Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Portland This Memorial Day Weekend: May 26–29, 2023

Multnomah County Fair, 70mm Celebration, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15
May 26, 2023
Fun, food, and farm animals can all be found at the Multnomah County Fair this weekend. (Multnomah County Fair)
Long weekends always call for fun activities, and we've got a sweet lineup from which you can build your schedule. Read on for details on the Multnomah County Fair, 70mm Celebration for Memorial Day Weekend, and Memorial Weekend Bash: Portland Hip-Hop. For more ideas, check out our top event picks of the week.

Jump to: Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Multi-Day



Pigeon Milk Presents 2001: A Space Odyssey Past Event List
Touted as Portland's "only live film score band," psychedelic synth trio Pigeon Milk will perform their out-of-this-world original score to the 1968 sci-fi epic 2001: A Space Odyssey. While the band jams, they promise to provide a "feast for your senses" with the visually striking film projected behind them. AV
(The 4th Wall PDX, Buckman, $5)


Babygirl with swinging Past Event List
With a combination of conversational lyrics, top 40 hooks, and captivating drama, press materials liken Babygirl to a blend of Death Cab For Cutie, Taylor Swift, and Shakespeare. Whoever wrote that is not wrong! On their new EP, Lovers Fevers, the Toronto-based duo employs '80s-sounding guitars, gentle percussion, and Phoebe Bridgers-esque vocals for moody tunes about crushes, love, and looming breakups. These songs have pop-radio potential without sounding like an industry plant (we love to see it!) They will be joined by local indie rock band Swinging. AV
(Doug Fir Lounge, Buckman, $15)



Frankie Rose with SRSQ Past Event List
You may think that you've never heard of Frankie Rose, but perhaps you were an indie rock-obsessed teenager in the 2010s (like myself) with a Vivian Girls poster taped above your bed. Or, maybe you're more familiar with the Sub Pop-signed band the Dum Dum Girls. Rose is a founding member of both bands, as well as post-punk outfit Crystal Slits and indie pop project Beverly. As of late, she’s traded the fuzzy guitars for shimmering synths on her first solo album in five years, Love As Projection. The album takes influence from cherished soprano Kate Bush, as well as lesser-known DIY '80s bands like Strawberry Switchblade and the Cleaners From Venus. Don't miss her as she supports the new album alongside Dallas-based dream pop artist SRSQ. AV
(Doug Fir Lounge, Buckman, $15)

Mississippi Records Karaoke Night Past Event List
Staff, customers, and friends of the North Portland reissue label and record shop Mississippi Records will come together for a karaoke party in honor of their 20th anniversary. Although the label is home to trailblazing artists like Dead Moon, Michael Hurley, and the Space Lady, such obscure artists will probably not make it into the karaoke songbook. AV
(Turn! Turn! Turn!, Humboldt, free)


Carnivorous Plant Show & Sale Past Event List
Bug-munching carnivorous plants will show off their voracious appetites at this plant show and sale, which will include unusual showstoppers cultivated by Courting Frogs Nursery. The nursery specializes in Sarracenias, aka trumpet pitchers, a genus of gangly, tubular plants that definitely won't come alive while you sleep. (Hey, there's nothing like a brand-new, sorta-alien plant baby to spruce up your living space!) LC
(Paxton Gate, Boise, free)



Memorial Weekend Bash: Portland Hip-Hop Past Event List
Take full advantage of Memorial Day weekend with a late-night showcase of Portland-based hip-hop talent. Performances will include rappers Jae Lava, Forty Five Kings, GraciousMoney, Forest Mafia, TheKidMoe, Young Bless the Gutta, Moe Marley, Figure 8, Spenser Boston, and EZ J & Hussle Raimone. You’ll be getting your money’s worth since cover is only a dollar per artist! AV
(Kelly's Olympian, Downtown, $10)

Moonage Daydream: A Daytime Party for Dreamers Past Event List
Freakout in a moonage daydream at this pajama dance party which aims to evoke the vibe of the "morning after a slumber party." DJ Heathers will wake you up with a dreamy mix of rock, post-punk, disco, and electronic jams, followed by live drag and burlesque performances from Violet Hex, Vera Mysteria, Sandria Doré, and Isaiah Esquire. Plus there will be a slumber party-themed costume contest and an on-site photo booth to memorialize your ensemble. AV
(The Fixin' To, St. Johns, $15-20 sliding scale)

Shady Cove, somesurprises, and Nome Past Event List
On their debut self-titled album, indie pop duo Shady Cove explores creative restlessness and the claustrophobia of city life through weightless synths, soft guitars, and breathy harmonies. It's almost impossible to hear this album without imagining an oceanside road trip with open windows, and your feet on the dashboard. They will headline after opening sets from Seattle-based singer-songwriter somesurprises and Nome. AV
(Lollipop Shoppe, Buckman, $10-$12)


