Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Portland This Weekend: Aug 12-14, 2022

PDX Hot Sauce Expo, Elephant Garlic Festival, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15
August 12, 2022
India Festival will present music, dance, fashion, food, and more from the South Asian country. (India Cultural Association of Portland)
If you like your entertainment with a side of food, you're in luck this weekend, with options ranging from wrestling matches at the 5th Annual PDX Hot Sauce Expo to live music at Music Millennium's 29th Annual Customer Appreciation Bar-B-Q and from a parade at the 24th Annual Elephant Garlic Festival to colorful cultural performances at the India Festival.

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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Minority Retort presents Mateen Stewart Add to a List
Detroit native Mateen Stewart, who has appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and recently competed on NBC’s The Weakest Link, will head to Portland to share some jokes (will we get an update on his ghost mom?) Lee H. Tillman, Julia Corral, and Anthony Robinson will join Mateen for the show presented by Minority Retort, Portland's leading stand-up comedy showcase for Black and brown comedians. 
(Siren Theater, Old Town-Chinatown, $15-$20)


Cryptozoo Add to a List
The film industry has churned out 29 Marvel movies we didn't ask for, so it's nice to see that there's still some funding left for visionary, wackadoo projects like this. Comic book writer-turned-director Dash Shaw's Cryptozoo tells of a dream-eating creature and the cryptozookeepers who hope to find it. Set in '60s San Francisco, a pair of lovers become entangled in the tale's experimental, kaleidoscopic imagery. (Seriously, pop an edible and watch the trailer.)
(Whitsell Auditorium, Downtown Portland, $12)


Portland BBQ & Brews Add to a List
Savor mouthwatering smoked meats alongside beer, spirits, and wine at this all-ages festival. A lineup of bands, including the blues and funk outfit the Montavilla All Stars and the eclectic Jester's Brass Marching Band, will provide tunes.
(Washington Monroe Park, Buckman, free)


Andrew Duhon with Kate Dinsmore Add to a List
New Orleans troubadour Andrew Duhon has been compared to beloved folkies such as John Prine, Jim Croce, and Van Morrison thanks to his soulful vocals and knack for storytelling through song. He will support his new album, Emerald Blue, alongside Seattle-based singer-songwriter Kate Dinsmore.
(Doug Fir Lounge, Buckman, $15)

Witch Mountain with Sadhaka and Simple Forms Add to a List
Witch Mountain, or "Portland's godparents of doom metal" as Mercury writer Ben Salmon once referred to them, will reunite on their 25th bandiversary. Former vocalist Uta Plotkin will perform material from 2008-2014 alongside founding members Rob Wrong and Nate Carson. Olympia-based black metal band Sadhaka and local hard rock outfit Simple Forms will round out the evening of dark PNW sounds.
(Mississippi Studios, Boise, $15)


OMSI Star Party: Perseid Meteor Shower Watch Add to a List
Grab your star-crossed lover or any other superstars in your life and join OMSI, Rose City Astronomers, and Oregon Parks and Recreation as they host a watch party for one of the brightest meteor showers of the year. BYO binoculars or telescopes, or sneak a peek from one of the provided telescopes. It's bound to be a magical night!
(Rooster Rock State Park, Corbett, $5 parking per vehicle)


Hamlet Add to a List
If you dug The Northman's loose interpretation of the tale, trace the classic tragedy Hamlet back to its roots in this performance. The quintessential Shakespearean play, enacted here in a stripped-down style, is chock-full of heartbreak, murder, ghosts, and political intrigue. Sign us up.
(Shaking the Tree Theatre, Hosford-Abernethy, $5-$25)



Sorry Not Sorry Add to a List
This monthly showcase centers stand-up from women, LGBTQIA+, and POC comics. The audience will hear from funny favorites Dianna Potter, winner of the 2021 Western Oregon Comedy Competition, and Kelly Ryan, winner of Portland’s Funniest Person in 2021, plus others.
(Leikam Brewing, Mount Tabor, free)


