Cheap & Easy

60 Cheap & Easy Things To Do in Portland This Memorial Day Weekend: May 27-30, 2022

CityFair/Portland Rose Festival Opening Night and Fireworks, HOLI Spring Festival, and More Last-Minute Events Under $15
May 27, 2022
This weekend, CityFair and a fireworks display will officially kick off this year's Portland Rose Festival. (Portland Rose Festival)
This long weekend brings plenty of fun activities and some extra free time to partake in said fun, from CityFair to Multnomah County Fair and from à table: Culinary Rummage Sale & Bake Sale to HOLI Spring Festival. For more ideas, check out our guide to Memorial Day events and road trips and where to find Memorial Day food and drink specials.

Oregon’s statewide mask mandate has been lifted, venues may have their own health guidelines in place. We advise directly checking the specific protocols for an event before heading out.

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Memoria Add to a List
Palme D’or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul has made waves with lush, liminal spaces in Tropical Malady and Cemetery of Splendor. The Thai director's latest film stars Tilda Swinton as a Scottish woman who begins to have unexplained symptoms after experiencing a strange sonic phenomenon in the jungles of Colombia.
(Whitsell Auditorium, South Park Blocks, $12)


Dan Faehnle Trio with Jack Radsliff Add to a List
Unwind with an evening of smoothed-out vibes and jazzy wonderfulness courtesy Pink Martini's Dan Faehnle and Eugene-based guitarist and composer Jack Radsliff.
(The 1905, Boise, $15)

Darkswoon, Model 16, & -ism Add to a List
Embrace your dark side with gloomy shoegazers Darkswoon, ambient goth-pop artist Model 16, and experimental electronic wizards -ism.
(The Sïx, Sunnyside, $10)

Descending Pharaohs, Stochastic Mettle Union, and Twenty Three Suns Add to a List
Portland-based trio Descending Pharaohs will bring trippy instrumentals that swirl together Middle Eastern electronic sounds, spiritual jazz, traditional gamelan, UK psych, and krautrock. Also on the bill are the experimental electronic/jazz outfit Stochastic Mettle Union and serene ambient project Twenty Three Suns.
(No Fun, Buckman, $8)

Farnell Newton & The Sexual Chocolates with Vanilla Sprinkles Add to a List
Versatile local trumpeter Farnell Newton and his friends will bring some sweet, life-affirming sounds of swing, soul, and hip-shaking funk to your weekend. If a spring evening of rhythmic groove and alluring trumpet clarity is what you’re craving, this gig is just what your soul needs.
(Alberta Street Pub, King, $10)

Free Bass: SIPPY Add to a List
Sydney-based DJ SIPPY will blast through town with her signature "gut-rattling seizure-inducing sounds" for a night of bass and EDM bangers. 
(45 East, Central Eastside, free)

Left on Tenth Add to a List
Portland's own Left on Tenth will bring an eclectic mix of reggae-influenced grooves, hard rock, and slow ballads to this neighborhood watering hole.
(Alberta Street Pub, King, $5)

Lo Steele Add to a List
Talented Portland singer-songwriter and poet Lo Steele will be joined by some of her talented musician friends for a late night of neo-soul.
(The 1905, Boise, $15)

Straight Razor + Damascus Knives + [STEREO] TYPICAL Add to a List
Los Angeles darkwave sorcerer Straight Razor will cast his spooky electronic spells on Portland with support from EBM producer Damascus Knives and synth duo [STEREO] TYPICAL.
(Coffin Club, Buckman, $10-$15)

The Lavender Flu, Dark Tea, Color Green, and Johnny Franco Add to a List
Start your weekend off right with swirling celestial sounds from psychedelic garage quartet The Lavender Flu, indie-folk outfit Dark Tea, cosmic country duo Color Green, and Brazilian folk artist Johnny Franco. 
(Kelly's Olympian, Downtown, $12-$15)


SNAP! Y2K- ’90s vs ’00S Dance Party Add to a List
Remember when Y2K seemed like a scary way for the world to end? Return to those nostalgic times with the DJs Colin Jones and Introcut who will show you how to "party like it's 1999."
(Holocene, Buckman, $10)


CoHo Residency: Clown as Protest Add to a List
Clown as Protest uses clowning to consider the sociopolitical forces behind class solidarity, a sense of belonging, and individual interests, placing four clowns in specific conditions that influence their decision-making. The project, created by Lewis & Clark grad Morgan Clark-Gaynor as part of The CoHo Residency Project, aims to structure "agitation" toward leftist and humanitarian issues.
(CoHo Productions, Nob Hill, Pay-what-you-can)

