Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Portland This Weekend: August 11–13, 2023

World Naked Bike Ride, Body Positive Block Party, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15
August 11, 2023
The Washington Park Summer Festival will present three days of performances from Portland powerhouses. (Portland Parks & Recreation via Facebook)
Leave your mojo dojo casa houses this weekend and head to any of the events we've handpicked here, from the World Naked Bike Ride to Music Millennium's 30th Annual Customer Appreciation Bar-B-Q and from Body Positive Block Party to the Washington Park Summer Festival. For more ideas, check out our guide to the top events of the week.

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



Kickstand Comedy In The Park Past Event List
Kickstand Comedy's hugely popular Comedy in the Park series in Laurelhurst Park returns again this week, so grab your pals with a sense of humor and spread out your blankets early—the event has been known to draw crowds of 2,000 or more. (The plus side of the crowd is the unmatched dog-watching; I'm a fan of Laurelhurst duck-watching, too.) This Friday, a lineup of much-loved funnybones will include Kyle Kinane, Katie Nguyen, Andrew Sleighter, and others. As usual, local laughers Jaren George and Julia Corral will get the crowd going. LC
(Laurelhurst Park, Laurelhurst, free)


Hungry Hungry Hip-Hop: Greg Cypher, LAi the Most High, Northern Draw, Leo Lex, and Twon Past Event List
Hungry Hungry Hip-Hop is a monthly showcase dedicated to spotlighting the many flavors and styles of the PNW hip-hop community, including live music, spoken word, and audio/visual art. This month's installment will include rap performances from Greg Cypher (of Kung Foo Grip), LAi The Most High, Northern Draw (with Leo Lex), and Twon.
(Mississippi Pizza Pub & Atlantis Lounge, Boise, $10)



Portland Mercury Presents: Two Evils with Arlo & Kate—A Comedy Game Show! Past Event List
Portland Mercury Undisputed Geniuses of Comedy Arlo Weierhauser and Kate Murphy (noted Bigfoot skeptic) get straight-up diabolical in this live game show, which sees the chucklesome pair answer a series of "truly evil" questions on stage. The audience and a special guest contestant—funny fave Katie Nguyen—will then decide which of the responses is less evil. It's kinda like a Catholic confessional, except FUN and non-judgy. Okay, maybe a little judgy. You'll have to go to find out. Plus, there'll be prizes—the perfect antidote for a little moral corruption. LC
(Siren Theater, Boise, $15)


OMSI Star Party Past Event List
Light pollution be damned—you can scope out your fair share of planets and stars, the moon, and other celestial sights from the darkness of Rooster Rock State Park, where OMSI will host a special lunar viewing on Saturday night. Rose City Astronomers and reps from Oregon Parks and Recreation will be on site, and astronomy nerds of all ages can gaze their nerdy little hearts out through "telescopes and binoculars of all sizes." LC
(Rooster Rock State Park, Corbett, free)


Krush Groove Past Event List
If you'd asked me before when hip-hop was officially born, I'd have guessed sometime in the early '70s, but as it turns out, the genre has a far more precise founding date—August 11, 1973, the day that DJ Kool Herc spun records at a teenager's party in an 18-story apartment building in the Bronx. Oh, to be a fly on that groovy wall. The Hollywood will celebrate the birth of the genre with this screening of Krush Groove, which tracks the beginning of the game-changing Def Jam Records and stars a whole slew of household names in their early days, like Russell Simmons, Rick Rubin, Run-DMC, the Beastie Boys, and LL Cool J. LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $8-$10)


Holler Treats' Second Birthday Bash Past Event List
The nostalgic bakery and ice cream shop Holler Treats will celebrate its second trip around the sun with free birthday cake slices, birthday cake ice cream, a coloring contest, arcade games, and other surprises. 
(Holler Treats, Sellwood)


30th Annual Customer Appreciation Bar-B-Q Past Event List
Are you a Music Millennium customer? Well, luckily for you, it's time to come on down to the store and get appreciated. The long-running record shop will host its 30th annual Customer Appreciation Bar-B-Q with an array of complimentary food and drinks, a game show-style prize wheel, and live in-store performances. Highlights from the lineup include German alt-rock duo Milky Chance (in town supporting Young the Giant), folk artist Mary Flower (with her appropriately named band the BBQ Boys), and indie Americana duo Mojo Holler. AV
(Music Millennium, Kerns, free)