Homowo & Twins Festival Add to a List
The legacy of master Ghanian drummer and longtime Portlander Obo Addy lives on in this festival, which honors Ghana's music, dance, and culture. Homowo, a traditional harvest festival of the Ga people, was produced by Obo and Susan Addy in Portland for 15 years; after Obo's death in 2012, drummer and dancer Nii Ardey Allotey carried the torch and blended the existing event with the Twins Festival, a fertility celebration. The bountiful event kicks off with a drumming procession, followed by dance and musical performances, West African and Caribbean storytelling by Habiba Addo, and more.
(King School Park, King, Free)


Seven from the '70s Add to a List
Each Saturday morning for the next seven weeks, Cinema 21 will screen a legendary film from the '70s. Far out! The Seven From the '70s series continues this week with McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Robert Altman's ode to the Western genre. The series was programmed by local film expert and professor Elliot Lavine—he's been directing and exhibiting films since the late '70s, so he knows his stuff.
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, $8)


SlushFest Saturday Tap Takeovers Add to a List
Cool off this summer with this slushie-centric street party from Imperial Bottle Shop & Taproom. They'll feature a four-tap kegerator and slushie machine, with four beers on tap from a different local brewery each week, a different housemade slushie, and "ice bergs" (beer pours with slushie floats).
(Imperial Bottle Shop and Taproom, Richmond)

Taste of Latin America
Add to a List This festive event will host over 20 food vendors, makers, and musicians from more than a dozen Latin American countries. Nosh on fare from local favorites like Tropicale and How Sweet It Is, brush up on your dance skills with bachata lessons, and groove to tunes from local artists like Gata Galáctica and Frankie Simone.
(Portland Mercado, Mt. Scott-Arleta)

Tiki Party Add to a List
The Automatic promises a rollicking good time in honor of their third anniversary, complete with tiki drinks, whiskey, Jell-O shots, and music.
(The Automatic Bar, Richmond)


Jenny Don't & The Spurs with Top Down and Glass Boys Add to a List
Playing vintage country and western straight out of the lonesomest corners of mid-20th century America, Jenny Don't and her cohorts sound nothing like a museum piece; rather, there's grit, sadness, and an edge of danger to these rumbling-boxcar country songs. Local garage punks Top Down and Seattle-based hardcore outfit Glass Boys will start the evening with a bang.
(Mississippi Studios, Boise, $15)

Music Millennium's 29th Annual Customer Appreciation Bar-B-Q Add to a List
Are you a Music Millennium customer? Well, come on down to the store this Saturday to get appreciated. The Music Millennium Customer Appreciation Bar-B-Q is in its 29th year, with festivities including an array of complimentary food and drinks, a game show-style prize wheel, and live music from Americana guitarist Bryan Rahija, acoustic roots duo Mojo Holler, blues-rock jammers JT Wise Band, ambient trio Moon and Bike, and more.
(Music Millennium, Kerns, free)


Tropitaal Desi Latino Soundclash: DJ Anjali, The Incredible Kid, and Mansaf Mama Add to a List
Tropitaal blends Latin American tropical sounds with rhythms from India to create a unique sound that perfectly soundtracks this reoccurring dance party. This time around, resident DJs Anjali and The Incredible Kid will be joined by Oakland-based selector Mansaf Mama for a set of SWANA (Southwest Asian and North African) diasporic sounds, mixed with global dance beats including reggaeton, dembow, Afrobeat, and bhangra.
(Goodfoot, Kerns, $12)


This is She Add to a List
Aiming to amplify the voices of BIPOC women, this five-week series of afternoon events includes presentations and performances by multicultural musicians, educators, and entrepreneurs. The series continues this Saturday with Leialoha Kaula, a Native Hawaiian educator, community leader, and founder of Ka Lei Hali'a O Ka Lokelani hula school.
(Lan Su Chinese Garden, Old Town-Chinatown, Free with $14 admission or Lan Su membership)


Beaverton Night Market Add to a List
Over 60 vendors and multicultural performers will take over The Round for two evenings of family-friendly fun. The August night market includes Japanese taiko drumming, a Chilean rap performance by Alta Vocez, and Ukrainian folk tunes from Inna Kovtun, plus paper lantern making led by Lan Su Chinese Garden and dozens of multicultural food options (don't miss Alleamin's Somali offerings and Whabii's Salvadoran pupusas and raspados).
(The Round, Beaverton, free)

