland Hills Hotel. $125-$145.
saturday 20 – sunday july 12
Racing on the Rogue
If you didn't make it out to Preakness, Belmont, or the Kentucky Derby this year and that gaudy hat is just begging for an outing, look no further than Southern Oregon. Both Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds will compete in their respective races over the nine days of competition, with horse gender, age, winning history, location of birth, and length of race all deciding race categories. Bets can be made for as little as $2, and can range from simple "straight wagers" (betting on one horse in a single bet) to more complex "exotic wagers" (betting on more than one horse in a single bet). Picking horses in horse race betting is called "handicapping," and can be based on anything from years of experience to if the horse is sporting your favorite color. Either way, the choice is up to you; see you at the track. Weekends through July 12. 1 pm. Grants Pass Downs at Josephine County Fairgrounds. $4.
Shanghaiers, Saloons & Skullduggery: A Walking Tour of Portland's Sinful Past
We all know Portland is badass, but not everyone knows what made her that way. Take Dad out for a little history lesson in the raucous roots of the great city of P-town. As a long-time trading hub, miners, loggers and fishermen have frequented the bars and brothels of yesteryear and some are even still alive today. Historian Doug Kenck-Crispin will be your guide to ancient debauchery in "Old Town" as he is the Ribald Resident Historian from orhistory.com and the co-producer of the bi-weekly podcast series "Kick Ass Oregon History." Sure beats the standard necktie Father's Day gift. 4 pm. The tour starts at the Thirsty Lion Pub and ends at Mary's Club. $15.