When the sun comes out, Portlanders celebrate with their favorite things: music, beer, art and food. Here are some of Portland’s best events in June, July, August and September. All summer long there is something new to experience and explore while enjoying the wonderful weather.
A beloved Rose City tradition since 1974, the Portland Saturday Market showcases handmade arts and crafts. On any given Saturday from spring through the day before Christmas, shoppers can tap their heels to bluegrass pickers and jazz musicians, or sample ethnic eats like falafel or kielbasa, while browsing wares sold by the makers themselves.
Portland’s dining scene is legendary. But not every great meal is served at a restaurant or a food cart. Each spring, the city’s farmers’ markets come to life, creating a food lover’s paradise. On Saturdays year-round, the Portland Farmers Market at PSU boasts 140 farmer and vendor stands. The smaller Shemanski Park Farmers Market runs on Wednesdays from May through October and is tucked behind the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, only three blocks from Pioneer Courthouse Square. You’ll find more farmers’ markets all around the city.
Street Markets by Produce
On the weekends in Old Town Chinatown, in the heart of Portland’s streetwear district, Produce Portland hosts a street fair to showcase local brands. The Street Market by Produce features local apparel, craft goods and music every Saturday and Sunday in the summer with special events such as a collaboration between Produce and Marino Skate culminating in an exhilarating skate competition.
My People’s Market
In early August, the North Park Blocks hosted My People’s Market, where shoppers get a chance to discover the diversity of Portland. Connect with BIPOC entrepreneurs, makers, artists and culinary wizards while experiencing the sounds of local Portland artists and performers, curated by Young, Gifted and Brown.
All summer long, you can shop from local BIPOC makers at MPM Window Shop at 10Y in downtown Portland. Check out items in the window, then purchase them by scanning a QR code that leads to the My People’s Market virtual gallery.
Outdoor Performance Venues
The Lot at Zidell Yards
The Lot at Zidell Yards brings the best of Portland together in the city’s premier socially distanced, outdoor performance venue. In a summer-long collaboration with Hollywood Theater, a series of films and music will be featured at the venue. Also, members of The Oregon Symphony will be showcased at the venue, as well as a long list of locally and nationally acclaimed musical performers. Stay up to date by keeping an eye on the event calendar.
More Outdoor Concerts
Portlanders' pent-up desire for sun may explain our skill at making the most of summer's long days and warm nights with outdoor concerts.
Chamber Music Northwest’s annual summer festival combines high-caliber classical music with a laid-back atmosphere.
Every Fourth of July weekend, the Waterfront Blues Festival takes over downtown Portland’s Waterfront Park.
A number of events let you enjoy movies on the big screen from the comfort of your car. Check out the PDX Drive-in Movie Spectacular at the Portland Expo Center, Open-Air Cinema at OMSI and screenings at South Portland’s Lot at Zidell Yards.
The Green Loop
The Green Loop is a planned 6-mile linear park that will improve access to and link attractions, cultural institutions and shopping districts. The Green Loop will connect to places within and beyond Portland’s downtown neighborhoods and the Willamette River. Part of the Central City 2035 Plan, the loop is being activated in a number of ways in summer 2021.
South Park Blocks
This 12-block area was planned and named the South Park Blocks in 1852 is the first official green space of Portland. Public art can be found throughout the South Park Blocks as well as vibrant community events and programs such as artisan markets, music, art and performances.
Carts on the Block
A new food cart pod, dubbed Carts on the Block, opened at the end of the South Parks in July 2021. With room for 26 food carts, arthis new, city-funded location provides a home for many carts displaced by construction in 2019.
North Park Blocks Plaza
The plaza at the North Park Blocks, located between NW Park Avenue and NW Flanders Street, is dedicated to Black and Indigenous communities of color, with activations June 4 through Sept. 6. In June, this plaza hosted the History is Now exhibit, part of the Vanport Mosaic Festival.
The Tilikum Plaza
Dedicated to Portland’s diverse arts and culture communities, the Tilikum Plaza is located at SE Second Place and Caruthers at Tilikum Crossing. In June, the plaza featured a community street mural painting by the Latino Network, performances by the Portland Opera; an artistically renovated piano is available to play from Piano Push Play and in July; and, in September, the plaza will host the Portland Indigenous Marketplace.
Since 2012, international food festival Feast Portland has tapped into the wealth of renowned Portland chefs — and welcomed noted culinary stars from around the world — to make the most of Oregon’s bounty. In 2021, Feast has pivoted to “Summer of Feast,” presenting a series of events, including Feast Family Reunions and Claima Stories: Feast Edition.
Waterfront Blues Festival
This year, the Waterfront Blues Festival — the largest blues festival west of the Mississippi River — moved south of its usual downtown site to The Lot at Zidell Yards. The festival included performances from amazing local, regional and national artists. Livestream tickets let fans near and far join the fun.
Cathedral Park Jazz Festival
The Jazz Society’s Cathedral Park Jazz Festival is a free concert open to the public and held over three days in mid-July at Cathedral Park at the base of the St. Johns Bridge in the Cathedral Park neighborhood. Nearing four decades of history, the festival is the longest-running jazz and blues festival west of the Mississippi River.
Vanport Jazz Festival
The Vanport Jazz Festival honors the city of Vanport and the voices that formed Portland’s jazz community. Near the site of the historic 1948 flood, the event transforms Colwood Golf Course into a cultural revival, welcoming nationally renowned artists and breathing new life into Portland jazz.
Bike Around Portland
Portland’s annual Bridge Pedal is a community celebration of the city’s iconic bridges and biking culture. Join thousands of fellow bicyclists in crossing Portland’s car-free streets and bridges (including the upper decks of both the Marquam and Fremont bridges). The Bridge Pedal is both one of the largest community bike rides in the world and one of the city’s favorite summertime traditions.
Whether you’re a cycling fanatic, an occasional cruiser or just a lover of fun events, Pedalpalooza has something for you. Extended throughout June, July and August in 2021, this bike- and fun-focused festival celebrates summer with over 100 rides throughout town.
Around the Neighborhoods
The Art in the Pearl annual fine arts and crafts festival occurs every year on Labor Day weekend in the Pearl District’s North Park Blocks. The free event has been named one of the top such festivals in the country, where you can find art, theater, music, and hands-on activities for people of all ages.
Across the Willamette River from downtown, the Central Eastside area blends industrial Portland with new restaurants, microbreweries and riverside recreation. The neighborhood hosts the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) as well as the monthly Flea + Food Market. For those who like an evening shopping experience, check out the Street Bazaar at the Electric Blocks and the Portland Night Market.
Venturing beyond the borders of the central city, visitors can also find enjoyable events. Multnomah Days in Multnomah Village is one of Portland’s oldest street fairs. The St. Johns neighborhood hosts a yearly St. Johns Art Walk to showcase creative makers in the neighborhood. Reed College, in the southeast, hosts the yearly Chamber Music NW Summer Festival. Or, located even farther afield at McMenamins Edgefield, visitors can catch a Concert on the Lawn or imbibe at the Edgefield Brewfest.
Portland's "festival season" warms up every June with the Portland Rose Festival, Portland Pride Parade and Festival, plentiful outdoor concerts and celebrations of craft beer.
July in Portland is a busy time, with a variety of live music, beer fests and film events to take in.
Biking across bridges and cheering on soapbox racers are two of many great August events in Portland.
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