Cheap & Easy

Cheap & Easy Things To Do in Portland This Weekend: Sept 3-6, 2021

Oregon Symphony Waterfront Concert and Festival, POW Film Fest, and More Last-Minute Events Under $10
September 3, 2021
The Oregon Symphony's Waterfront Concert and Festival will delight audiences with a free lineup of some of Portland's best artists and musicians. (Oregon Symphony)

This Labor Day weekend sees the return of the Oregon Symphony's Waterfront Concert and Festival in a big summer send-off. POW Film Fest, the city's premiere film festival amplifying female and non-binary stories and directors, hits screens. And whether you choose to watch a performance or lace up your own dancing shoes, this weekend brings some themed dance events, from a Beyoncé dance showcase to A Dirty Dancing-themed Dance Party to a Burlesque Lebowski Show. Whatever your speed, there's something for you to check out this long weekend without having to worry about breaking the bank. 

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First Friday Superjam with DJ Magneto & Mr Jeigh
It's the freakin' weekend! Take a load off at this dance party where the Goodfoot's resident DJs Mr. Jeigh and Magneto will skillfully mix classic funk, soul, disco, jazz, and various funky jams.
Goodfoot, Kerns ($7)



Formation Studios Homecoming Showcase
A showcase in tribute to the queen herself, this four-show event will get in formation with choreography set to the many hits of Miss Beyoncé Knowles Carter. Hit an early show if you have kiddos, or check out some of Bey's more risqué material at the 18+ late shows. 
Formation Studios, Foster-Powell ($10)



Battle of the Buns: MidCity SmashBurger vs. Cobra Dogs
Cap off summer with this Labor Day weekend bash of festive food, which will feature a face off between smashburgers from MidCity SmashBurger and hot dogs from Cobra Dogs, skate contests, vendors, and live music.
MidCity SmashBurger, Buckman ($5-9)



Oregon State Fair
The Oregon State Fair is making a triumphant return this year with the theme Fun Makes A Comeback! The week-and-a-half long event will feature the Columbia Bank Concert Series, carnival rides, fair fare such as foot-long corn dogs, funnel cake, and fried foods of all sorts, agricultural displays, horse shows and livestock displays, and much more.
Oregon State Fairgrounds, Salem ($6)


POW Film Fest
The POW Film Fest is an event built around amplifying the voices of underrepresented women and non-binary directors. This year's program will open with the documentary Faya Dayi, which examines Ethiopia’s most lucrative cash crop, a stimulant leaf called khat that is chewed for religious meditations by Sufi Muslims. The bulk of the festival is composed of a diverse slate of short films broken up into programs with themes like "misogyny," "rise," and "empirical."
Hollywood Theatre and Clinton Street Theater ($10, donation)



Elevate BIPOC Market
Shop for local goods from BIPOC purveyors of food, art, jewelry, clothing, and more. Plus, don't miss out on a raffle whose proceeds benefit Pacific Northwest Family Circle, a Portland nonprofit that supports families who have lost loved ones to police violence.
The Breathe Building, Richmond (free)

Halloween Swamp Meet
Halloween comes to Oaks Park a little early at this spooky play on a swap meet. Admire a display by Pumpkin Acres, dress up for a costume contest, see what's in store for your future with Portlandia Fortune Tellers, and gear up for actual Halloween with unique items like horror masks and voodoo bags from local artists and vendors. Oh, and look sharp... Zombies, clowns, and even a Sasquatch will be roaming the grounds.
Oaks Amusement Park, Sellwood (free)


Oregon Symphony Waterfront Concert and Festival
To see summer off with a bang, the Oregon Symphony is bringing back its popular Waterfront Concert and Festival. New music director David Danzmayr will lead the symphony through a lively program of works from popular films, masterworks by the world's finest composers, and classical favorites, culminating in Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture complete with cannon fire courtesy of the Oregon Army National Guard and a grand fireworks display. Other featured performers include the Oregon Ballet Theatre, Portland Opera, PDX Jazz Masters Trio, Portland Taiko, Black Belt Eagle Scout, Corazones Alegres Ballet Folklórico, and more.
Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Downtown (free)


Be My Swayze! A Dirty Dancing-themed Dance Party
Looking to have the time of your life? You're going to want to check out this themed dance night taking place on Kenton Club's patio. DJ Action Slacks and special guest DJ Bad Wizard will play music from the '80s classic interspersed with film and dance records from the early '60s. Just make sure you don't let anyone put you in the corner.
The World Famous Kenton Club, Kenton ($10)


The Burlesque Lebowski Show
The Dude abides this show, a drag extravaganza with a variety of performances all paying tribute to your favorite characters and elements from the classic film The Big Lebowski. Ten bucks gets you the chance to watch it all from the comfort of your own home, just make sure to brush up on your Lebowski knowledge. 
Virtual ($10)



Rose City Rollers SKATEMOBILE Pop-Up
Rose City Rollers brings the tunes to the southeast waterfront for an open-air roller rink experience like no other. Skate and gear rentals are available on site, or BYO gear and get free admission. Every ticket purchase will include a free TriMet pass (good for any day).
SE Waterfront, near the Hampton Opera Center (free-$10)


Art In The Pearl 25th Anniversary Festival
Feast your eyes on works by artists from all over the U.S. at "one of the top 10 Arts and Crafts Festivals in the country" (Art Fair SourceBook). Art appreciators will have the opportunity to chat directly with artists and craftspeople to learn about their processes, see live demonstrations, and purchase pieces from wood furniture to photography to ceramics right on the spot. 
North Park Blocks, Pearl District (free)

Portraits of Them
After a year of documenting their experience with low-dose testosterone through monthly portraits, artist Ursa Nüffer-Rodriguez presents this multimedia exhibition which includes video, photos, audio experiences and sculptures, offering a different narrative of (trans)gender becoming than the idealistic, linear portrayal that is often fed to us. The show kicks off with an opening party on Saturday.
Tips on Failing, Boise (donation)



One of the most revolutionary directors of his generation, Werner Herzog's work is as varied as you will ever find in a filmmaker, so you'll get something different every night of this film series. On Sunday, they'll be showing the troubled Fizcarraldo, about an extremely determined man who intends to build an opera house in the middle of a jungle. On Monday you can check out Burden of Dreams, a look at the aforementioned troubled production of Fizcarraldo and the dangers he faced while shooting. 
Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood ($10)



Come Thru Market
Load up on fresh produce and other goods for the week at this Black- and queer-owned incubator market every first and third Monday of the month. The community-centered project is proud to support BIPOC business owners achieve their small business dreams, and has a farmer training program in addition to the market. This week, the market will be giving out $100+ worth of Come Thru bucks at random, and the 500th and 1000th shoppers will receive $50 Come Thru bucks.
The Redd on Salmon, Buckman (free)