Spectrum Art Market Add to a List
Show off your pride with some fresh duds and housewares at this LGBTQ2SIA+ pop-up market. Held every second Saturday through October, the Spectrum Art Market keeps things rainbow-hued and sparkly with artisans hawking ceramics, art, textiles, apparel, jewelry, and accessories. It'll all go down at Q Center, the largest LGBTQ+ community center in the Pacific Northwest.
(Q Center, Boise, free)


Ichi-go ichi-e: An Evening of Japanese Artistry Add to a List
Ichi-go ichi-e expresses the cultural concept of "treasuring the unrepeatable nature of a moment," which is exactly what this temporal evening of Japanese creativity aims to do. Renowned pottery artist Shozo Michikawa will share his unique, sculptural process of wheel-thrown vase-making, both in a demonstration and a conversation with Dr. Jeannie Kenmotsu, Ph.D., the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Asian Art at the Portland Art Museum. Accompanied by traditional Japanese music played by local duo Takohachi Collab Project, ikebana teacher Nana Goto Bellerud will then create an original flower arrangement for display in Michikawa's vase.
(Portland Art Museum, South Park Blocks, free)



India Festival Add to a List
Spearheaded by the India Cultural Association of Portland, this outdoor festival brings India's vibrant culture to Portland's living room with music, dance, fashion, art, history, and tasty food. Now in its 28th year, the annual event is always held in mid-August to celebrate India's independence day.
(Pioneer Courthouse Square, Downtown, free)


Church of Film: Morbo Add to a List
If you weren't a fan of Morbius (were any of us?), Morbo might be more your style. Gonzolo Suarez's '72 surrealist freakout follows two newlyweds whose idea of a fun honeymoon is camping in a desolate forest. A series of paranoia-inducing events put fissures in their marital happiness, and when the pair find a strange house deep in the woods, the giallo-tinged party really gets started.
(The Red Fox, Humboldt, free)


Julie with Twistur Add to a List
Los Angeles-based outfit Julie makes hard-hitting alt-rock that authentically revives the dark grit from the '80s grunge and shoegaze movements. They will play tracks off of their most recent EP, pushing daisies—described by Bandcamp supporter kain_128 as "cool tunes to jam to in a graveyard"—alongside kindred spirits Twistur.
(Polaris Hall, Humboldt, $12)

Portland Columbia Symphony: Stage & Screen in the Park Add to a List
Steven Byess will conduct the Portland Columbia Symphony for a free outdoor program to kick off the season. You’ll be pleased to hear some of "your favorite tunes from the shows and movies you love," including works by Sondheim, Gershwin, Bernstein, and more.
(Nadaka Nature Park & Garden, Wilkes East, free)


Heartbeat Silent Disco Sundance Sundays Add to a List
Tune into rotating live DJ channels on provided (and sanitized) noise-canceling headphones while dancing silently under the sunset. Bringyour own blankets, snacks, props, or whatever helps you get into the groove.
(Laurelhurst Park, Laurelhurst, $10)


The Bar[d] Party: UNPLUGGED Add to a List
This Shakespearean showcase features four separate stages where short scenes and monologues will be performed throughout the evening. Attendees can take a break from the theatrical commotion with art-making sessions and community dialogue inspired by oral storytelling traditions. All tickets are pay-what-ya-can, and the event is for a good cause—four organizations supporting youth education, LGBTQIA+ rights, reproductive rights, and racial equality are the stars of the show, with opportunities to donate to their missions.
(CoHo Productions, Slabtown, Pay-What-You-Can)

A Night of Curiosities Add to a List
Nate Smith, who's been an improv expert since Curious Comedy Theater opened its doors in 2008, hosts this uproarious evening of comedy and magic. A Night of Curiosities is a family-friendly show, but the adults won't be bored—guest magicians include longtime performer Erik Backes and "esoteric juggler" Curtis Carlyle.
(Curious Comedy Theater, King, $10 - $15)

S P A C E: The Sun (and Queer Makers Fair) Add to a List
Guided by creative powerhouse Given Davis, this solar-themed drag experience blends magical, cosmic energy with myths and science for a unique exploration of the sun. Head to Irving Park before the show starts for a queer maker's fair with tarot offerings and handmade crafts, and stick around afterward for a cosmic disco party with astro-vibes from DJ LéMix.
(Irving Park, King, $11-$33)


