Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Portland This Weekend: June 7–9, 2024

Grand Floral Parade, Dead Guy Music Fest, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15
June 7, 2024
Admire some groundbreaking florals for summer at the Grand Floral Parade. (Portland Rose Festival via Facebook)
A couple of the Portland Rose Festival's biggest events—the Grand Floral Parade and the Dragon Boat Races—are happening this weekend. Or perhaps the Dead Guy Music Fest or My People's Market 14 are more your scene. 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 Remind List
Kickstand Comedy's hugely popular Comedy in the Park series will return for a new season on June 7, hitting Laurelhurst Park on most Fridays through September 6. Grab your pals with a sense of humor and drop your blankets early—the free stand-up show has been known to draw crowds of 4,000 or more. The plus side of the bonkers crowd is the unmatched dog-watching; I'm a fan of Laurelhurst duck-watching, too. This Friday, a lineup of much-loved funnybones will head to the stage after local laughers Rachelle Cochran and Julia Corral get the crowd going. LC
(Laurelhurst Park, Laurelhurst, free)


Ural Thomas and the Pain with DJ Eric I Past Event List
Portland soul legend Ural Thomas and his nine-piece band the Pain will have you movin' and groovin' into the summer season with a hometown concert. They're likely to play songs from their 2022 album, Dancing Dimensions, which blends a range of genres from "sweet Chicago soul to airy West Coast psychedelia to Sly funk." The party will start with a set from Mississippi Records' DJ Eric. AV
(Turn! Turn! Turn!, Humboldt)


Video Dance Attack: Prince Tribute Past Event List
Swathe your body in purple velvet and party like it's 1999 in honor of His Royal Badness' birthday. Music videos for iconic Prince tracks like "Purple Rain," "Raspberry Beret," "When Doves Cry," and more will be projected on a giant screen to keep you dancing through the night. Let's go crazy! AV
(Show Bar, Buckman, $15)


BodyVox Open Floor PRIDE Night Past Event List
BodyVox's monthly open floor nights invite performers to share five minutes of fresh work with an audience, offering valuable practice and feedback for creators and a free night of art for attendees. The innovative dance company will serve up a special edition in celebration of Pride—stop by for a queer maker's market, queer-centered performances, and an after-party. (Don't worry, performers might surround you, but that doesn't mean they'll judge your dancing skills.) LC
(BodyVox Dance Center, Northwest Portland, free)


Maggie Smith in Conversation With Kimberly King Parsons Past Event List
Poet's poet Maggie Smith plumbs the depths of her disintegrating marriage in You Could Make This Place Beautiful, reflecting on contemporary womanhood, gender roles, and power dynamics with an inquisitive, empathetic eye. (If you dig Deborah Levy and Rachel Cusk, this memoir will be up your alley.) Kimberly King Parsons, who penned the National Book Award-nominated collection Black Light, will join Smith in conversation. LC
(Powell's City of Books, Pearl District, free)


13 Years of Creative Collaboration at ADX's Summer Skate Deck Show! Past Event List
Celebrate 13 years of ADX and five years of the Summer Skate Deck Show with an evening of art, music, and skater-centric community. Over 90 skate decks designed by local and international artists will be on display. Plus, get a glimpse at works in progress as Fran Power creates art live and Huntress paints a mural in the studio. You can sip on beverages from Rogue Brewing and Bauman's Cider while listening to indie rocker Alex Wilkerson and soulful songstress Megan Diana. Did I mention flash tattoos and a zine station? What doesn't this party have? SL
(ADX, Buckman, free)



Portland Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade 2024 Past Event List
For more than a century, the Grand Floral Parade has brought the city together in celebration of not just flowers, but the communities that connect us. Each float and mini-float is decked out in colorful blooms, and the parade will be peppered with entertainment including marching bands, drill teams, vintage vehicles, dancers, llamas, and horses. Watch the parade meander through the Lloyd District, or for $15, get a reserved seat inside the Veterans Memorial Coliseum which includes a pre-parade show with special performances from featured high school bands and silly antics from the Rose Festival Clowns. SL
(Lloyd District, $0-$15)