D&D Productions Presents Melange Past Event List
As anti-LGBTQIA+ and anti-drag bills continue to circulate throughout the US, let's sashay to the events that make Portland great, shall we? After bringing inclusive drag deliciousness to Portland for the last four years, Melange fits right in at the Clinton Street Theater, where they present a recurring blend of melanated drag, sultry burlesque, and circus performance. Vendetta Petty Kash D’ho and Destiny Smokez will host this open-themed springtime eleganza with performances by Auset, Two Moods, Blossom Drearie, and Luna Delyte. LC
(Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy, $15)



AANHPI Heritage Month: Celebrate Our Stories Past Event List
Lan Su Chinese Garden's month-long celebration of AANHPI heritage has boasted everything from Cambodian folk dances to hula music and instructional Mandarin language sessions. The fun isn't over yet, though. Drop by this weekend to catch the tail end of Threading Together, an exhibition of time-honored attire from AANHPI cultures; on Saturday, the garden will also host their last cultural immersion day of the month, focusing on all things Japan with origami crafts, a kimono history talk, traditional koto music, and a taiko drum performance. LC
(Lan Su Chinese Garden, Old Town-Chinatown, $0-$14, Friday-Sunday)


Multnomah County Fair 2023 Remind List
Wholesome, fam-friendly vibes abound at the Multnomah County Fair, where attendees can peep a pioneer village, chow down on nachos, and flip out on amusement park rides (you know you want to). A car show will showcase lowriders and hot rods, and cultural performers will hit the stage throughout the weekend. Perhaps most importantly, the dachshund race is cute enough to make you forget your problems for a few blessed minutes. (Visitors can also enter their own weiner pup for a chance to win prizes.) LC
(Oaks Amusement Park, Sellwood, free, Saturday-Monday)

The 8th Vanport Mosaic Festival Remind List
Vanport, the largest World War II federal housing project in the United States and once Oregon's second-largest city, was destroyed by a flood in 1948 that left 18,000 people homeless and forced Portland’s white residents to reckon with their racist housing practices. In observance of the 75th anniversary of the flood, this 11-day festival of "memory activism" will commemorate the disaster with community-minded presentations, a "reunion/celebration of former Vanport residents," documentary screenings, oral history recordings, tours, and more. This weekend, Portland State University archivist Marti Clemmons and BIRDHERS founder Han Lyons will lead a contextual bird walk and history chat along Force Lake, which once served as a recreational space for the residents of Vanport. That's not all, though—check out this year's program for a full rundown. LC
(Alberta House, Concordia, free, Friday-Monday)


70mm Celebration for Memorial Day Weekend Remind List
In celebration of the Hollywood's successful Film Forever campaign, which enabled them to purchase "legacy projection equipment" (aka two additional 70mm projectors), the cinema mainstay will screen a series of 70mm prints to drool over. Make a Memorial Day weekend of it with showings of PTA's '70s-era teen dream Boogie Nights, Kubrick's cosmic freakout 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Tobe Hooper's intergalactic vampire adventure Lifeforce. The Hollywood is currently the only film venue in Oregon with the capability to screen 70mm, which features a greater aspect ratio and higher resolution than traditional 35mm film. Don't miss this chance to see what the cinephiles are chattering about. LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $13-$15, Friday-Monday)

Deathanddreamsdotcom: Double Feature—After Life and Dreams Past Event List
I recall Akira Kurosawa's Dreams as one of my first encounters with real art—the 1990 film, presented as a series of verdant, folkloric vignettes inspired by the director's own nocturnal visions, offers an unparalleled perspective on the nature of creation (it even includes a tribute to Vincent van Gogh, who's played by Scorsese). This double feature feels like almost too much bittersweet fantasia to bear: Dreams will screen alongside After Life, Hirokazu Kore-eda's '98 fantasy drama in which recently deceased people, held in limbo, must select one memory to carry with them into the great beyond. LC
(Fifth Avenue Cinema, Downtown, $0-$7, Friday-Sunday)

Polite Society Remind List
This 2023 Sundance favorite follows a martial artist-in-training who plans an ambitious wedding heist to "save" her older sister from her impending marriage. Written and directed by We Are Lady Parts creator Nida Manzoor, the action-comedy blends South Asian aesthetics with East Asian martial arts—one scene sees the sisters "fight in fully embroidered anarkalis (long, traditional South Asian dresses) along with gold tikka (jewelry worn on the forehead)" (The Guardian). Cool! LC
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, $9-$11, Friday-Monday)

You Hurt My Feelings Remind List
The latest film by Nicole Holofcener, Friends With Money director and queen of dysfunctional character development, follows Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a novelist whose longstanding marriage is rattled by the discovery that her husband isn't keen on her new book. These types of situations tend to encourage a fun thought exercise—what would you do if it happened to you?—but frankly, I'm at a loss. That's what makes this type of film so interesting, though. The A.V. Club refers to the plot of You Hurt My Feelings as "the ne plus ultra of low-stakes cinema," and it's true—the characters are wealthy, bagel-munching New Yorkers who live in a brownstone and, as it turns out, still aren't impervious to the little things that eat away at all of us. LC
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, $9-$11, Friday-Monday)