Common Girl, Candy Picnic, Kill Michael, and Twistur Past Event List
Common Girl takes the best parts of '80s shoegaze and early aughts screamo (moody guitars, ghostly reverb, and distorted vocals) while leaving behind all the cheesy, pretentious stuff. They will support their simply titled EP, ep2, alongside Eugene-based alt-rockers Candy Picnic, grungy metal project Kill Michael, and emo band Twistur. AV
(Crystal Ballroom, West End, $10.99-$12.99)

Reptaliens Past Event List
On their third album, Multiverse, surrealist synth-pop quartet Reptaliens shelved their conspiracy theory lyrics and glossy electronics for a '90s rock-inspired album rooted in reality. As press materials state, the band is "ready to be direct," which is evidenced in tender, reflective lyricism about isolation and losing touch with oneself. They will slither into town alongside electropop duo DRECKIG and self-proclaimed "self-help apocalypse singer" Mattress. AV
(Mississippi Studios, Boise, $15)


Tropitaal Desi Latino Soundclash with DJ Anjali, The Incredible Kid, and DJ Panaflex Past Event List
Latin American tropical sounds blend with rhythms from India to create a unique sound that perfectly soundtracks this recurring dance party. This time around, resident DJs Anjali and The Incredible Kid will be joined by Portland-based selector DJ Panaflex for a set of reggaeton, dembow, bhangra, and Bollywood jams, hand-picked for the dance floor. AV
(Goodfoot, Kerns, $12)


All Boats Summer Showcase Past Event List
Returning for another iteration, the All Boats summer showcase will spotlight artists working in theater, dance, music, film, comedy, and performance art for another genre-bending, experimental evening of "artist-audience connection." Founded in New York in 2015, All Boats eludes the often hierarchical, insular nature of the art world through a nomination-based format that allows artists to elect others for inclusion in the program. Playwright Joseph Merlo described the event as "a place to get lit up inside," which is what we all need nowadays, right? LC
(CoHo Theater, Northwest Portland, Pay-what-you-can)


World Naked Bike Ride Past Event List
Go "as bare as you dare" during the annual bike ride that definitely helps keep Portland weird. The ride aims to highlight the vulnerability of cyclists everywhere and bring attention to society’s dependence on pollution-based transportation. So get your ass to Irving Park—we ride at sunset. JW
(Irving Park, King, free)


Beaverton Night Market Past Event List
Over 70 vendors and multicultural performers will take over The Round for an evening of family-friendly fun. The west side’s August night market includes Bollywood and Bhangra dance lessons from DJ Anjali & The Incredible Kid, a Chilean rap performance by Alta Vocez, traditional Korean harp music from Doyeon Lim, and more. Come hungry and choose from dozens of multicultural food options (don't miss Kiss The Chef's Soul Food offerings and La Casa de Mama's vegan Mexican pastries), plus check out the hourly Lotería game for a chance to win prizes. SL
(The Round, Beaverton, free)

Spectrum Art Market Past Event List
Show off your pride with some fresh duds and housewares at this LGBTQ2SIA+ pop-up market, where local artists hawking ceramics, art, textiles, apparel, jewelry, and accessories will celebrate summer by keeping things rainbow-hued and sparkly. It'll all go down at Q Center, the largest LGBTQ+ community center in the Pacific Northwest. LC
(Q Center, Boise, free)

Taste of Latin America Past Event List
This immersive event will host over 20 vendors representing regions all across Latin America, as well as music, art, and dancing. Bring an empty stomach and prepare to be spoiled for choice: As former Portland Mercury news editor Alex Zielinski wrote in 2019, "Oaxacan tlayudas, fried plantains, Haitian beef stew, mole, tamales, churros, cubanos—the only problem with Portland Mercado's annual Taste of Latin America is knowing where to begin." JB
(Portland Mercado, Mount Scott-Arleta, free)