The Queen's Keys with Nicole and Saint Add to a List
Live music, comedy, and storytelling come together in one epic drag show with Miss Gay Oregon XLVIII Nicole Onoscopi and Saint Syndrome, the Pacific Northwest's premier piano-playing queen. Hashtag blessed.
(The Queen's Head, Old Town-Chinatown, $5)


Willy Vlautin Add to a List
For 22 years, Willy Vlautin was the singer-songwriter and guitarist for Portland-based alt-country band Richmond Fontaine. The experience still informs his writing style and character development in fiction. Vlautin's newest novel, The Night Always Comes, explores gentrification, greed, and opportunism within Portland's housing crisis, lending a needed voice to an issue that impacts us all in one way or another.
(Powell's City of Books, Pearl District, $0-$16.99)



Rock Against Fascism Movie Night presents Alt-Right: Age of Rage Add to a List
Rock Against Fascism will meet up for discussion, zine sharing, and a film screening at Workers Tap, Portland's worker-owned and -operated beer bar. Alt-Right: Age of Rage follows the life of anti-fascist activist Daryle Lamont Jenkins, who works to combat the rising alt-right movement, and honors the life of Heather Heyer, who was murdered by a white supremacist during the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville.
(Workers Tap, Buckman, free)


Comedy in times of COVID Add to a List
Rodrigo Baena and Stefano Iaboni strive to find laughter in the pandemic era. The self-described "immigrant comedy duo" shares their cultural differences through humor and stellar improvisation skills.
(Favela Brazilian Cafe, Foster-Powell, $10)


Aliens Add to a List
It's been 57 years since galactic badass Ellen Ripley (and Jonesy!) somehow survived a catastrophic hurtle through space aboard the Nostromo. Now Ripley's on a new rescue mission, assigned by the ever-mysterious Company to search a partially terraformed planet for signs of life.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $8-$10)

Teen Witch Add to a List
When an unfortunate geek learns that she'll gain fancy new magical powers on her 16th birthday, she decides to conjure some popularity for herself, and all hell breaks loose. (Don't force it, folks.) Here's your chance to catch Teen Witch, an '89 fantasy comedy with a bunch of rap musical numbers that pop up out of nowhere.
(Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy, $8)


AMP with Spunj Add to a List
Acoustic supergroup AMP, which consists of Kellen Asebroek (Fruition), Sean McLean (World’s Finest), and Jimi “Jazz” Prescott (G. Love and Special Sauce), will be joined by eclectic four-piece SPUNJ from Eugene, and fast-pickin' bluegrass players The High Seagrass for a night full of feel-good jams.
(Stage 722, Buckman, $15)

BANG-A-RANG! Acoustic Rocksteady with The Bandulus Add to a List
The Bandulus promise to "steal your heart and always leave you smiling," so don't miss this Saturday afternoon set of soulful reggae jams.
(Alberta Street Pub, King, $7)

Brigitta Teuscher Quartet Add to a List
Experience the powerful warmth of jazz vocalist Brigitta Teuscher's contralto sound, accompanied by pianist Matt Sazima, bassist Ross Garlow, and drummer Todd Strait.
(The 1905, Boise, $15)

Ezra Bell Add to a List
Long-time local presence Ezra Bell brings their soulful and eclectic indie-folk sounds down to the stage in support of their brand-new album, Jorji.
(Mississippi Studios, Boise, $12)

Forty Feet Tall, Les Gold, and Buddy Wynkoop Add to a List
Indie-rock quartet Forty Feet Tall started as Los Angeles teens obsessed with post-punk and grunge. Nowadays, the Portland-based band wows crowds with their psychedelic and punk-infused jams. Local "bummer fun" rockers Les Gold and art-punk group Buddy Wynkoop will get things started.
(The Fixin' To, St. Johns, $10)

Hungry Hungry Hip Hop Showcase Add to a List
Hungry Hungry Hip-Hop is a monthly showcase dedicated to spotlighting the many flavors and styles in Portland's hip-hop community, including live music, spoken word, and audio/visual art. This time around, the mic will be handed to local rhyme wizards Lana Shea, Refugio, and Cuddie Whompus.
(Mississippi Pizza Pub & Atlantis Lounge, Boise, $10)

