Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Portland This Weekend: Aug 5-7, 2022

Obon Fest, Washington Park Summer Festival, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15
August 5, 2022
Washington Park's amphitheater provides the perfect setting to its annual Summer Festival. (Portland Parks & Recreation)
Don't let the weekend pass you by without squeezing in some plans from the following cheap and easy options we've humbly presented here, including the Obon Fest, the Washington Park Summer Festival, the Unique Markets Summer Pop-Up, and the epic conclusion of the Middle-earth Film 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.

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



Kickstand Comedy in the Park Add to a List
Kickstand Comedy has reprised its hugely popular Comedy in the Park series in Laurelhurst Park, so grab your pals with a sense of humor and spread out your blankets early—the event has been known to crowds of 2,000 or more. This week, everyone's favorite Beavertonian Ian Karmel will sling some jokes alongside Kate Murphy, Nariko Ott, Mx. Dahlia Belle, and Michael Phelps (this one).
(Laurelhurst Park, Laurelhurst, free)


First Friday Summer Art Festival: Under the Sea Add to a List
Funky studio-slash-gallery East Creative Collective's aquatic-themed First Friday event includes a little something for everyone under the sea, including a photo exhibition by Kat Schon and live performances by Tridacan Maxima and fire dancer MirCat. Space Bats will provide the tunes, but visitors can sing karaoke, too. If that's not your thing, check out the live painting session with Latino muralist group Ideal PDX.
(East Creative Collective, Buckman, free)


SAM NOW Add to a List
Blending Super 8, home video, and modern-day digital footage,SAM NOW follows Seattle documentarian Reed Harkness, his half-brother Sam, and their family over the course of 20 years as they grapple with Sam's mother's sudden disappearance.
(Whitsell Auditorium, South Park Blocks, $12)


Poetry Post Roe Add to a List
In response to the tragic overturn of Roe v. Wade, the Poetry Post Roe series continues with readings from Judith Arcana, Gail Alexander, and Kathryn Thurber-Smith, plus a five-minute open mic option where attendees can share their grief.
(Rose City Book Pub, Sabin, free)


Opening: New Paintings By Gary Hirsch Add to a List
If you've lived in Portland for a while, you might be familiar with Gary Hirsch's work without realizing it—the prolific muralist has painted larger-than-life compositions of colorful weirdos with positive messages all over the city. Support the community-minded artist at this fresh exhibition of paintings, which Hirsch describes as an "exploration of...the complexity of being a spontaneous human."
(Sidestreet Arts, Kerns, free)

Portland Architecture Seen/Scene Add to a List
If you're a design lover, Portland Architecture Seen/Scene offers an interesting glimpse at the city's future architects. (Will they design another one of these? Only time will tell.) Organized by spatial justice fellow Elisandra Garcia and instructor William Smith, the public exhibition spotlights work by University of Oregon architecture students, compiling their propositions on the role of architecture in the community. A panel discussion will start promptly at 6 pm; libations and a live DJ will set the vibes afterward.
(3450 N Williams Ave Ste 101, Boise, free)



Chinese Festival Add to a List
Immerse yourself in Chinese culture during this celebration, which will feature performances, an art show, craft activities, Chinese food, public health outreach, and more.
(Pioneer Courthouse Square, Downtown, free)

Festival of Fiber Arts Add to a List
Quilting! Felting! Weaving! Spinning! That's right, fiber fans—you won't won't wanna miss this funky festival. Catch the live sheep shearing demo, then participate in artist-led activities for a full day of free, family-friendly fun. We know you've got a stash of unused yarn sitting around, so bring it to the fair to exchange for fresh goodies.
(Maryhill Museum of Art, Goldendale, free)

Fremont Fest Add to a List
Browse local goods and nosh on local food at this annual street fair. The family-friendly festivities will include fun for adults (a beer garden at Hi-Top Tavern) and children (a designated "kid zone") alike.
(NE Fremont & 42nd, Northeast Portland, free)

Obon Fest 2022 Add to a List
Observed in the summertime, Obon Fest is a Japanese/Japanese American festival that pays tribute to one's ancestors: "In their honor, lanterns are hung, Bon Odori (Obon dance) is performed, memorial visits are made, and food is offered at home butsudans (altars) and temples." The hosts of Portland's Obon Fest emphasize that their Bon Odori is not a performance, but rather a joyous community dance where everyone is welcome. Additionally, you can learn about Buddhism at the event's temple talk, partake in food and drinks, and more.
(Oregon Buddhist Temple, Creston-Kenilworth, free)