Body Positive Block Party Past Event List
Hosted by Chub Hub PDX, the first-ever Body Positive Block Party is on the scene to promote fun, fashion, and self-love. Shop goods from Portland's plus-size creators, connect with organizations that celebrate body diversity, and enjoy eats and drinks from local food trucks and vendors. This free, all-ages event will have crafts, yard games, and even a “Buddy Booth” to make new friends. Just a short drive away, you’ll find even more goodies at a plus-size clothing swap hosted by social media personalities CouplaGoofs. SL
(Electric Blocks, Central Eastside, free)


Matta Cart Closing Party Past Event List
Help give Matta's cart a proper send-off before it closes for good and the business moves into Lil Dame. The festivities will include merch from over the years, plus food and music all day.
(Matta, Kerns)



Ankeny Alley Festival - 1st Annual Summer Luau Past Event List
This weekend, you can support small downtown businesses with a special island twist at Ankeny Alley’s luau. The festival promises Hawaiian food, entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, and more. There are just three of these stroll-able street festivals left in 2023, don't miss out! SL
(Ankeny Alley, Old Town-Chinatown, free, Friday-Sunday)

Washington Park Summer Festival Past Event List
This much-loved outdoor summer festival, staged at the Rose Garden Amphitheater in Washington Park, will return with performances over the course of three days by buzzy local dance company NW Dance Project, Opera in the Park Portland, and Portland Cello Project, who will present "Purple Reign: The Music of Prince." (I hope they wear raspberry berets.) Once you're done watching the talent, try my favorite Rose Garden pastime, a game I call "What Rose Am I?" that entails reading the name of each rose species in the garden and figuring out which best matches my energy that day. Will you be a floribunda rose or a mini tea rose?! Time will tell!! LC
(Washington Park, Southwest Portland, free, Friday-Sunday)


Barbie Past Event List
Brought forth from the primordial depths of the mid-'90s, where Barbie remains in perpetuity because that is the last time I played with her, a shiny pink convertible rolls noiselessly into our modern times. It is Barbie's car, and somehow, Barbie is in it. She has roller skates in her purse and she's on a mission. She is played by Margot Robbie, and she's journeying to the human world, or something. Listen, the specifics don't matter. It's the Barbie movie. I will be seated, surrounded by popcorn and Nerds rope, and you will be, too. LC
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, Friday-Sunday)

Oppenheimer in 70mm Past Event List
Whether or not you give a damn about the theoretical physicist who helped develop the first nuclear weaponry, Oppenheimer is kind of a must-see—people are going to be yapping about this flick all summer long. You don't want to miss out on the Twitter discourse, do you?! Christopher Nolan's latest stars Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer and Emily Blunt as his wife, Communist biologist and botanist Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer. (More info on Kitty, please!!) The film also features Florence Pugh, A24 darling Benny Safdie, and a bunch of other actors that'll make you whisper "Wait, they're in this?!" to your friend in the theater. This 70mm screening will boost the cinematic experience with a greater aspect ratio and higher resolution, and lucky you—the Hollywood is currently the only film venue in Oregon with the capability to screen 70mm. Should make that nuke scene extra nuke-y. LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $13-$15, Friday-Sunday)

Passages Past Event List
Ira Sach's "comically brutal" (GQ) new film has many elements working in its favor, not the least of which is its fashion sense; think black raver mesh, brocade blazers, and sheer crop tops straight out of an Eckhaus Latta or Maryam Nassir Zadeh campaign. Rest assured, the central characters in Passages are cool. So cool, in fact, that their gay marriage is put to the test by a passionate affair with a woman. (It's 2023! We do whatever we want now!) The film was recently slapped with an NC-17 rating, and you can probably hazard a few guesses as to why. Go forth and be horny. LC
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, $9-$11, Friday-Sunday)

Pee-wee's Big Adventure and Barbie Past Event List
Barbie is floating down into her convertible and heading to the drive-in this weekend, and this time around, she's bringing her BFF Pee-wee Herman with her. (RIP, Paul Reubens! Hope you're sporting a bow tie up in the clouds somewhere.) The night of retro-tinged comedy will kick off with weirdo cult favorite Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, aka Tim Burton's first feature film, followed by billion-dollar flick Barbie. (Tonight, your job is just "movies.") LC
(99W Drive-In, Newberg, $5-$10, Friday-Sunday)

