Free Summertime Fun in Portland
One of my favorite summertime activities in Portland is attending the totally free, family-friendly and fun neighborhood street fairs. If you’re new to Portland or haven’t explored the city in a while, this is a great way to get out there and see what other neighborhoods have to offer. Each Portland street fair has a unique vibe, special events and many local vendors selling one-of-a-kind items.
You’ll seriously be blown away by the talent of the local vendors. These are people who may live on your block that have amazing hidden talents showcased at these fairs. Whether you’re a woodwork fiend or love a hand crafted dress, there is something for everyone to admire.
These fairs are very busy and in the heat of the summer, so I recommend bringing a water bottle, a reusable bag and some breathable clothing. There’s nothing like being hot, sweat and thirsty while stuck in a sea of sweaty humanity.
Don’t let that deter you. Portland street fairs are a sweet treat. You need to explore at least one this summer. Plus, all of these events are free to attend! Feels like a pretty great price for summertime fun.
2019 Portland Street Fairs
Saturday, May 11
10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Focused on crafts and art, the St. Johns Bizarre attracts a special crowd of dilettantes. The event also features the annual St. Johns Parade at noon. Also a noteworthy feature is the beer garden and great selection of food carts.
Sunday, May 19
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
What I love about this street fair is the incredible main street Kenton has to offer. There’s a blurred line between businesses and vendors, which transforms the small stretch of Denver Ave. It has everything you’d expect from a festival: booths, food, music and many kids’ activities.
Saturday, July 13
10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Set right in the heart of Mississippi’s shop scene, this street fair brings in big crowds. It is one of the biggest street fairs in Portland and boasts many incredible booths and activities. I recommend getting there early, late or taking transit.
Saturday, July 27
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Just like the neighborhood, this street fair has an old school feel with an out-of-this-world parade. Seriously, you need to see Clinton Street Theatre’s Rocky Horror Picture Show float.
Sunday, July 28
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
This street fair is held along a trendy stretch of Stark Street just east of Mt Tabor. A lot of the restaurants and stores offer special deals for the day. This street fair has a great community vibe. If you want a fair with less crowds and a great variety of booths, mark your calendar for Montavilla.
Saturday, August 10
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
If you’re looking for a fair that really plays up the performance side of the Portland art scene, this is the one for you. This fair offers eclectic activities all day long. This street fair always draws a big crowd so be prepared to take it all in stride.
Sunday, August 11
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Last year, they had a chicken beauty contest. Need I say more? Held in a field along SE Harold St. and SE 92nd Ave., this street fair offers a little more space and a lot more friendly community vibes. Activities include a 90′ obstacle course, 26′ slide, live music, free workshops, local food, 100+ local vendors, free kids activities, face paining, balloon animals, and creators game. It was my favorite street fair last year.
Sunday, August 25
11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Priding itself on being Portland’s original “shop local” district, the Hawthorne Street Fair will have more than two hundred businesses dedicated to community involvement. Along with the booths, live music and kids activities will be two great beer gardens for adults to enjoy.
Saturday, September 14
11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
The Belmont Street Fair is the final Portland street fair of the season. This fair boasts lots of exciting entertainment and delicious food in this retail and residential district of Portland.
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