Market of The Beast Add to a List
Dabble in the dark arts at this market devoted to all things creepy and occult-themed. An extensive vendor list includes artisans offering obscure oddities from jewelry and crystals to divination supplies, tarot, taxidermy, and more. (We're big fans of Wondering Alchemist's mini wands.)
(The World Famous Kenton Club, Kenton, $1 suggested donation)


Ride and Wrench Series Add to a List
This monthly series by Trek Portland consists of a "casual" group ride along the Springwater Corridor followed by a basic bike maintenance clinic. Each month will feature a different basic maintenance skill so you can be self-sufficient in keeping your ride rolling smoothly. Plus, the shop will have tool giveaways that correspond to the skill of the month, and refreshments to keep your mind and body focused.
(Trek Bicycle Westmoreland, Westmoreland, free)


TransFIGURE: Trans Figure Drawing Add to a List
Trans artists can practice their skills drawing from trans models at this new monthly event in an inclusive environment. Organized by The T4T Art Collective, the donation-based sessions invite artists of all skill levels to draw along. This time around, local artist Pablo Cazares will provide a short artistic demo at 4:30 pm.
(Parallax Art Center, Pearl District, Pay-what-you-can)



It’s Not Over: Forty Years of HIV/AIDS in Oregon Add to a List
It's 1981, and a strange new disease is causing respiratory attacks and unusual skin cancers in otherwise healthy young people. Soon linked to gay men, HIV/AIDS fueled a fire of fierce discrimination. In Oregon, activists formed organizations like Cascade AIDS Project and Our House of Portland to offer support. Nonetheless, HIV/AIDS killed over 700,000 Americans between 1981 and 2021. 4,613 of them lived in Oregon. This important exhibition reflects on 40 years of HIV/AIDS in our state (and feels especially prescient right now); see it before it closes on Sunday.
(Oregon Historical Society, South Park Blocks, $0-$10, Friday-Sunday; closing)


24th Annual Elephant Garlic Festival Add to a List
The city of North Plains’ flagship event pays tribute to all things elephant garlic with a parade, vendors, music, and more. One needn’t worry about their breath while attending this festival, as the pungent smell of garlic is sure to permeate the air.
(Jessie Mays Community Park, North Plains, free, Friday-Sunday)


Bodies Bodies Bodies Add to a List
If you find Gen Z culture even remotely interesting, you won't wanna miss this buzzy A24 horror starring Amandla Stenberg, Rachel Sennott, and Pete Davidson with a vape. Set to a hyperpop soundtrack, the film follows a group of wealthy youngins whose hurricane party at a remote mansion turns from TikToks and astrology discussions to backstabbing and murder.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $8-$10, Friday-Sunday)

Claydream Add to a List
If you were alive in the '80s and '90s, you're almost certainly familiar with Will Vinton's work—the "Father of Claymation" was the weird, brilliant mind behind the California Raisins and Domino’s The Noid. But after decades of success, Will Vinton Studios began to decline, and it was eventually rebranded as Laika in 2005. Claydream honors the highs and lows of the studio and its industrious founder, noting the difficulties of creating art in a commerce-driven world.
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, $8-$11, Friday-Sunday)

Emily the Criminal Add to a List
Emily might be a contender for "world's most relatable thief"—played by Aubrey Plaza, she takes on increasingly shady gigs after being saddled with student loan debt and a minor criminal record. Things get a little out of hand as Emily becomes further enmeshed in a stolen credit card scheme. Lovers of Plaza's deadpan darkness and haters of capitalism will dig this debut feature by John Patton Ford.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $7-$10, Friday-Sunday)

Punk Kidz Double Feature Add to a List
Since Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World came out 12 years ago (wow, we're ancient), the film has become a cultural touchstone for millennial misfits and anyone who identifies with Michael Cera. We hesitate to call it a "cult classic" yet, but it's headed in that direction. Catch the film alongside neon-hued Japanese black comedy We Are Little Zombies in this double feature for "punk kidz."
(Fifth Avenue Cinema, Southwest Portland, $0-$5, Friday-Sunday)