Dirty Dancing Past Event List
Nobody puts Baby in a corner, y'all. Head to the Hollywood to watch Frances “Baby” Houseman fall in love with a Catskills camp dance instructor, and wear your finest cat sweater: All proceeds from the purr-worthy benefit screening will be donated to the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon, who work to "improve the welfare and reduce the population of feral and stray cats through spay/neuter programs and education" in Oregon and Southwest Washington. LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $10-$12)


Crux PDX 1st Anniversary Party Past Event List
Bend's Crux Fermentation Project will celebrate one year of its Southeast Portland satellite location with an all-day birthday bash. Local musicians including funk band Hammerhead, blues aficionado Tevis Hodge Jr., and Brazilian rock troubadour Johnny Franco will provide the tunes while party guests enjoy food, vendors, and—of course—beer! AV
(Crux Portland Pub, Hosford-Abernethy, free)


Black Magic with The Widow Von'Du Past Event List
Bitch she might be! RuPaul'sDrag Race season 12 alum The Widow Von'Du will serve up some sorcery alongside a glam cast of local talent, prepping for Pride with a little sparkly magic. Von'Du found her drag name while watching a nature documentary about black widow spiders, so watch out—she might bite. LC
(CC Slaughters, Old Town-Chinatown, $10-$25)


Ian Karmel in Conversation With Alisa Karmel, PsyD Past Event List
To know Ian Karmel is to love him. The former Mercury columnist, beloved Beavertonian, Emmy Award-winning comic, and onetime co-head writer for The Late Late Show with James Corden writer (he's fancy these days) played a key role in our humble city's comedy renaissance. Karmel will drop by his old stomping grounds with something new for the loyal fanbase he's cultivated 'round these parts: T-Shirt Swim Club, a book on the "daily humiliations of being fat and why it's so hard to talk about something so visible." He'll chat with his sister Dr. Alisa Karmel, who contributed the "What Now?" section of Karmel's book and aims to dismantle the "contemporary narrative around fatness." (Itching for more Ian? Here's a recent Mercury video interview.) LC
(Powell's City of Books, Pearl District, free)


Spectrum Art Market Remind List
Pride Month has arrived, so grab some new gear and support queer-owned businesses at this LGBTQ2SIA+ pop-up market, where local artists hawk ceramics, art, textiles, apparel, jewelry, and accessories that are 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)

Steelport's Annual Pre-Father's Day Market Past Event List
When it comes to hardest people to shop for, dads might be at the top of the list. Instead of getting him yet another tie or novelty T-shirt this Father's Day, head to this market hosted by Steelport Knife Co., which will feature samples, demos, and products from artisan vendors like FINEX Cast Iron Cookware, Smith Teamaker, Kachka, Jacobsen Salt Co., Olympia Provisions, Powell's Books, Wilderton, Westward Whiskey, and more, as well as music, raffles, and factory tours. If you really want to cement your status as the favorite child, consider gifting your dad a shiny new tool to help him flex his Top Chef skills in the kitchen—Steelport will be offering free custom engravings on any knife sheath. JB
(Steelport Knife Co., Laurelhurst, free)



Singles with Pop-Up Record Fair Past Event List
My grandmother was the first person in my life to plop the 1992 film Singles into the VHS player. No, she's not a grunge fanatic—my dad appears as an extra in the film and she held onto a copy to show off her "movie star son" to friends and family. In my dad's one-and-only acting role, he bobs his head to Alice In Chains right in between Campbell Scott and Kyra Sedgwick (luckily, the footage is now on YouTube!) Aside from embarrassing my father, there is a lot to love about this movie. To the average viewer, it's a well-written rom-com with great fashion and even better music (Pearl Jam, Mother Love Bone, Soundgarden, et al). But to us Pacific Northwesterners, it's an idealized time capsule of what we wish Seattle was like (then, now, and moving forward). Catch this screening of the film which will also include a pop-up vinyl fair. AV
(Tomorrow Theater, Richmond, $15)

The Witch Past Event List
"Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?" Robert Eggers' Puritan madhouse The Witch is also the film that turned me into an enduring fan of his, primarily due to the fun production tea, like that he insisted on historically accurate Yorkshire accents, referenced ancient floor plans, made lanterns from scratch, and sourced building materials that would have been available in 1630s New England. The film's fetish for accuracy pays off—its setting predates the Salem Witch Trials by 60 years, but carefully—and terrifyingly—lays the groundwork for the eventual stake-burnings with a steady current of obsession and hysteria. LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $5-$12)


