Cozied up against the Siskiyou Mountains and snuggled in with orchards and vineyards, Talent is one of those quintessential Oregon towns. Small enough to be quaint and big enough to host a number of restaurants, food trucks, tasting rooms, a craft brewery, and of course, its very own library. 

I was fortunate enough to visit this small Jackson County city (population 6,141) on the day of its Harvest Festival. This annual event was on hiatus for the past couple of years, but boy did it come back with a bang! There were events going on everywhere and most of them were free!  

As I made my journey through town to the library, I managed to visit several of the vendor and community services tables that were set up along the way. Face painting, games, simple craft projects, as well as educational materials were offered at many of the tables. A substantial portion focused on children and families, which was awesome because there were a lot of families with children attending that day. 

After being entertained by a wonderful musical performer named Mr. Travis, and with the library entrance in sight, I continued my tour past another round of hands-on activities provided by organizations such as the Ashland Family YMCA, CASA, and the Rogue Valley Pollinator Project. The normally quiet Talent commons (a lovely park right outside the library doors) was a very different place altogether on this day. 

A typical day on the Talent Commons
The Talent Commons during the Harvest Festival

Much to my surprise and delight as I entered the library, there was even more neat stuff to check out. To start, the Talent Library Club (a group of volunteers who love their library) were having a huge book sale, and with the number of people visiting, it looked like a great success.  

As I walked further into the building, I noticed that the children’s section was abustle with the sound of laughter, excited voices, and even more people. Presentations and fun crafts hosted by the Rogue Valley Handweavers Guild were drawing quite a crowd. It was also a chance for children and their families to take a break from the heat, recharge, and chill out with some video games. 

Other sections of the library offered a reprieve from the crowds and noise. With views of green trees and blue sky through the wonderful large windows, it provided a bit of peace and quiet on a busy day.

In addition to going all-out for the Harvest Festival, the library offers a variety of programs including weekly storytimes and monthly programming for both children and adults. Check out our event calendar for more information. 

The past couple of years have been rough on Talent. The Almeda fire swept through the town in September of 2020, devastating neighborhoods and local businesses. With over 1,000 structures destroyed and 40% of the land engulfed by the fire’s path, the city is still in the process of recovery. The Harvest Festival and its obvious success is a testimony to the town’s motto; Talent Strong. All and all, with its numerous pollinator gardens, playgrounds and city parks, and, of course, its beautiful library, Talent is a wonderful place to visit. There is no doubt in my mind that Talent has totally got it all.