July event highlights
Here’s a selection of July events in Portland. For more, see our editors’ picks, below, or search the events calendar.
Waterfront Blues Festival
The Waterfront Blues Festival — the largest blues festival west of the Mississippi River — rocks crowds on the riverbank in Waterfront Park and on the water itself with five days of top national acts, as well as spectacular fireworks on July 4.
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Chamber Music Northwest
Pre-concert picnics on the lawn at Reed College are a standing tradition among the enthusiastic followers of the annual Chamber Music Northwest concert series, which runs from late June to late July. Since it was launched in 1971, the festival has grown into one of the most successful chamber music events in the nation.
Oregon Brewers Festival
Craft breweries from around the United States bring more than 80 beers to the Oregon Brewers Festival, the largest gathering of independent brewers in North America, held in downtown Portland’s Waterfront Park.
Cathedral Park Jazz Festival
Founded in 1981, the three-day Cathedral Park Jazz Festival is the now the West’s largest and oldest free celebration of jazz and blues. Held in Cathedral Park beneath the historic St. Johns Bridge, the scenery is almost enough to steal the show.
PDX Pop Now!
The PDX Pop Now! festival highlights as many as 50 local independent artists at a single venue over the course of two days. The volunteer-driven nonprofit behind the festival also produces an annual compilation CD of local music.
The Big Float
Every summer, The Big Float celebrates the river that runs through the city with a flotilla of inner tubes and inflatable toys and a beach party just south of the Hawthorne Bridge in downtown’s Waterfront Park.
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Portland Highland Games
This celebration of all things Scottish features dancing, piping, drumming and fiddling, traditional food and the “heavy events,” which include the caber toss and the Portland stone — a 96-pound rock hurled by only the brawniest athletes. The Portland Highland Games are held just east of Portland in Gresham.
Portland Zine Symposium
Portland’s DIY culture is alive and well, and you can catch it in all its vibrant blacks and whites at this annual gathering of underground media connoisseurs. The Portland Zine Symposium is a free, two-day event includes workshops, panel discussions and tables of people buying, selling and trading zines.
Flicks on the Bricks
Gather up the family and head to Pioneer Courthouse Square for free movies and popcorn under the stars on Portland’s “largest outdoor screen.” Catch Flicks on the Bricks four consecutive Friday nights, July through August.
Since 2002, Pioneer Courthouse Square has celebrated summer with two free lunchtime concerts every week in July and August. The popular Noon Tunes Concert Series showcases the best in regional and local musical talent each Tuesday and Thursday from noon-1 p.m.