If you're spooked by the ghost of festival season that looms over outdoor amphitheaters and waterfront parks, we've got news for you: Some of Portland's most beloved annual summer events are still happening, just in a virtual, safely-socially-distanced sort of way now, from the Oregon State Fair, to Sneaker Week, and if you order yourself a big glass boot early enough, you can even do Mount Angel's Oktoberfest in your own living room! Check out the links below and get to festing for the rest of summer!
July 31-Aug 14
The Virtual Portland German Film Festival
The Clinton Street's annual celebration of German film moves online for 2020. Support the theater (and the filmmakers) by checking out a lineup of compelling films across a wide range of genres. All films are in German with English subtitles.
Aug 1-Sept 10
Yachats Original Arts & Crafts Fair 2020
2020 is the 50th anniversary of this beloved coastal arts & crafts fair, and also the first year it's gone fully online, meaning the Pacific NW artists featured are reaching a much larger audience. Looking for a unique, special gift for loved ones? Peruse the virtual booths by the makers "tabling" at this fair.
Fashion, fine art, film, and more converge during Design Week, an annual festival that explores and celebrates how design impacts every facet of our lives. Whether you’re an academic or an aesthete (or both!), the wide roster of events will likely have something that peaks your interest.
Fests don't have to just be music, gaming, and/or comics oriented. People who make all the gadgets to consume that stuff, and the people who set up the infrastructure for you to buy it, and the people who push for those advancements that enrich aspects of our lives we don't even know about yet? They get a fest, too. And if any fest is best prepared for moving online in the face of this pandemic? It's gotta be TechfestNW, whose virtual version will include all the panels, seminars, and opportunities for startups to pitch companies and network.
Sneaker Week PDX promises not only to scratch the itch of committed sneaker heads, but also to buff that itch with a tasteful nubuck. And since a lot of the sneaker-shopping adventures that heads have been getting in lately are internet-based, Sneaker Week's transition from in-person to virtual festival should be as smooth as a fresh-out-the-box pair. The event features talks, workshops, films, and opportunities to build and strengthen the community.
Alberta Street Fair in the Air
In the pre-pandemic days, every day on Alberta Street could feel like a street fair was going on. But we're firmly in the midst of a Phase One that has no real signs of moving to Phase Two, and that means the Alberta Street Fair is moving online, and into your house through the internet, with livestreamed music from the Alberta Rose Theatre, and a few surprises for those who log in.
Willamette Valley Chamber Music Festival
Streaming live from the lush green hills of Oregon Wine Country comes this virtual edition of the Willamette Valley Chamber Music Festival, starring composers Daniel Bernard Roumain, Gabriela Lena Frank, and Jessie Montgomery in residence for this, the WVCM's fifth season.
Virtual Hood and Portland to Coast Festival
The annual relay race for long-distance runners of all persuasions is still happening for 2020, and because it's happening virtually, it's possible this could end up being the biggest Hood to Coast ever. The race itself is now spread out over two weeks, and teams can stay connected via the Hood to Coast app as each runner completes their leg of the race while safely distanced. There'll also be a scavenger hunt, and interviews with Hood to Coast notables.
Portland All-Ages Shoebox Derby
This year, instead of heading to the top of Mount Tabor, Soapbox fans are being invited to tune into the livestream and watch Portland's finest shoebox racers go hurtling down the 136 foot replica track. Starting at a 15 foot elevation these 10 inch cars will vie for the awards of best art, fastest, best engineered and crowd favorite chosen by viewers to find the best little racers on this virtual volcano, with race-day food and drink specials available for pickup and delivery from local restaurants.
India Festival 2020
For over 25 years, the annual India Festival has been a showcase for young, local artists to share their talent, their heritage, and their history, and now that showcase is on a citywide stage, as the festival goes virtual with dances, musical performances, and more. Proceeds will help support local community businesses.
Aug 28-Sept 7
All Oregon E-Fair 2020
One of Oregon's most beloved traditions, the Oregon State Fair, goes online for 2020, giving people all over the state one last chance to celebrate summer before everyone goes back to school we hopefully (maybe) enter Phase Two and start to get a handle on COVID-19's spread. So now the fair comes to your screen via livestream (but without the weird farm animal smells!) with events including acrobats, animal racing, lumberjack feats of strength, and Dia de la Familia dances, as well as food demonstrations, live music, and more. Plus, each weekend this summer, you can head to the fairgrounds in person to pick up quintessential fair food like corn dogs, elephant ears, and cotton candy.
Mount Angel Oktoberfest 2020: Zuhaus Edition
For 2020, Mount Angel isn't content to just transform itself into Little Germany, full of lederhosen, tuba music, sausages, and an absolutely astounding amount of beer. No, for this year, they're going to transform your living room into Mount Angel! Food options include pre-sale only, takeout, and delivery, and the entertainment will be streaming. Merch will be available for order as well, and proceeds will go towards the non-profits who run the food booths and the infrastructure for next year's (hopefully in-person) Oktoberfest.