If you’ve never been to any of our famous Portland street fairs, you’re really missing out on a Portland summer mainstay. They’re such fun events to attend, especially if you bring along family and friends. They’re also a great way to meet your neighbors and enjoy everything that’s unique about that neighborhood. And it almost doesn’t need to be said that you’ll see some unusual (and very Portland) things. Here are the three North Portland street fairs you can’t miss this year.
St. Johns Parade and Bizarre
St. Johns Parade
The St. Johns Parade goes hand in hand with the St. Johns Bizarre. The parade is now in its 55th year. It’s been doing its thing since 1962, and it’s become a beloved tradition to the neighborhood’s residents. Many people have a favorite viewing spot for the parade, and people who have moved away are known to come back each year to enjoy the fun.
In fact, Farrell Realty has been a long-time supporter and sponsor of the parade. We’re proud of our community for coming together to put on this community event, and we’re happy to support it! We’re grateful for everyone who pitches in to make this parade happen each year. (Fun side note: we won the best float twice!)
The parade (this year’s theme is “A Whimsical Adventure”) will be filled with floats, bands, drill teams and horses. Here’s a complete list of this year’s entries in the parade.
The details: Saturday, May 13, noon
St. Johns Bizarre
People used to hang around after the parade was over, so someone had the brilliant idea to organize a street fair the same day as the parade. The event is now in its eleventh year. It’s gotten bigger and bigger every year, but all the attractions and vendors are kept as local as possible.
Though the St. Johns Bizarre actually starts before the parade, this party really gets going after the parade ends. The entire six-block business district of St. Johns is closed to vehicle traffic, and everyone can let loose and have a good time.
The beer garden (or Biergarten) donates all its tips to local non-profit organizations, so enjoy a drink and help out a local charity at the same time. Sample beer from local brewer Occidental Brewing Company, featuring cider courtesy of the Oregon Mead and Cider Company.
You’ll also love the live entertainment (full list of entertainment here) and over one hundred local vendors in the open air craft market. Vendors are vetted to make sure they’re actually producing and selling locally made goods.
Plus, don’t miss all the fun activities for the kids! Events this year include
- Circus Cascadia
- Johns Swapnplay Family Zone
- Art of STEM Activity Station
- Red Yarn
- Mamas Rock Family Music
- Tinker Camp Craft Station
- PDX Bubbleboys
- HazeAmaze Balloon Animals
The details: Saturday, May 13, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the St. Johns commercial district (N Lombard at N Philadelphia)
Kenton Street Fair
The Kenton neighborhood has undergone an exciting revival in the past few years. A neighborhood is really going somewhere when it has its own street fair! This will be the Kenton Street Fair’s eighth year.
One of the fair’s featured attractions is soapbox-style coaster car races. These handmade, creative cars race down North Denver in some nail-biting contests!
Besides the dancing in the streets during the whole fair (there’s music for all ages, all day long), there will be many other activities for kids and adults to enjoy. This year promises crafts, carnival games, and pony rides.
The details: Sunday, May 21, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Kenton commercial district (N Denver between N Watts and N Willis)
Mississippi Ave Street Fair
The Mississippi Ave Street Fair is a celebration of N Mississippi’s unique and colorful history. This event (in its sixteenth year) honors the area’s residents and business in a really fun way. Thousands of people will turn out for this annual party, cramming the area with foot traffic. One of the city’s biggest street fairs, it draws about 30,000 visitors to North Portland.
Live entertainment keeps the festive mood going all day long. The street fair is full of vendors (over two hundred), crafts, bands, and a craft brew and wine garden. Of course, it’s also full of food carts and features the very well-known Grandfather’s Rib-Off Competition.
A portion of the fair’s proceeds will be donated to local non-profits. So, come have fun and support your community at the same time!
The details: Saturday, July 8, from 10 p.m. to 9 p.m. on N Mississippi Ave from N Fremont to N Skidmore
Portland Street Fairs
There’s no better way to get to know Portland than to enjoy one of its famous street fairs. After the long, dreary winter, we’re all ready to get out and party at our favorite Portland street fairs (even if it rains a little bit). Go here to read about all the other street fairs happening in Portland this year.