The 45 Best Things to Do in Portland This Weekend: September 25-27, 2020

The Fade to Light Fashion Show, the Virtual XRAY Awards, and More Top Picks
by Mercury EverOut Staff
September 25, 2020
Electro-glam dance music outfit Seven Cake Candy will debut their new music video at Saturday's virtual edition of Fade to Light, the annual "multidimensional" fashion event. (Fade to Light via Facebook)

Another weekend brings another slew of ways to spend your time on the internet and out in the world. Check out our top picks below, from the Virtual XRAY Awards to Fade to Light: A Streaming Fashion Event, and from Prost! Oktoberfest to Black Joy Weekend. For more options, check out our complete streaming and in-person event calendars, as well as our picks for the best movies to watch this weekend.

Jump to: Friday | Saturday | Sunday

Events are online unless the location is listed. Note that in-person events may be canceled due to rain.



Zoo Rendezvous
Join the Oregon Zoo as they head to the finish line of their $8.5 million Heart of the Oregon Zoo campaign, which will fund important enhancements and additions to Polar Passage, Primate Forest, and an expanded rhino habitat, as well as improvements in animal care, education, and conservation. This event will include a virtual tour of the new digs, a raffle and auction, and chances to hang out with animals virtually. 


Rocky Horror Shadow Cast
Two definitive classics will grace the Newberg screen this weekend with a double-feature of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Tonight, the Denton Delinquents will serve as the Rocky Horror shadow cast for the full experience.
99 Drive-In (Newberg)


2020 Virtual XRAY Awards!
At this virtual event recognizing "audio achievements and outstanding activism in Portland," take in a performance by the solo folk-adjacent project Black Belt Eagle Scout as you enjoy dinner and dessert by Snackrilege and Shoofly Vegan Bakery and beverages from Migration Brewing Company and New Deal Distillery. Andy Lindberg, the producer, editor, and host of the Kick Ass Oregon History podcast, will MC.

George Colligan/Micah Hummel/Lisa Lipton
Enjoy an evening of modern jazz with local musicians George Colligan, Micah Hummel, and Lisa Lipton.

Philly Music Fest
The lineup of this year's Philly Music Fest will perform from the same stage they have in years past, but you, the audience, will get to watch from the comfort of your home. Friday's bands include Langhorne Slim, Mt. Joy, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Arthur Thomas and the Funkatorium, and Arnetta Johnson & Sunny.

ThirstyCity: Devonwho
Support Holocene and the Equitable Giving Circle by grooving to some lo-fi beats at this virtual concert headed up by Portland's Devonwho, with additional local support from Qloq, Auvie Sinclair, and A-Luxury.


Choose Black Joy Vol. 2
Forming out of a live radio show in partnership with Brooklyn's Bondfire Radio, Choose Black Joy Vol II works with the Center for Cultural Power and the Black Joy Project's Kleaver Cruz to bring Friday-night conversations with guests, who discuss the intersections of Black joy, art, and related topics.


Powell's Books Presents Elisa Gabbert in Conversation With Samantha Irby & Sarah Rose Etter
Elisa Gabbert's new book of essays The Unreality of Memory reflects on disaster culture, climate anxiety, and our collective sense of doom experienced all around planet Earth in 2020. Drawing from past disasters such as Chernobyl and the sinking of the Titanic, the author asks whether we can ever stop repeating history. Join her in conversation with writer and humorist Samantha Irby and Sarah Rose Etter.



OBT Moves / Exposed at OMSI
See Oregon Ballet Theatre performances in real life, socially distant-style, outside of OMSI.
OMSI (Southeast)


Kiliii Yuyan: Rumors of Arctic Belonging
Check out photographs of the Arctic, where climate change is rapidly melting ice caps and endangering wildlife, featured in Kiliii Yuyan's exhibition Rumors of Arctic Belonging.
Blue Sky Gallery (Northwest)
Closing Saturday



Kelsey Cook
Podcast host, beauty blogger, and comedian may not be likely professions for someone raised by an international yo-yo champion and a professional foosball player, but they’re the ones Kelsey Cook ended up with. She'll post up at Helium for four days of live sets.
Helium Comedy Club (Southeast) 


Carla’s Quince
This "immersive virtual experience" comes courtesy of the Voting Project, who aim to mobilize the Latinx vote, a vital bloc for democrats, through the form of a Zoom Quinceañera that will inform the voting process, break down some of the issues at stake this election year, and provide space for individuals to reflect on how their voting choices affect their communities. 

