Bring on the summer! School will be out soon, and we’re ready to enjoy Portland’s warm weather. There is always so much to do during the warm months, so we’re highlighting some of our favorite summer events in Portland.
Kenton Street Fair
Celebrates historic Kenton during its annual street fair! It promotes all Kenton has to offer and its future. The street fair starts off with an adorable children’s parade. Later in the morning, enjoy a coaster car demo and other contests and events, plus good food and live music.
Portland Rose Festival
Most events June 2–10
Portland is famous for the Rose Festival, which kicks off with the Starlight Parade, which is full of illuminated floats, one of its most popular events. You won’t want to miss the main event, the largest rose show in the nation, which has more than 4,000 blooms from across the Pacific Northwest.
Foam Glow 5K
$15 if you pay in advance
Want to have a ton of fun while also getting a little exercise? This 5K is full of glowing foam and blacklights throughout the course. Glow runners can be runners and walkers of all ages, so this is the perfect activity to do with your entire family.
Scandinavian Midsummer Festival
$8 adults, $17 family, under 11 free
The Scandinavian Midsummer Festival is patterned after an important tradition—it’s time to celebrate the summer after a long, cold winter (that sure sounds good to us)! The festivities are a collaboration with our local Scandinavian Heritage Foundation, and it’s been going on for ninety years. Enjoy authentic music, dancing, games, food, a kids’ area, and a beer garden.
Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts
This festival benefits the Lakewood Center for the Arts, which provides art programs and houses the Lakewood Theater Company, a semi-professional acting company. The festival focuses on a different type of art each year, and artists from the whole world display and sell their art here.
Portland International Beerfest
$40 through June 15, $50 after
The Portland International Beerfest is a benefit for Pet Cross, a local organization that helps animal welfare groups in the Portland and Seattle areas. Try around two hundred delicious beers from over 15 different countries. Taste beers that you’ve never even heard of before, including hard-to-find beers and ciders. They’ve got everything from classic styles to exotic hybrids.
Waterfront Blues Festival
$15 in advance, $20 at the gate, kids 12 and under are free
The Waterfront Blues Festival is the largest celebration of funk, soul, and rhythm and blues west of the Mississippi River. Enjoy four stages of music, plus food, vendors, and fireworks in a beautiful location.
Oregon Country Fair
Ticket prices vary, go here for details
The Oregon Country Fair offers great entertainment, homemade crafts, and delicious food. The beautiful wooded setting makes it worth the two-hour drive from Portland. Enjoy celebrating the land and everything it has to offer.
The Big Float
$5 through July 8, $10 after, $15 day of
The Big Float is open to all ages. It’s the grandest pool party Portland has ever seen. It’s also the annual fundraiser for the Human Access Project. Launch from Poet’s Beach and end on the west bank of the river just south of the Hawthorne Bridge. Then it’s time for a big summer beach party, complete with a music barge and live bands.
Cathedral Park Jazz Festival
The Cathedral Park Jazz Festival is held at the base of the St. Johns bridge, right in our own backyard. It’s full of the region’s best local jazz and blues music. Friday night is blues, R&B, and soul music. Saturday and Sunday features all different styles of jazz. We love this tradition!
PDX Pop Now!
This festival has been going on for 14 years, and it’s dedicated to promoting and sustaining Portland’s diverse music scene. It aims to get people excited about participating in our local music scene in a really fun way.
Oregon Brewers Festival
Free admission; pay for beer
The Oregon Brewers Festival is one of the nation’s longest-running craft beer festivals. Around 70,000 fans make the pilgrimage to drink whatever the festival has to offer (over 80 independent craft beers). Sip on the banks of the beautiful Willamette while you spend time with your friends in a fun environment with live music, vendors, home brewing demonstrations, and fantastic food. Minors and designated drivers get complimentary handcrafted sodas, too!
Washington Park Summer Festival
The Washington Park Summer Festival is a highlight of the summer in Portland. This is a true celebration of our community, complete with music, dance, and hands-on art activities. This is a really fun place to take the entire family.
Alberta Street Fair
$2 (suggested donation)
This is one of Portland’s most beloved street festivals (which is saying something because we have a lot of street festivals). This one is an eclectic mix of activities and events that showcase the best of the Alberta community, including music, entertainment, vendors, food, and drinks.
PDX Adult Soap Box Derby
Want to watch racers hurtle down a closed course in their hand-built contraptions? At the Adult Soap Box Derby, they get a push at the top and gravity takes them the rest of the way. This is a really fun activity for the whole family—take a picnic and enjoy the day.
We hope you have a great summer planned and this gives you a few ideas to add to your list of must-do events. If you have any favorite events that we missed, leave us a comment!