Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Portland This Weekend: June 2–4, 2023

Starlight Parade, Latino Cultural Festival, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15
June 2, 2023
Colorful and creative floats will float past CareOregon Starlight Parade-goers. (Portland Rose Festival via Facebook)
We want you to make the most of your precious weekend, which means not wasting a lot of time deciding what to do. To help you out, we're suggesting the best, budget-friendly events around, from the CareOregon Starlight Parade to the Latino Cultural Festival and from My People's Market 12 to the Portland Spring Beer & Wine Fest. For more ideas, check out our guide to the top events of the week.

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



Portland Spring Beer & Wine Fest Past Event List
After a long hiatus, the Portland Spring Beer and Wine Fest is back and better than ever. Satisfy your thirst for abundance with a myriad of craft beers, ciders, wines, spirits, and food, from vendors like Buoy Beer Co., Pono Brewing, Ecliptic Brewing, Binary Brewing Co., Taqueria La Merced, Spice of Africa, Catman Cellars, Portland Cider Co., and more. DJ Bobby Brown will set the ambiance with tunes from open till close. JB
(Washington Monroe Park, Buckman, $5-$15)


Big Richard Past Event List
The Colorado-based, all-female bluegrass ensemble Big Richard infuses humor, joy, and feminism into their old-timey tunes, which have titles like "All Good Girls Go To Hell" and "Try Me One More Time." They’re known for their lively stage presence, so be ready to do some clogging. Americana band Ashleigh Flynn & The Riveters will open the night with songs from their new album of country covers, Live from the Blue Moon. AV
(Mississippi Studios, Boise, $15)

Brian Jackson with greaterkind Past Event List
Renowned keyboardist Brian Jackson is a rare example of a jazz artist who’s successfully managed to dip his toe into hip-hop and R&B. He has collaborated with an eclectic list of artists throughout his five-decade-long career, including Roy Ayers, Gregory Porter, Digable Planets, Bobbi Humphrey, and most notably, jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron. He will perform alongside the local jazz fusion project greaterkind. AV (Jack London Revue, Downtown, $15)

Camp Crush + Bikini Drone Past Event List
New wave pop duo Camp Crush will bring their shimmering synths and retro hooks to the Doug Fir stage for a hometown show. Keep an ear out for songs from their latest EP, Always?, which manages to sound both authentically '80s while also ready for contemporary Top-40 radio. Remember those pop remixes of Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)?" Kind of like that. Seattle-based folk-rock duo Wolfchild and jammy pop group Bikini Drone will open.
(Doug Fir Lounge, Buckman, $15)


Seagrape Apothecary's Grand Reopening Past Event List
Charge your crystals under the waxing gibbous moon, 'cuz it's hot witch summer!!!! (Sorry, I had to.) The magical broom-riders at Seagrape Apothecary will celebrate their grand reopening on Sandy Boulevard, where the shop has relocated behind timbered sports haunt Katie O'Briens. They're inviting visitors to "juice up in the Pleasure Palace." (Translation: spritz yourself with aura sprays and sip chilled bubbly, which sounds really nice, actually.) There'll also be tintype photos and tarot readings up for grabs, plus a witchy pop-up market and book signings with the Money Witch. Financial self-care, anyone? LC
(Seagrape Bath + Body, King, free)



CareOregon Starlight Parade Past Event List
The Rose Festival's twinkly nighttime parade will take to the streets again, complete with glow-in-the-dark umbrellas and an appearance by local sparkler Poison Waters. Local and regional community groups will continue the tradition with marching and 100 flood-lit floats to elicit your oohs and aahs. The parade harkens back to the olden times, aka the early 1900s, when "illuminated floats built on electric trolley cars made their way through the city on trolley tracks." Peep the route map to plan out your viewing spot, or watch from home via KPTV FOX 12 Oregon's telecast. LC


Sugar Town: Pride Month Kick Off Dance Party Past Event List
Your world will be bursting with rainbow-tinged revelry at this Pride month kick-off dance party helmed by mid-century soul specialist DJ Action Slacks. Move and groove to tunes, from a vintage mix of pioneering queer voices (such as the poster star Lesley Gore) to other uplifting anthems from the '50s-'70s. Don't arrive underdressed—bright, candy-colored attire is highly encouraged!
(The World Famous Kenton Club, Kenton, Sliding scale $10-20)