Portland Juggling Festival 2020
Need a new skill with which to dazzle people during awkward silences and/or dinner parties? Learn to juggle from circus-inclined experts at this three-day online festival.


16th Annual DC JazzFest
The 16th annual DC Jazz Fest will be streamed live, bringing five days of performances from big names like Marc Cary, Chuck Brown Band, Frederic Yonnet, and Dado Moroni.

63rd Monterey Jazz Festival
Check out both new and archived performances from previous Monterey Jazz Festivals at this three-day event on YouTube.


National Book Festival
The Library of Congress' National Book Festival will have two days of lit events and author readings in store for child, teen, and adult bookworms. Special guests at this year's virtual event include Colson Whitehead, Sandra Cisneros, Amy Tan, John Grisham, and Jason Reynolds.


Black Joy Weekend
Wm. Steven Humphrey reports: "A planned Proud Boy rally this weekend has inspired local activists to counter the far-right group's appearance in Portland with a donation-based outreach plan called 'Black Joy Weekend'—an event intended to lessen the emotional fallout caused by the rally while 'fostering relief, healing, and joy for Black Portlanders.' Formed by Brown Hope and NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon, 'Black Joy Weekend' intends to counteract the anticipated trauma that's associated with violent clashes between Proud Boys, protesters, and police, by financially supporting Black Portlanders and encouraging them to avoid what could be a dangerous, violent situation. Instead they are asked to use the money to 'live their best lives.' Organizers are hoping to raise $50,000 and distribute the money via a Google form to 200 self-identified Black Portlanders, giving each applicant $150 to 'fund a family activity and a shared meal for four people.' Those who choose to also take a family vacation to the beach this weekend could receive an extra $150."


My People's Market
Nearly 100 local businesses and makers will sell their stuff over the course of three days, with a rotating lineup of vendors featured each day. Plus, local DJs will spin live while you do your socially distant shopping.
417 Northwest Couch St.


Portland's Latinx-focused theater space INGENIO has moved to the digital realm, with rehearsals, workshops, and readings shifting online. They'll kick off their new platform with two weekends of theater performances and events, including Bernardo Cubrîa's The Play You Want (Fri) and Mateo Hernandez's spayce boys (Sun).

A Black man grapples with America's long, continued history with racist police brutality and gun violence in this show written and performed by Charles Grant and directed by James Dixon in collaboration with Many Hats Collaboration and Portland Playhouse.



Community Harvest Festival
Help this Southeast farm celebrate its 20th anniversary at its online harvest festival, which includes a kids and family session with craft activities and an adult cocktail/mocktail event complete with a mixology demo.

Jackson's Galaxy Cat Camp
Finding reasons to celebrate whenever you can means dedicating an entire weekend to kitty cats. Jackson Galaxy's Cat Camp is an "immersive experience with a summer camp-like atmosphere" that includes speakers, arts and crafts, cat-adoption opportunities, workshops, and more to nurture the feline within. 

Meet The Next Generation: A Conversation with Rising BIPOC Leaders
Portland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty will introduce a group of young BIPOC leaders at the helm of the local Black Lives Matter movement.  

Remain: A Community Panel on Land and Housing
Portland Tenants United and tenants unions all over the country will lead this online discussion about housing and homelessness in the city. 


Prost! Oktoberfest
Make a reservation to ring in Oktoberfest season at this German-style favorite, whose special menu includes new multiple fest biers on tap, traditional German music, and of plenty of dirndls and lederhosen. 
Prost! (North Portland)


Best of Pitchfork Music Festival
The Pitchfork team has carefully selected their favorite archived performances from past Pitchfork Music Festivals (including those by Angel Olsen, Beach House, Run the Jewels, and Wilco), and they're streaming them live on YouTube for your reminiscing pleasure. 

Farm Aid 2020 On the Road
Watch on AXS TV, stream on Farm Aid's YouTube channel, or listen on Sirius XM as country and folk music legends like Willie Nelson and the Boys, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Dave Matthews, Bonnie Raitt, and Brandi Carlile perform live in support of farmers across the country. "Farm Aid 2020 is going to give the whole country a chance to learn about the important work of farmers and how they’re contributing to our well-being, beyond bringing us good food," says Willie Nelson. 

The Shmaltzing Matildas
Hear some grassy, folksy ballads from local duo the Shmaltzing Matildas at Portland's favorite corn maze. 
The Pumpkin Patch (Sauvie Island)


Powell's Books Presents Allie Brosh
The author of Hyperbole and a Half, a National Book Award finalist, is back with a new collection of illustrated, autobiographical essays that are funny as hell. Hear her read from Solutions and Other Problems at this virtual event with Powell's.