Talk To Me Past Event List
The latest addition to A24's horror arsenal follows a group of bored teens who—what else?—decide to fuck around with an embalmed hand. Turns out the embalmed hand is SCARY. (I could have told them this, but no one asked me.) If you dug Bodies Bodies Bodies, this should fit the bill as another Gen Z-approved freak fest—it also has a 3.7 score on Letterboxd right now, which is a pretty high rating for a horror film. (One reviewer reports that the film "will gnaw at your soul and consume your spirit." Do your worst, Talk To Me.) LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $8-$10, Friday-Sunday)


25th Annual Elephant Garlic Festival Past Event List
Vampires, take heed: This three-day, family-friendly festival will put the spotlight on the pungent allium known as elephant garlic, known for its comically massive cloves. The festivities include a parade, a 10K run, live music, a kids' play area, craft vendors, and more. JB
(Jessie Mays Community Park, North Plains, free, Friday-Sunday)


Dahlia Festival Past Event List
Grab your camera and your allergy meds and get ready to experience 40 acres of dahlias and a stunning indoor display of over 370 varieties. Floral novices and aficionados alike can sign up for flower arranging and crafts classes, listen to flower care lectures, take a bunch of flowers home, and more. Check out the farmers market every Sunday, listen to local bands perform on weekends, or grab a bite to eat from a rotating selection of food carts. SL
(Swan Island Dahlias, Canby, free, Friday-Sunday)

Lavender U-pick Past Event List
It's the last weekend to visit one of the largest u-pick lavender fields in Oregon. Live out your lavender haze fantasy among the fragrant plants, pick some flowers to take home, and shop for kitchen products, essential oils, and tasty refreshments. SL
(Wayward Winds Lavender Farm, Newberg, free, Friday-Sunday)


Love, Shakespeare Past Event List
If Shakespeare's theatrical works are feeling a little "played" out—hey, he did write them over 400 years ago—don thy feathered cap and head to 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)


And But A Dream Past Event List
Presented in observance of Israel’s 75th birthday, And But a Dream compiles a series of mixed media works, titled “Aliyah, the Rebirth of Israel,” created by Salvador Dalí on the theme of Jewish renewal. LC
(Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, Pearl District, $0-$8, Friday-Sunday; closing)

Erik Östensson: Tjärnen Past Event List
Swedish photographer Erik Östensson's compositions are deceptively simple—you might, at first, look at an image of a figure reaching into a hole or a body submerged in water, but the longer you gaze at Östensson's work, the more surreal and complicated it becomes. Rooted in the woodsy darkness of northern Sweden, Östensson lugs his bulky large format camera through forests and lakes, finding reflective surfaces and eerie compositions that seem to symbolize an expanded sense of darkness and foreboding. LC
(Blue Sky Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday–Saturday; closing) 15 years of the hapa project Past Event 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; closing)

Rebecca Marimutu: Portraits Adhered Past Event List
Rebecca Marimutu's unique material approach (she mounts self-portraits on wooden boards with wheat paste, PVA glue, clear acrylic gesso, and staples) "embraces a departure" from traditional photography, challenging the status quo (and the viewer's expectations) to reflect on her own experiences of self-isolation. What happens when our own image is abstracted? Can the face in the mirror become a metaphor? There's much to think about in Portraits Adhered, and the show's tactility has me all excited about the sculptural possibilities of photography. LC
(Blue Sky Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday–Saturday; closing)

The Rose Past Event List
If you'd asked me to name some subversive feminist acts before reading about The Rose, "collaging" wouldn't have topped my list. But curator Justine Kurland's new group exhibition (housed in lumber room's airy space) has effectively changed my mind—collage is badass, representing all things transformative and revitalizing. So get into it! A lush garden of artists featured in The Rose seems to agree with me. The show features over 40 creators, including local recognizables like Jessica Jackson Hutchins and Bean Gilsdorf alongside major art stars Ruth Asawa, Wendy Red Star, and Francesca Woodman. LC
(lumber room, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday)

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