Karen Caskets & Phone Voice Add to a List
Local trio Karen Caskets keeps the PNW tradition of grunge alive with their fuzzed-out "louder-than-heck" tunes. They will rock the house alongside lo-fi bedroom pop project Phone Voice.
(The Sïx, Sunnyside, $10)

Tahirah Memory Add to a List
Tahirah Memory calls to mind artists such as Jill Scott and early Emily King, while keeping to a more classic-jazz backbeat, accented by lush vocal harmonies. While Portland may never really be ready for jazz, Ms. Memory is continuing proof that something special is going on here. JENI WREN STOTTRUP
(The 1905, Boise, $15)

The Scoffs, The Stuntmen, and Division Street Add to a List
Mosh along to some old-school punk from Seattle band The Scoffs alongside Olympia-based hard rockers The Stuntmen, and Division Street.
(Shanghai Tunnel, Downtown, $8)

Weeed + Spoon Benders Add to a List
Bainbridge Island-formed psych-rock quartet Weeed has been keeping things cosmic since 2009. Sway along to their loud rhythm-heavy jams after some haunting psych sounds from garage punk outfit Spoon Benders.
(Doug Fir Lounge, Buckman, $15)

We Three: HAPPY Tour with Laryssa Birdseye Add to a List
We Three, a McMinnville-hailing sibling band who found success on America's Got Talent, will bring their soulful pop sounds to Waterfront Park for an outdoor show kicking off their HAPPY tour. Portland-based singer-songwriter Laryssa Birdseye will open things up with her emotional Americana-influenced ballads and pop anthems.
(Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Downtown, $15)


Old School Hip Hop Throwdown Add to a List
Legendary PNW DJ O.G.ONE will man the decks with support from DJs Mighty Juggernaut, O.G.TOO, and Klyph. They'll be spinning all the classic hip-hop and R&B that your heart desires.
(The Get Down, Buckman, $10-$12)

This Party is Killing You: The Robyn Party Add to a List
This Party Is Killing You is the longest-running dance night paying tribute to Sweden’s favorite daughter, Robyn. Get ready to hear her hits, B-sides, remixes, and rarities along with some additional party bangers to cry to by the likes of Lady Gaga and Carly Rae Jepsen.
(Holocene, Buckman, $13)


Wordlights Poetry Popup Show ft. Armin Tolentino Add to a List
Wordlights Poetry Popup Show is a fresh initiative bringing local and touring poets to venues in Portland and beyond. For this edition of the event, Rutgers MFA grad and former Oregon Literary Arts fellow Armin Tolentino will share his work, followed by an open mic for poets brave enough to share. It'll all go down between the cozy stacks of Belmont Books.
(Belmont Books, Sunnyside, free)


Pop-Up Market at Favela Brazilian Cafe Add to a List
Local craftspeople and vintage dealers will share their unusual wares at Favela's pop-up market. Don't miss the live performance from Brazilian crooner Johnny Bravo.
(Favela Brazilian Cafe, Foster-Powell, free)


People and Earth: Artist Talk with Alex Chiu, Shu-Ju Wang, and Sam Roxas-Chua 姚 Add to a List
The Portland Chinatown Museum's new artist talk series shines a light on Asian American artists of the region, particularly those who work at the crossroads of community, history, and culture. The first edition of the series features the museum's Creative Heights resident artists Alex Chiu, Shu-Ju Wang, and Sam Roxas-Chua 姚, who will share their explorations of Chinese American cultural histories in Oregon. Artist and residency director Horatio Law will moderate the panel.
(Portland Chinatown Museum, Old Town-Chinatown, free)



Church of Film: The Devil Queen Add to a List
Just in time for Pride month, The Devil Queen paints a gruesome picture of an illicit underworld in Rio led by a violently fabulous femme crime boss. This '74 masterwork of Brazilian filmmaking tests every cinematic boundary of the era and kicks ass, too.
(The Red Fox, Humboldt, free)

Point Break in 35mm Add to a List
Surf's up! Kathryn Bigelow's SoCal criminal classic will be shown in 35mm for this screening. When federal agent Johnny Utah goes undercover to investigate some bizarre bank robberies, he infiltrates a wave-lovin' crime gang led by the effortlessly tanned Patrick Swayze. Utah (played by Keanu Reeves) finds himself in a real pickle when he falls in love with a female friend of the gang. 
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $8-$10)