Labor for Black Lives Labor Against Fascism: Counter-Rally with Union & Community
Join Portland Jobs with Justice for a rally in protest of the one planned for the same day by right-wing Proud Boys. 
Peninsula Park (North Portland)

March for Black Women
In the memory of Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, Korryn Gaines, Oluwatoyin Salau, Tony McDade, Jayne Thompson, Atatiana Jefferson, Renisha McBride, and countless other Black womxn who have been murdered by white people, and with the upcoming election drawing near, Black Women's Blueprint invites you to this online edition of their annual march. 


PCS Remix: Play Reading — Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors
Portland thespians Cycerli Ash and Jimmy Garcia will be joined by NYC actor Cindy Im, along with Portland Center Stage newcomers Benjamin Bonenfant, Jamie Ann Romero, and Patrick Truhler for this online staged reading of Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors.


Fade to Light: A Streaming Fashion Event
Instead of an in-person runway show, designers like Altar, Eve Styles for EveSkywalker, Lost Boy, N'Kossi Boutique, Sarah Bibb for Folly, Seven Cake Candy, and Wendy Ohlendorf will present their latest digital content, focusing on the avant-garde and the unusual at this "multidimensional fashion event" created by Elizabeth Mollo. "Mollo challenges designers to push the boundaries of traditional runway presentation, which means creativity will reach a whole new level," wrote Wm. Steven Humphrey about last year's event. Proceeds will benefit the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program. 



Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra begins their 2020-2021 season with this concert, streamed live from the Skyview Concert Hall and into your living room, bringing compositions by George Walker, William Grant Still, Shostakovich, Vivaldi, and Elgar to life through their artistry and nine HD cameras, plus state-of-the-art audio equipment.


Magellanica Audio Drama
Portland's Artist Repertory Theatre's five-part audio drama is adapted from Mellon Playwright-in-Residence and Steinberg Award-winning playwright E.M. Lewis' epic play Magellanica, which Artist Rep premiered in 2018. It's set in 1986, when scientists and engineers from around the world converge at the South Pole Research Station to figure out, among other things, if there really is a hole in the sky. 

Meet Me in Uncanny Valley Part 1
Fairy tales and true events will blend together at these evenings of dramatic poetry readings accompanied by music. 
Triangle Productions (Northeast)


The Gentle Revolution Presents: The Pre-Vinylettes’ Suffragette Centennial
This exhibition of political signs painted by women, trans, and post-binary sign painters celebrates the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. 
Ford Gallery (Southeast)
Opening Saturday

Tatsuzo Shimaoka | The Language of Texture
This exhibition will center the late Japanese ceramic artist Tatsuzo Shimaoka, whose signature style, Jomon-zogan, combines rope-impressed decoration and the white-slip inlay technique used in Korea's Choson Dynasty.
Portland Japanese Garden (Southwest)
Opening Saturday



Heartbeat Silent Disco - Social DistDances
Fifty guests will be allowed into an area of Laurelhurst Park for this socially distanced silent disco, where DJs will blast tunes into provided headphones. 
Laurelhurst Park (Southeast)

Outer Orbit at McKenna Park
Galen Clark's funk project Outer Orbit will perform live in North Portland.
McKenna Park (North Portland)

The Peripatetic Piano
Local jazz pianists Andrew Oliver, Kerry Politzer, Charlie Brown III, and Rebecca Sanborn will fill out the bill at this online concert presented by the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble.


Jewell Parker Rhodes, Kelly McWilliams
Jewell Parker Rhodes explores the toxic school-to-prison pipeline and its effect on Black communities in her new novel Agnes at the End of the World, which press materials describe as "The Handmaid's Tale meets Wilder Girls." She'll be joined by Kelly McWilliams at this virtual reading. 


Don't Let Democracy Die March with Portland Raging Grannies
The Portland Raging Grannies, dressed in mourning black and carrying a mock coffin, will march from Lownsdale Park to Pioneer Courthouse Square to encourage everyone to vote.
Lownsdale Park (Northwest)


BIPOC Makes Pop-Up Market
Easton Broad hosts a pop-up market highlighting Portland-based BIPOC artists and makers every Sunday in September. 
Easton Broad (Northeast)


One-Day-Only Open Show
This socially distant outdoor exhibit (which will be moved inside in the event of heavy rain) will be set up for one day only, so grab your mask and peruse hundreds of works by over 150 artists.
Lakewood Center for the Arts (Lake Oswego)