Spring into Pet Nats Remind List
If you've been on the natural wine train, you've probably heard some talk of "pét-nat." Also affectionately referred to as "nature's champagne" or "hipster bubbles," pét-nat is an (adorable) abbreviation of the French term pétillant naturel, which loosely translates to "naturally sparkling." In an ancient French technique known as methode ancestrale, it's bottled while still undergoing its first round of fermentation. Get to know some fun pét-nats at "Portland's weirdest wine shop and bar," which will present five of its favorites for tasting.
(Pairings, Kerns, Friday-Monday)


Portland Flea Remind List
Portland Flea’s 2023 season of vintage and maker markets will introduce Saturday offerings at the Ecotrust building in the Pearl District. The market will now run every last weekend of the month from April-October in two locations: the original spot on SE 2nd and Clay, and Ecotrust’s parking lot. Turn up for the same open-air market vibes you love each year; you'll find purveyors of trendy duds, vintage wares, home goods, and more, plus unmatched people- and dog-watching.
(Various locations, free, Saturday-Sunday)


At This Time: 2023 MFA/BFA Showcase Remind List
With curated works by this year's graduates of Portland State University's BFA in Art Practice and MFA in Contemporary Art Practices programs, At This Time features dozens of local artists to keep your eye on. We're particularly intrigued by Agnès Varda Forever co-creator Laura Glazer's works, which are always socially engaged; Mohabbat Khatibnia-Mansouri's thoughtful memorial installation is another standout. LC
(Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, South Park Blocks, free, Friday-Saturday)

Godeleine De Rosamel: Everything Takes Forever Past Event List
French sculptor Godeleine de Rosamel began her career as a children's book illustrator, and now brings her curious creatures to life in glazed ceramic. The works have a sense of softness, innocence, and childlike wonder; de Rosamel imagines her forms adventuring in a humanless utopia free of "politics, gender, and suffering," but still relates the works to the modern world's devastating impacts on biodiversity. Step into her curious world at this solo exhibition. LC
(Chefas Projects, Central Eastside, free, Friday-Saturday; closing) 15 years of the hapa project Remind List
Photographer Kip Fulbeck's ongoing Hapa Project is revisited in 15 years of the hapa project, which explores multiracial Asian American heritage through portraiture and handwritten responses to the question, "What are you?" The fresh exhibition showcases 15 years of Fulbeck's portraits, with participants’ updated photographs and statements, reflecting their changes in perspective and outlook, installed side-by-side with older ones. Coined by Native Hawaiians, the term "hapa" means "half" and is typically used to mean "half white;" the term has been embraced by multiracial Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. Fulbeck's Hapa Project began in 2001, when he photographed over 1,200 hapa-identifying volunteers. Since then, the project has expanded to give voice to multiracial people, dispel myths around exoticism, and more. LC
(Japanese American Museum of Oregon, Old Town-Chinatown, $5-$8, Friday-Sunday)

Holly Osborne Past Event List
Oregon-born artist and teacher Holly Osborne continues to draw from the natural world as inspiration in this invigorating solo exhibition. The acrylic and oil artist's colorful compositions elicit peace and a sense of the unexpected; lush, candy-colored landscapes encourage the eye to roam and wander. LC
(Froelick Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

Mishka Henner & Vaseem Bhatti: Energy Goast Past Event List
UK-based creative duo Vaseem Bhatti and Mishka Henner's Energy Goast is a "nature awareness brand," designed to question the commodification of the planet in our dystopia-adjacent era of synthetic landscapes and nuclear, military, and energy infrastructures. Inspired by Northern England's West Coast, the project pulls from West Cumbria's energy Masterplan, which was "produced by a regional consortium that sought to attract further energy and infrastructure investment to the Cumbrian economy." Energy Goast takes the form of "great outdoors" advertising, Instagram posts, and #outdoors content creation, but elevates the medium to construct a critique of the so-called Energy Coast. (Get her, Jade!) LC
(Blue Sky Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

Robin Friend: Bastard Countryside Past Event List
British-Australian artist Robin Friend "upends the archetypal British landscape" in Bastard Countryside, scanning the terrain for the familiar oranges and yellows of his Australian childhood. Throughout the course of the project, Friend found what he describes as modern ruins—monumental piles of abandoned cars, heaps of broken satellite dishes, and more. The resulting body of photographs is anxious, pensive, and more than a little cynical, depicting a disfigured land torn asunder by its rapid industrialization. (If this kind of critique perks up your ears, don't miss Mishka Henner & Vaseem Bhatti: Energy Goastalso on view at Blue Sky.) LC
(Blue Sky Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

Salomée Souag: Fruit of My Past Past Event List
Swiss-born artist Salomée Souag honors her Peruvian and Algerian ancestors in her symbol-driven murals and designs, creating works that aim to shed shame and promote healing. In her solo exhibition Fruit of My Past, Souag embraces an intimate, fluid approach, combining dreamy canvas works (we're reminded of Agnes Pelton's transcendental compositions) and soft sculptures that reclaim vulnerability in the face of toxicity and external pressures. LC
(Nationale, Buckman, free, Friday-Sunday; closing)

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