Video Dance Attack Presents: 2000s Pop Divas Past Event List
Portland’s longest-running video dance night is digging into the archives for a special 2000s edition featuring the iconic visuals of early aughts divas like Britney Spears, Destiny's Child, Shakira, and Fergie. This dance night will bring things full circle for those of you who've danced alone in your bedroom to MTV. AV
(Mississippi Studios, Boise, $15)


Indigenous Marketplace Celebrates Pride Month Past Event List
Portland Indigenous Marketplace, which recently celebrated the opening of its new Buckman office space (housed within the Center for Native Arts and Cultures, formerly Yale Union), will return with another edition of its recurring market, which features handcrafted goodies by Indigenous and Black vendors. Each Indigenous Marketplace seems to get bigger and better—this time around, they'll take over PSU's Native American Student and Community Center with live DJs and a performance by local queen Sheniqua Volt, plus over 30 vendors and free snacks to kick off Pride month. Who doesn't love free snacks?! LC
(PSU Native American Student & Community Center, Southwest Portland, free)


Art Battle Portland Past Event List
Leisurely plein air paintings of clouds will be suspiciously missing at Art Battle, where acrylics and oils fly in a timed competition as artists duke it out to create the best—and quickest—painting possible. The work each artist creates in 20-minute rounds as part of the battle will be available for auction, and folks can join in on the fun as a spectator, voting for their fave painting at the end of each round. If you've got nerves of steel, you can even apply to participate as an artist. LC
(JaJa PDX, Central Eastside, $17)

First Saturday Open House Past Event List
Artsy mainstay Oregon Contemporary will throw an open house on Saturday, celebrating the final exhibition by curatorial residents Victoria Anne Reis and manuel arturo abreu (aka homeschool). Pop by to catch Omens of Capacity, which reflects on "omens...that were latent, unrealized, within the clash of cultures and movements of peoples,” before it closes on June 11. Visitors can also jam along to a live performance by seven-piece funk-pop youth band Jack 10 and snack on ice cream and tacos from Dairy Hill and Cocina Mexico Lindo. Make it an evening of art viewing before grabbing drinks in the quaint Kenton neighborhood—the wood-paneled Kenton Club is a mere block away. LC
(Oregon Contemporary, Kenton, free)



Latino Cultural Festival 2023 Past Event List
Hosted by the Hillsboro Hops, this cultural festival anticipates packed crowds (over 10,000 visitors typically attend), so you'll be celebrating Latino heritage in good company. The festivities commence with a vivacious parade led by Hillsboro elementary students, dancers, and musicians, and performances throughout the day will spotlight talented youth. Cheer on the 200-player futsal tournament and chow down on delicious Latino cuisine.
(Ron Tonkin Field, Hillsboro, free)


Piano Queen with Saint Syndrome Past Event List
Portland's only live-singing, piano-playing drag queen Saint Syndrome will bring you an evening filled with classic covers, comedy, and original songs, all with her signature grace and vintage elegance. She claims to have the "lowest bass with the smallest waist." Come and see for yourself! AV
(Star Theater, Old Town-Chinatown, $12)



Celebrating Birds of the Pacific Northwest Remind List
In 2020, I started birding: I'd been laid off from my previous job due to COVID-19 uncertainty and found myself with an unfamiliar amount of hours to fill. (It's interesting how a brief respite from the binds of capitalism nudges us toward the natural world, but anyway.) If you're "going through it" in any capacity, I highly recommend looking toward the skies—there's a lot going on up there. Or maybe you're a birder already. If so, what's your spark bird?! Mine is the northern flicker...but I digress. This exhibition of works by contemporary wildlife photographers Ken Goldman, Ryan Hooper, Dan Kearl, and Diana Rebman explores the abundance and diversity of our avian friends. You'll catch sight of regional beauts like the lazuli bunting, osprey, and great horned owl. Chances are good that you'll be inspired to pick up some 'nocs afterward. LC
(Oregon Historical Society, South Park Blocks, $0-$10, Friday-Sunday; opening)


Wild at Heart Past Event List
Starring three of my absolute favorite messy queens (Nicolas Cage, Laura Dern, and Willem Dafoe), David Lynch's lurid melodrama Wild at Heart follows two outcast hotties who flee their hometown to pursue a torrid, surreal romance. What ensues is a sex-fueled road trip fit for a soap opera, which seems like it'd be pretty cool, until the grotesquely terrifying Bobby Peru shows up and ruins everything. Cue up Cage's rendition of "Love Me Tender" to get in the mood for madness. LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $8-$10, Friday-Sunday)