Neptune Frost Add to a List
Multi-talented artist Saul Williams's punky sci-fi vision comes to life in Neptune Frost, a turbulent, Afrofuturist thrill ride. The musical film blends thoughts that William explored in his 2016 album MartyrLoserKing with input from co-director Anisia Uzeyman, a Rwandan-born artist. Neptune Frost follows a gaggle of anti-colonial miners-turned-computer hackers in the Burundi hilltops, and sends a powerful message of technology's capacity for progression and radical change.
(Whitsell Auditorium, South Park Blocks, $12)

Outdoor Movies in Oregon State Parks Add to a List
If there's one thing Oregonians love more than watching movies, it's being in nature. Why not both?Hollywood Theater has teamed up with the Oregon State Parks Department to offer a series of screenings in scenic state parks throughout the summer, including today's sweet screening of magical sing-along flick Encanto.
(Champoeg State Heritage Area, St. Paul, 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 Terrence Malick's Badlands, a thoughtful crime flick that was also the director's first film. 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)


Mike's 39th Annual Milwaukie Cruise-In Add to a List
Hop in your sick ride and cruise by the Milwaukie location of Mike Drive-In to enjoy seasonal favorites like a Walla Walla Tillamook burger or huckleberry heaven sundae while a DJ and live band each play sets at this car show benefitting the Milwaukie High School marching band. Plus, score $1.50 corn dogs and root beer floats at any Mike's location all day!
(Mike's Drive-In, Milwaukie, free)

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)

Yaad Style Jamaican Cuisine's Event Add to a List
Celebrate the 60th anniversary of Jamaica gaining its independence from the United Kingdom with this joyful party hosted by Yaad Style Jamaican Cuisine. The day event will be free and family-friendly, with games, activities, prizes, food, live music, and more, followed by a 21+ evening event beginning at 10 pm with a $5 cover.
(Yaad Style Jamaican Cuisine, King, $5)


Access for All Coalition Presents: A Fundraiser for Reproduction Rights Add to a List
Local bands including punk trio Cherry Cheeks, sludge quartet Isch, blues-rock outfit Club Deluxe, and a "super secret" headliner will join forces to raise money for a yet-to-be-announced charity to support reproductive rights.
(The SĂŻx, Sunnyside, $10)

Shamir with Fashion Club Add to a List
Back in 2018, Mercury contributor Jenni Moore wrote: "Shamir is a 23-year-old singer-songwriter from Las Vegas, Nevada. His sound lives at an unmarked intersection of soul, lo-fi, disco, and electronic pop. Music videos for songs like 'In for the Kill,' 'On the Regular' and 'Call It Off' are indicative of Shamir’s upbeat, care-free personality, but the Black and genderqueer artist is remarkable with nothing but an acoustic guitar, as evidenced by their beautifully raw performance on NPR’s Tiny Desk series." They will support their latest album, Heterosexuality, after an opening set from LA-based art-rock project Fashion Club. 
(Doug Fir Lounge, Buckman, $15)

Summer Of Sound Add to a List
Albina Music Trust has assembled a dynamic lineup of live concerts, art showings, and storytelling events that connect attendees to the music and culture of Albina, the historic epicenter for Black Portlanders. This week, local jazz fusion ensemble Greaterkind will reimagine some of the trailblazing music that has come from the aforementioned neighborhood.
(International Rose Test Garden, Southwest Portland, free)

Woodstock-Creston Summer Block Party Add to a List
Join this neighborhood pub for a block party celebration that will include rockin' tunes from local grunge outfit Rotten Stone, summertime jams from DJ Kris, tasty treats, and various local jewelry and apparel vendors.
(13th Moon Gravity Well, Woodstock, free)


Sorry for Party Rocking Add to a List
We are almost far enough away from the 2010s to where the pop music of the era sounds nostalgic and not like dated radio trash. Almost. Embrace the era that brought us neon skinny jeans, nerd glasses, uncle-nephew duo LMFAO, and galaxy print everything at this themed dance party. Neon attire is encouraged!
(Holocene, Buckman, $10)


Romeo and Juliet Add to a List
It's Romeo and Juliet—need we say more? She's kinda the "It Girl" of Shakespeare's theatrical oeuvre. Bring your Tinder date to see the star-crossed lovers in action; the play will be performed in a streamlined style, but maintains its amorous passion.
(Shaking the Tree Theatre, Hosford-Abernethy, $5-$25)

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 Barbie Wu, a Taiwanese American actor and resident artist at Artists Repertory Theatre.
(Lan Su Chinese Garden, Old Town-Chinatown, free with $14 admission or Lan Su membership)