5th Annual PDX Hot Sauce Expo Add to a List
If you're the kind of person who always craves a little more heat and keeps a bottle of Cholula stashed in your bag like Beyoncé, then you definitely won't want to miss this hot sauce extravaganza. The spicy festivities also include wrestling, craft beers, specialty cocktails, and plenty of food.
(OMSI, Central Eastside, $10-$88, Saturday-Sunday)

Portland Mercury's Summer of Slushies 2022 Add to a List
The coolest, most delicious event of the summer is finally here! The Merc and Jim Beam present Summer of Slushies, which brings boozy, frozen, custom-made treats to the frugal and thirsty denizens of Portland at just $6 a pop. 
(Various locations, $6, Friday-Sunday)


Balanced BreakFEST Add to a List
San Francisco-based music project Balanced Breakfast helps musicians from around the world connect through showcases, industry meetups, and summits. They will host their first ever Portland showcase with performances from singer-songwriter Katelyn Convery, atmospheric rockers TREASVRE, synth wizard Jah’s Tin, and Saint John.
(Al's Den, West End, $10, Friday-Saturday)


Love, Shakespeare Add to a List
If Shakespeare's theatrical works are feeling a little "played" out—hey, he did write them over 400 years ago!—stop by Curious Comedy Theater for this fully improvised take on an Elizabethan comedy. The off-the-cuff version will skew the Bard's themes and imagery for a fresh production with a rotating cast. 
(Curious Comedy Theater, King, $15, Friday-Saturday)


Indigenous Marketplace Add to a List
This lively market includes Indigenous and Black vendors, plus live music and a raffle. Don't miss Native American drum group Turquoise Pride's performance on Sunday afternoon; you'll also find jewelry, beadwork, botanical products, and other handmade wares, so bring some cash to support local entrepreneurs.
(African Youth & Community Organization, Montavilla, free, Saturday-Sunday)


1,000 Moons: Emily Jung Miller Add to a List
In an effort to remain grounded, artist Emily Jung Miller began creating sculptural works after losing both of her grandparents due to COVID complications. Her hand-formed paper works incorporate kelp, sheet music, and other connections to her grandparents' lives; each piece links together in this installation to form a corridor or pathway of memories. As part of the meditative making practice for 1,000 Moons, Jung Miller's paper works were cut into moon shapes, representing each full moon in her grandmother’s 94 years of life. Catch the lunar exhibition before it closes on Saturday evening.
(Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, Beaverton, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

Every Corner is Alive Add to a List
Like most students, PNCA's Low Residency MFA in Visual Studies candidates have been through a lot over the last few years. Their exhibition series, Every Corner is Alive, considers this cultural moment of grief and uncertainty through an expansive environmental lens. Stashia Cabral, Élan Chardin, Laura Jean Foster, Amy Gibson, Ondrea Levey, Kelly Marshall, lynn ruth stephens, Devon Pardue, Jenny Wilde, and Ahuva S. Zaslavsky ponder and cultivate embodied, shared environments in a wide range of mediums. Each week, a new solo exhibition or exhibition series will be installed, so pop by throughout the summer for a fresh dose of inspiration.
(PNCA, Northwest Portland, free, Friday-Sunday)

Land Art Exhibition Add to a List
Inspired by the (literally) groundbreaking '60s and '70s land art movement, Blackfish has partnered with local Native American artists to bring challenging new installations and performance works to the gallery space. As part of this month's programming, Blackfish will also offer free shuttle rides to and from their new "Sight Land" space, a four-acre outdoor art site in the East Columbia neighborhood. This weekend, Native artist Toma Villa will share their carving skills at the gallery and at the Sight Land location.
(Blackfish Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday)

Motherhood Add to a List
Curated by AJ McCreary, "community maverick" and former Portland City Council candidate, this group painting exhibition celebrates Black motherhood in all of its softness, rebellion, and resistance. The show includes works by Alice Price, Kayin Talton Davis, Latoya Lovely, and McCreary herself. Learn more about Motherhood at the artists' talk on Saturday, which will also include free portrait sessions for moms.
(Oregon Contemporary, Kenton, free, Friday-Sunday)

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