Abronia with Death Parade & Mouth Painter Add to a List
This evening of experimental psychedelic sounds will be headlined by local six-piece Abronia as they support their new album, Map of Dawn, alongside doom folk project Death Parade and cosmic country quartet Mouth Painter.
(Mississippi Studios, Boise, $10)

Courtney Noe with Drowsy Add to a List
Self-described as a "singing Wednesday Addams," Courtney Noe brings her sassy and stylish blend of rock and R&B to the pub stage with support from Drowsy. (Alberta Street Pub, King, $10-$13)

Dan Balmer Group Add to a List
One of only five musicians to be a member of both The Oregon Music Hall of Fame and the Jazz Society of Oregon Hall of Fame, guitarist Dan Balmer has established himself as a staple of the Portland jazz scene.
(The 1905, Boise, $15)

Her Throne Add to a List
Local musician Kanide-Is presents an evening of live music with fellow Portland-based artists including soulful vocalist Jai Baby, rapper Glam Doll, and R&B artist Tiffany Nichole. Plus, dancers and an ASL interpreter will join for a fully immersive experience. 
(Kelly's Olympian, Downtown, $10-$14)

Open House: Hook N Sling at 45 East Add to a List
Dancing into the wee hours of the Sunday night/Monday morning is no issue if you have Monday off. Plus, if you register for the guest list of this "open house," you'll get free entry. Sign us up! Beats will come courtesy of Australia-born DJ and record producer Hook N Sling, plus a supporting act that's TBA.
(45 East, Central Eastside, free with guest list registration; $10 at the door)

Rhythm Wreckers Dance Band Swing Night Add to a List
Portland-based ensemble The Rhythm Wrecker Dance Band will continue their mission of making danceable bops suitable for lindy hop and swing.
(The Fixin' To, St. Johns, $10)

Sundae Jams Add to a List
Within Lake Oswego's hub of beloved Portland restaurants, donut shop Fills will host a weekly music series for you to enjoy while you fill up on sweet treats, and partake in tastings of spirits, beer, and wine. This Sunday, revel in some rootsy blues tunes from Kenny Lavitz while sipping on some Freeland Spirits.
(Mercato Grove, Lake Oswego, free)

The Supa Heavy Bass with OG.Wizzz & T0K4 Add to a List
Get down to a blend of drum and bass, dubstep, hip-hop, and heavy bass beats from DJ/producers OG.Wizzz and T0K4.
(No Fun, Buckman, free)


Deep Like: Soulful House / Afro House Dance Party Add to a List
Join selectors DJ Juliet Mendoza, Floyd Vader, Cee Blanco, and Maarquii as they spin sets for the dancefloor, tracing the roots of house music with an emphasis on soulful Afro/Latin sounds.
(Holocene, Buckman, $15)


à table: Culinary Rummage Sale & Bake Sale Add to a List
Sift through a selection of kitchen gadgets, small appliances, cookware, cookbooks, glassware, bar tools, vintage linens, dishes, and more at this rummage sale from the Portland chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier. Baked goods, beer, and wine will also be available for purchase. All proceeds will go to AHIVOY, Growing Gardens,and the Dames d'Escoffier Portland chapter scholarship fund.
(Pix Pâtisserie, Kerns, free)


DADDY Add to a List
Navigating the complicated territories of grief, familial connection, and death, Jenn Sova's DADDY was born from the recent suicide of her estranged father and the expectations of kin in modern culture. In DADDY, Sova asks: "What does it mean to heal when confronting estranged loss?"
(after/time collective, Irvington, free; closing)

Frida is Here: Mural Painting Reflections by IDEAL PDX Add to a List
Members of the collaborative Latino artist group IDEAL PDX will share their inspirations, process, and reflections on a mural they created for the Portland Art Museum exhibition Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Mexican Modernism Add to a List The mural envisions Kahlo and Rivera on a vibrant journey from Mictlan, the underworld of Aztec mythology, to the tribal territories of the Pacific Northwest.
(Virtual via Portland Art Museum, free)



Celebrate Our Stories: AANHPI Heritage Month Add to a List
Expect Cantonese opera costumes, a Polynesian dance troupe, mahjong, origami, and more at this celebration of AANHPI heritage. Throughout May, over 20 AANHPI organizations, performers, and artists will share their cultural traditions with garden guests through informal storytelling, a community photo board, performances, demonstrations, and more.
(Lan Su Chinese Garden, Old Town-Chinatown, $14, Friday-Sunday)