Sapphic Sundays Remind List
In celebration of Pride Month, the vibey, neon-illuminated bar Pink Rabbit will cater to "queer girls and theys" each Sunday in June. Enjoy drink specials, all-day happy hour, crafts, music, and gay movies. Personally, I hope that But I'm a Cheerleader, Chappell Roan, and lots of bedazzling are all part of the (queer) agenda. JB
(Pink Rabbit, Pearl District)



Bloom Tour Past Event List
Spring has sprung and Portland is getting ready for the Rose Festival! If you can't wait until later this month for all the fleur festivities, we recommend checking out the 29 large-scale floral installations throughout downtown and Old Town. The botanical pieces are displayed in many of Portland’s unique shops, restaurants, and hotels in this hybrid walking tour/art show. The event runs through June 11, and some local retailers along the route will be offering special floral deals. Check out the map for more details and get ready to feast your eyes (and nose) on these creations. SL
(Various locations, free, Friday-Sunday)

Sound Art Installation: "Home Lost" Past Event List
Home:Lost is a series of art installations that confront the stark realities of displacement—including environmental degradation, wartime destruction, the plight of immigrants and refugees, and the experiences of houseless people. Through sound and visual projections, students from the Sound Art Installation Course have crafted 6-10 scenic environments (called "pods") to foster "empathy, understanding, and dialogue about the urgent issues facing the loss of our physical, cultural, and spiritual homes." AV
(Lincoln Hall Boiler Room Theater, Downtown, free, Friday-Saturday)

Tree People: Puiden Kansa Remind List
Works by Finnish artists Ritva Kovalainen and Sanni Seppo will come together for this photography exhibition, which draws from forest-based mythology to reflect on ancient customs and beliefs in rural Finland, Estonia, and East Karelia. To capture the images in Tree People, Kovalainen and Seppo researched and traveled for a decade; the results feel both sacred and familiar. After all, most of us have felt a close connection to a tree at some point in our lives. Head to the exhibition to learn more about the forest spirits and stories, then explore the World Forestry Center and Discovery Museum's wood-filled space. LC
(World Forestry Center & Discovery Museum, Washington Park, $0-$8, Friday-Sunday)


CityFair 2024 Past Event List
As the kick-off event and hub for the Portland Rose Festival, CityFair will take over Waterfront Park for three consecutive weekends of carnival rides, fair food vendors, interactive exhibits, live music, and more. JW
(Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Downtown, Friday-Sunday)


Babes Remind List
Quick, sardonic script-flipper Michelle Buteau holds her own amid the current pack of aging dude comics bickering over whether human rights are funny, and Ilana Glazer is rapidly becoming a legendary millennial freak. (Yes, the batshit angel from Broad City still exists, she's still hilarious, and she's spoken up about the genocide in Gaza. Try to keep up!) It's only natural that the two should join forces in Babes, the one-night-stand comedy and directorial debut from Pamela Adlon, aka the voice of Bobby on King of the Hill. Women rock. LC
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, Friday-Sunday)

Challengers Past Event List
Italian auteur Luca Guadagnino's latest follows Zendaya as Tashi, a prodigy tennis player-turned-coach whose training transformed her husband into a national champion. Things get weird and maybe horny when she forces him to play a pro-tournament "Challenger" event alongside her former boyfriend. Do I care about tennis? No, of course not!! But I don't ask for much—Zendaya and a psychosexual plotline are enough for me. LC
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, $9-$11, Friday-Sunday)

Evil Does Not Exist Remind List
Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s follow-up to the Murakami-inspired Oscar winner Drive My Car follows a father and daughter who spend their days gathering wild foods for a local udon restaurant. Their livelihood might be threatened when a city agency plans to create a bougie "glamping" site not far from their rustic hamlet. (Fuck glampers, am I right?) Evil Does Not Exist won the 2023 Venice Silver Lion; I'm intrigued by the film's quiet, snowy cinematography and its naturalistic approach. LC
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, $9-$11, Friday-Sunday)

