City Profile of Ashland - Jackson County in Southern Oregon - climate - highlights - information  

Ashland is located 15 miles north of the California border on Interstate 5 at the south end of the Rogue Valley, sitting at about 2,000 feet above sea level. Mt. Ashland looms above the city to the South, 7,500 feet high, and the Cascade Range lies about 30 miles to the east.  Ashland offers qualities of life that many towns only dream about. Snow-capped mountain peaks, a major theater company joined by other smaller theaters, art galleries, museums and fine restaurants offer a truly picturesque setting. Ashland is a unique place, offering a ski resort in the winter, and three other distinctive seasons. With its warm summers and mild climate, Ashland is an excellent place to garden and enjoy the outdoors and local river activities.

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The climate is so good, in fact, that Ashland had an active agricultural industry around the turn of the century. The Rogue Valley is still known as "pear country," and you can see trees from the old orchards around town. The climate is also conducive to growing grapes, and Ashland has two local wineries. Ashland has an active and varied theatrical community. Ashland is home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland also boasts nine other theater groups, which perform a wide variety of productions, including musicals, comedies, and experimental theater, all year long. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is known worldwide for the quality of its productions.

In its 61st year, the Tony Award-winning OSF produces Shakespeare, classic and contemporary plays in a season that runs from mid-February through October. Its three theaters provide three very different settings; the $7.5 million newly renovated 1,200-seat Allen Pavilion of the outdoor Elizabethan Theatre, whose performance stage design was inspired by the Globe Theatre of Shakespeare's time; the modern 600-seat Angus Bowmer; and the 140-seat Black Swan, a perfect setting for intimate performances. The Festival uses volunteers for ticket-taking, ushering, administrative tasks, selling souvenirs for the Tudor Guild, and a number of other functions. This offers a way for residents to participate in the theater activities and, if ticket-taking, see friends and neighbors. The early season is a time of excitement for resident theater-goers, as they compare notes on new productions. They also enjoy half-price tickets to selected performances then.
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