CityFair Add to a List  
As the kick-off event and hub for the Portland Rose Festival Add to a List , CityFair will take over Waterfront Park for three consecutive weekends of carnival rides, fair food vendors, interactive exhibits, live music, and more. Opening night Add to a List (Fri May 27) will include a ribbon cutting, carnival rides, food and drink, live music from Hit Machine, and an after-dark fireworks extravaganza.
(Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Downtown, $8, Friday-Monday)

HOLI Spring Festival Add to a List
Topaz Farm is honoring the season of rebirth on their land while celebrating the South Asian festival of Holi, which marks the arrival of spring. A vibrant dance party will be soundtracked by DJ Anjali & The Incredible Kid, during which festival goers will pelt each other with brightly colored organic, plant-based powders imported from India. Plus, dig into food from Bhuna, Big Elephant Kitchen, Chaat Wallah, DesiPDX, and Kulfi. A percentage of proceeds from the event will benefit farmers in India.
(Topaz Farm, Sauvie Island, $5-$15, Saturday-Sunday)

Multnomah County Fair 2022 Add to a List
The annual family-friendly fair returns with three days of performances, competitions, nachos, amusement park rides, and a pioneer village. Be sure to catch the dachshund race, or enter your own weiner pup for a chance to win prizes.
(Oaks Amusement Park, Sellwood, free, Saturday-Monday)


No Exit Add to a List
Jean-Paul Sartre's drama is an existentialist (natch) foray into the worlds of three dead folks locked in a room together. Sign me up! Seriously, though, No Exit offers a fascinating dramatic take on Sartre's viewpoints, especially his poignant phrase "L'enfer, c'est les autres," which translates to "Hell is other people."
(Portland State University, South Park Blocks, $6-$15, Friday-Saturday)


Portland Vintage Market Add to a List
Pop by for vintage clothing, hard-to-find records, houseplants, tchotchkes, and more at this massive market of over 100 vendors. It'll be worth it for the cool outfit inspo alone.
(Urbanite, Buckman, free, Saturday-Sunday)


Amanda Wojick: Small Shields and Other Shapes Add to a List
Amanda Wojick's playful, geometric style hits a fever pitch in Small Shields and Other Shapes, a selection of gouache paintings and multimedia sculptures. The artist explores the abstract and undefinable through vigorous use of color, origami-inspired constructions, and tactile paper fragments.
(Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

Art in the Garden Add to a List
The Oregon Garden is awash with bright blooms, and local artists will showcase their handcrafted works all summer, adding even more beauty to the space. Art in the Garden kicks off on May 28 with a broad range of artworks up for sale to spruce up your garden or living space.
(Oregon Garden, Silverton, $12, Saturday-Monday)

Barbara Sternberger: Emanating Add to a List
Barbara Sternberger's new series of abstract paintings channels "pure expression," attempting to embody utter immersion and avoid any predetermined aesthetic decisions. Layers of accumulated mark-making give Sternberger's works a palimpsest quality; barely-visible traces of past imagery reveal the story behind each composition.
(Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

Gambatte! Legacy of an Enduring Spirit Add to a List
Inspired by gambatte, a Japanese concept of perseverance, this exhibition illustrates the impact of forced incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. Gambatte! Legacy of an Enduring Spirit includes contemporary photographs snapped by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Paul Kitagaki, Jr. and historic images captured by Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, Clem Albers, Tom Parker, Francis Stewart, and others.
(Oregon Historical Society, South Park Blocks, $0-$10, Friday-Sunday; opening)

Lynda Ater: A Retrospective Add to a List
Artist Lynda Ater, who was recently diagnosed with a rare brain cancer, faces the end of her life with grace and courage in this retrospective. As a laboratory scientist, Ater analyzed cancer cells, later transforming the images of cells into dynamic paintings inspired by Josef Albers. Throughout her artistic career, Ater's works have merged scientific inquiry and a geometric, patterned aesthetic sense—these works come together in this distinctive exhibition.
(Blackfish Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

Matthew Moore: Post-Socialist Landscapes Add to a List
In Post-Socialist Landscapes, photographer Matthew Moore explores the sites of former Soviet occupation, cultivating an ominous quality in his works that spotlights cultural memories that have stood the test of time. While some photographs portray an eerie absence, others depict the ways in which local governments have transformed formerly occupied spaces. Moore's photographs also share the fates of discarded Eastern Bloc communist monuments, many of which are hidden away from public view. 
(Blue Sky Gallery, North Park Blocks, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

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