October events

This month, Portland offers harvest festivals, hoops, arts events and haunted houses.

Writer Jennifer Egan on Live Wire! Radio during Wordstock.Writer Jennifer Egan on Live Wire! Radio during Wordstock.
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    Here’s a selection of October events. For a full search, visit the events calendar.

    Portland Trail Blazers Basketball

    Winners of the 1977 NBA Championship, the Portland Trail Blazers play at the Moda Center; Blazers faithful take in games from October to April at the nearby Spirit of ’77 and other Blazers sports bars.
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    Great American Distillers Festival

    The Great American Distillers Festival is an annual celebration of craft distilling and the country’s premier gathering of distillers. Sample Portland’s renowned craft spirits along with dozens of offerings from around the nation.
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    The Corn Maize on Sauvie Island

    Just 25 minutes north of downtown Portland, The Pumpkin Patch celebrates the harvest and Halloween with two giant corn mazes: one “haunted,” and one sporting a different locally themed design each year.
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    Haunted houses

    Portland likes its scares as much as any other city, and has the haunted houses to prove it. Some of the biggest annual options include Fright Town at Memorial Coliseum, Scream Portland in North Portland, and the 13th Door and Fear Asylum in nearby towns Beaverton and Milwaukie, respectively.

    The Spirit of Halloweentown

    Thirty miles (40 km) north of Portland, the town of St. Helens celebrates The Spirit of Halloweentown all month long with giant scarecrows, a haunted house and 10 nights of spooky ghost tours.

    Portland Open Studios

    The artist’s life is a lonely existence, save for Portland Open Studios: two weekends in October when visitors are invited into the studios to watch, learn and — the creators hope — buy. Through the purchase of the Open Studios Tour Guide, guests (two per guide) can get up close with sculptors, painters, printers and more and explore Portland’s participating art spaces.

    Wordstock

    Wordstock, Portland’s literary festival, features readings from dozens of local, regional and national writers, writing workshops led by many of the guest authors themselves, and a bustling book fair, all held at the Oregon Convention Center.

    Portland Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

    The annual Portland Lesbian and Gay Film Festival showcases feature, documentary and short films offering a glimpse into the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and communities in different parts of the world. The festival attracts thousands of filmgoers during its 10-day run at Northwest Portland’s Cinema 21.

    Portland Marathon

    The Portland Marathon, founded in 1972, is consistently ranked as a top national race. Named “Most Walker-Friendly Marathon” by Runner’s World magazine, it attracts tens of thousands of spectators and draws participants from around the world. In true Portland fashion, the route features more live entertainment than any other marathon, with 72 performers at over 53 locations in 2011.

    Reel Music Festival

    For 30 years, the Reel Music Film Festival has presented movies about music and musicians of every genre and era. Spanning several weeks, the festival often features live appearances by musicians and filmmakers.

    Hood River Valley Harvest Fest

    The counterpoint to April’s Hood River Valley Blossom Festival, this is your chance to catch the tail end of the fruit-growing process at the Hood River Valley Harvest Fest. The fruit is picked and it’s time to party with music, food, wine and a quilt raffle. One hour and fifteen minutes from downtown Portland.

    West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta

    Watch giant pumpkins race across the lake at Tualatin Commons, 25 minutes southwest of Portland, as boaters navigate these over-sized gourds toward the finish line of the West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta. This free, wacky and entertaining event is the only one of its kind on the West Coast.

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