The Pursuit of Happiness (or the Wacky Lesbian Adventures of Brillo Pad and Hula Hoop) Past Event List
Fuse Theatre Ensemble, a national leader in trans theater representation, will present a new meta-musical featuring characters across gender and sexuality spectrums. (Hint: if you loved American Girl or anything by local playwright Mikki Gillette, you'll dig this.) The Pursuit of Happiness (or the Wacky Lesbian Adventures of Brillo Pad and Hula Hoop) offers up an "absurd vortex" of nuclear bombs, transitioning pressures, and gender dysphoria, all set to a soundtrack of original earworms. The pay-what-ya-can performance was penned by Ernie Lijoi, winner of the Portland Drammy's Best Original Music Award in 2016, so sit back and enjoy the whirlwind of gender fuckery—you're in good hands. LC
(Reed College, Eastmoreland, Pay-what-you-can, Friday-Sunday)


Bigfoot Regional Poetry Slam Past Event List
Sixteen teams of slammers will compete over two days of poetry-slinging for a grand prize, which seems like it should be a real photo of Bigfoot, or a plaster footprint, or something, but it's actually money. Money is cool, too. Poets don't seem like the most competitive bunch, but the Bigfoot Regional Poetry Slam begs to differ—it kicks off on June 1 with a welcome open mic at Powell's, followed by a packed weekend of slams, workshops, and themed mics (there are AAPI, Latinx, Indigenous, queer, and other options). The final slam will feature a musical opener by Ariston Vallejos of King of Wolves and a short showcase before the top four teams duke it out. LC
(Every day, through June 3)


My People's Market 12 Past Event List
My People's Market will post up at event space/food business "campus" The Redd for more of what they do best: boosting BIPOC businesses, creatives, and culinary masters. The last time the market set up shop, there were over 100 vendors, crafts and face painting, and musical vibes. For this edition, expect more of the same, plus natural textile dyeing sessions and a performance by Sebé Kan, a West African drum and dance youth troupe. The Numberz will broadcast live from the market, and guest DJs will bring the noise; attendees can grab "functional beverages" from Altitude and chicken and rice from Nong's Khao Man Gai, aka the world's most comforting dish. LC
(The Redd on Salmon, Buckman, free, Saturday-Sunday)

Portland Night Market Remind List
Stroll beneath twinkling lights while browsing over 175 vendor booths selling food, drink, clothing, accessories, flowers, home goods, beauty products, arts and crafts, and more. Hit up the bar and outdoor food carts for sustenance while you shop.
(100 SE Alder, Buckman, free, Friday-Saturday)


At This Time: 2023 MFA/BFA Showcase Past Event 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)

Jessica Jackson Hutchins & Justine Kurland: Killer Maker Past Event List
If you're already enmeshed in the Portland art scene, you've likely heard the name "Jessica Jackson Hutchins" float around. Jackson Hutchins' tactile works transform everyday objects into art forms that are both intimately familiar and reverently heightened, and her ambitious, playful style is instantly recognizable. For Killer Maker, a "conversation with art objects," she's paired with Justine Kurland, an NYC-based artist and photographer whose motherhood-inspired series Of Woman Born depicts nude women holding babies dotting a verdant landscape. (The series, created nearly 20 years ago, feels prescient in the wake of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade reversal.) Jackson Hutchins' bodily assemblages of ceramics, furniture, and "pulped paper growths" respond to Kurland's photographs, but offer "discordant unions." LC
(Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

Making Earth Cool Past Event List
Do-good Gaia lovers Making Earth Cool will bring some environmental joie de vivre to Parallax Art Center this spring with two months of earthy activities staged within an "immersive handmade setting." As part of their artist residency program, visitors will be invited to participate in repair workshops, educational storytelling, and calls to action informed by Indigenous and youth-led activist groups.
(Parallax Art Center, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday)

Product Flows Past Event List
Chris Lael Larson's Product Flows brings a conundrum you're probably familiar with to the fore: that weird tension between the rush of consumerism and the guilt of engaging in the glut of capitalist marketing. (What's your guilty purchase? Mine is fancy fruits from Providore.) Larson also works as a graphic designer and self-describes his job as "feed[ing] into the system;" in this series, he alters and "rebrands" packaged goods, creating assemblages and makeshift product photography that aims to subvert the system entirely. LC
(Carnation Contemporary, Kenton, free, Saturday-Sunday; opening)

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