Separation Anxiety: Poems by Janice Lee Add to a List
Hosted at too-cool writing workshop center Corporeal Writing (it's local fave Lidia Yuknavitch's space), poet and shamanic healer Janice Lee will read from her new collection, Separation Anxiety. She'll be joined by hybrid artist Dao Strom and poet and open-form calligrapher Sam Roxas-Chua for an evening of experimental sharing. (Don't miss the paintings by Portland artist Korina Alexis on display, and stick around for a small gift offered to each attendee.)
(Corporeal Center, Downtown, free)


Black Water Market Add to a List
Metalheads and goths, gather 'round—you'll find jewelry, art, books, and "punk gear" (sick) at this all-ages market. It'll go down at chill vegan venue Black Water Bar, so expect yummy animal-free grub options, plus DJs spinning tunes you'll want to ask Alexa about.
(Black Water Bar, Irvington, free)


Jeremiah Ariaz: Louisiana Trail Riders Add to a List
Jeremiah Ariaz's Louisiana Trail Riders documents an important, yet often unseen, aspect of the state's cultural heritage: Black trail-riding clubs, which have their roots in Creole culture and have been an ongoing presence since the 18th century. Ariaz's photo project, which began in the wake of Trayvon Martin's death, creates a counternarrative to typical depictions of Black youth in American culture—his images are celebratory, intimate, and full of love, particularly between father and son horseback riders.
(Blue Sky Gallery, Northwest Portland, free; opening)

Mobile Projection Unit: throwntogetherness Add to a List
Organized by ultra-contemporary new media collectives Mobile Projection Unit and Lino Kino in dialogue with writer, curator, and art historian Laurel V. McLaughlin, throwntogetherness is a bicoastal screening of works by Jaleesa Johnston, ariella tai, Sarah Turner, Sam Dellert, Zoe Chronis, and many others. Screened in Philadelphia and Portland, the series of works considers the fluctuating, unstable nature of making art during COVID-19, a phenomenon feminist geographer Doreen Massey qualifies as “throwntogetherness.”
(Building Five, Northwest Portland, free)

Yuyang Zhang: stupid little life Add to a List
Amid a grueling 20-month visa petition process, China-born artist Yuyang Zhang did something pretty incredible—he channeled his anxiety into a series of mixed-media digital collages and photographic diptychs, blending imagery from Chinese communist propaganda with American iconography in a precise, subtly humorous style. In stupid little life, Zhang's works reflect on his queer identity and sociocultural hybridity. 
(Blue Sky Gallery, Northwest Portland, free; opening)



Sunday School Add to a List
This long-form showcase spotlights true devotees to improvisational craft, so buckle in for off-the-cuff comedy and inventive skits unlike anything you've seen before. At Sunday School, you'll find a melting pot of hilarious comedy teams from Curious Comedy Theater, plus student teams, special guests, and featured performers from Portland and beyond. 
(Curious Comedy Theater, King, $5 suggested donation)


A Midsummer Night's Dream in Prison Add to a List
Inside the walls of Umatilla's Two Rivers Correctional Institution, theater director Johnny Stallings led an unexpected group of inmates in the planning, rehearsal, and production of the Shakespearean comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream. In A Midsummer Night's Dream in Prison, recently deceased Iraqi-born experimental filmmaker Bushra Azzouz tells the story, shedding light on the powerful relationships built by theater and the nuanced experiences of incarceration.
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, $15)

Punch-Drunk Love in 35mm Add to a List
A plunger salesman's depressing life is radically shifted by the affection of a stranger, but when a phone sex line enters the story, their relationship hits the rocks. Paul Thomas Anderson's beloved dark comedy Punch-Drunk Love stars Adam Sandler, Emily Watson, and the always-magnificent Phillip Seymour Hoffman (RIP). This 35mm screening of the off-kilter ode to love and loneliness is only five bucks for OLCC and food handlers' cardholders.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $5-$10)


Mimosa Fest Add to a List
Pop some bottles in celebration of everyone's favorite boozy breakfast beverage with half a dozen flavor options, brunch bites, a live DJ, and other festivities for the "ultimate Vegas party experience."
(Bossanova Ballroom, Buckman, $15-$39)


Laura Veirs Live In-Store Add to a List
Portland folk treasure Laura Veirs will stop by another Portland treasure, Music Millennium, for a free in-store performance. Her twelfth studio album was released last month, with Pitchfork writing: "The sound of Found Light is bright yet mysterious, part crystal and part smoke."
(Music Millennium, Kerns, free)

Sunday Sessions Add to a List
This bi-weekly block party-style summer shindig will bring the North Portland community together to congregate around yummy food, local vendors, and dazzling live performances. 
(Alberta Abbey, King, 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)


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)



Washington Park Summer Festival Add to a List
The cherished outdoor summer festival is back with performances from dance/music crew Fiesta Flamenca, opera singer Angela Brown, and jazz ensemble Greater Kind, plus a screening of Questlove's Oscar-winning documentary Summer of Soul.
(Washington Park Amphitheater, Washington Park, Friday-Sunday)


Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song Add to a List
Legendary singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen never shied away from deep emotion, probing the depths of politics, religion, depression, and love in a haunting bass voice for almost 50 years. This film takes a close look at his life through the lens of his instantly recognizable hymn "Hallelujah."
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, $8-$11, Friday-Sunday)

The Happiness of The Katakuris Add to a List
Takashi Miike's musical horror depicts the oddball Katakuri family, whose bed-and-breakfast endeavor is quickly soured by a dead body in the backyard. The disasters continue, the bodies begin to pile up, and the backyard becomes a bit more hectic than the Katakuris bargained for. The Happiness of the Katakuris blends Miike's outlandishly violent style with claymation, karaoke, and crime for a stand-alone experience.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $8-$10, Saturday-Sunday)

I Love My Dad Add to a List
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Narrative Feature and Narrative Feature Competition Audience Award at SXSW, I Love My Dad stars (ultra-lovable) Patton Oswalt as an estranged dad who desperately wants to reconnect with his son, Franklin. Things get weird when he starts catfishing Franklin, causing him to fall in love with an imaginary woman. (Haven't we learned yet that catfishing is wrong?!)
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $8-$10, Friday-Sunday)

Middle-earth Film Festival Add to a List
Not all those who wander are lost, so make the epic quest to OMSI for screenings of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies at the Middle-earth Film Festival. Viewers can take in Tolkien's monumental saga from the very beginning in preparation for the forthcoming The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.
(OMSI, Central Eastside, $6.50-$7.50, Friday-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)


Ghosts of Summer Halloween Market & Convention Add to a List
Real Halloween fans know that the time to start planning for the spooky celebration is now. Ghosts of Summer Halloween Market & Convention inspires fright lovers with a "scare zone" of mini-haunted houses and escape games, plus a horror-tinged theater performance, eerie film screenings, and creepy vendors and workshops.
(Oregon Convention Center, Lloyd District, $12-$20, Friday-Saturday)

Native American Arts Market Add to a List
In conjunction with the gallery's fresh land art exhibition Add to a List , Blackfish will host this collaborative pop-up market with the local nonprofit Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA). Stop by the two-day event to shop stunning craft works by Oregon Native artists—visitors will find traditional jewelry, baskets, textiles, and more.
(Blackfish Gallery, Pearl District, free, Saturday-Sunday)

Parkrose Marketplace Add to a List
Parkrose Marketplace would pop up if you searched for "cute outdoor market" in the dictionary. Stop by for live music, a family-friendly beer garden, arts and crafts, jewelry, and clothes. Leashed pups allowed!
(10750 NE Sandy Blvd, free, Saturday-Sunday)

Unique Markets Summer Pop-Up Add to a List
This stylish market of 150 emerging Portland brands and designers would be a sweet spot to walk off weekend brunch. Peruse trendy wares from up-and-coming brands, or bring the fam for the DIY jewelry zone and photo booth fun. There are even VIP tix with cute perks like an exclusively designed scarf by Project Runway star Sarah Donofrio if you wanna #treatyourself.
(Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Lloyd District, $5-$35, Saturday-Sunday)


In My Own Little Corner: Willie Little Add to a List
The final exhibition in Oregon Contemporary's Site program, an exhibition series that replaced the Portland2021 Biennial, Willie Little's In My Own Little Corner explores the artist's North Carolina hometown and childhood. Revealing the shrouded stories of rural Black childhood through found objects, photographs, and a sound installation, Little delves into the turmoil that gay children faced in the '60s and '70s, a time of repression and radical hope.
(Oregon Contemporary, Kenton, free, Friday-Sunday; opening)

Lindsey Cuenca Walker: Versions Add to a List
Filipina American artist Lindsey Cuenca Walker's bright color palette and confident mark-making take center stage in Versions, a painting show that feels playful and a little mischievous. The Portland-based artist and PNCA grad focuses on the development of dichotomies in her work, investigating the space between abstraction and representation, toughness and fragility.
(Stephanie Chefas Projects, Central Eastside, free, Friday-Saturday)

Where the Future Can Meet Add to a List
This collaborative installation by Wave Contemporary founder Marcelo Fontana and Carnation Contemporary co-founder Katherine Spinella envisions a space where reflections on transparency, opacity, grief, and longing are open and welcome. Working with light, fabric, text, and other media, the artists consider the development of the "post-image" and grapple with "post-photographic" sentiments. (Drop by to learn more about what that means.)
(Carnation Contemporary, Kenton, free, Saturday-Sunday; opening)

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