Mandy Past Event List
The electrified, freaked-out world of Mandy is challenging to describe, but picture a giallo flick set to a drone metal soundtrack featuring a demonic biker gang, and you're maybe 10% of the way there. Misunderstood king Nicolas Cage is at the absolute top of his game here. He plays an '80s-era Pacific Northwest logger-turned-chainsaw-wielding-revenge-hound, and director Panos Cosmatos's phantasmagoric vision is the visual equivalent of a lucid dream. Just trust me on this one. Come prepared for the kind of ultraviolence of a "disintegrating rock opera"—seriously, there are several scenes that'll drop your jaw with their visceral terror—but watch it anyway. LC
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, $9-$11, Friday-Saturday)


Celebration of Oregon Brewers Festival Past Event List
Beer lovers, rejoice: Two perennial favorite gatherings, the Portland Rose Festival and the Oregon Brewers Festival, are merging once again for a dual celebration, included with the purchase of a CityFair ticket. OBF founder Art Larrance will curate a lineup of hoppy offerings, and attendees will be able to take home a keepsake 2024 Rose Festival mug with any 12-ounce pour. JB
(Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Downtown, $11.99-$25, Friday-Sunday)

The Portland Mercury's Highball 2024 Past Event List
BEHOLD! It's the triumphant return of the Portland Mercury's HIGHBALL! That's correct: Get ready for an ENTIRE WEEK (June 3-9) of specially crafted, original cocktails mixed by the best bartenders in town… and get this, they're only $8 each! We've teamed up with the finest bars and restaurants in Portland—along with our cocktail-lovin' pals at Jim Beam—to bring you this one-of-a-kind booze-tacular! At each of Highball's locations, you'll find $8 specially crafted cocktails, and even better? They'll be available ALL DAY (not just during happy hour)!
(Various locations, $8, Friday-Sunday)


Dead Guy Music Fest Past Event List
Rogue's signature Rogue Dead Guy Ale, which was originally brewed for the defunct Mexican restaurant Casa U-Betcha and has become the brand's flagship offering, continues to be a beloved staple for a reason. Now, the brewery is teaming up with Portland Radio Project for a three-day music festival revolving around their popular beer, complete with 21 artists, merch, a local vendor marketplace, and of course, plenty of Dead Guys, as well as other drink specials and mocktails. Ticket proceeds will benefit the Portland Radio Project. JB
(Rogue Eastside Pub & Pilot Brewery, Buckman, $10-$25, Friday-Sunday)


My People's Market 14 Past Event List
Tuck into Himalayan dumplings and craft barbecue while stocking up on hot sauce, lemonade syrup, and pistachio butter at this summer kick-off market highlighting BIPOC creators, makers, and culinary masters. On Saturday, start with a curated bike ride (it is Pedalpalooza after all) that will meet at the Salmon Springs Fountain at 1 pm; you’ll make a pit stop at the Blumenauer Bridge before arriving at the Redd on Salmon to a swag bag from My People’s Market. Don't miss live performances on stage and in the street from vocal powerhouse Aléa Lorén, local groove duo Hiroki, and dance groups featuring Bollywood and Pacific Islander styles. You can also check out the youth art fair, photo booth, and handmade goods from over 120 local vendors. SL
(The Redd on Salmon, Buckman, free, Saturday-Sunday)


Dragon Boat Race Past Event List
Kaohsiung, Taiwan has been Portland's sister city since 1988—the formal agreement was marked by gifting the then mayor of Kaohsiung a freshly caught, 36-pound Tillamook Bay Chinook salmon. Every year since, Kaohsiung loans eight traditional dragon boats with molded fiberglass heads and tails for the annual races during the Portland Rose Festival. A new race starts every nine minutes on the Willamette near the Hawthorne Bridge, making for an action-packed day viewable from the surrounding shores. This year brings the introduction of an open division with no gender restrictions, a fitting move as we kick off Pride season. SL
(Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Downtown, free, Saturday-Sunday)


A Berry, A Boot, A Building, A Blue Door: New Works by Mike Young Past Event List
California-born artist Mike Young began earning money from hand-drawn greeting cards in the '70s. Young is deaf and blind in one eye, and observes images from books and magazines close up, "bringing his face close enough to nearly touch the pigment and paper." Drawn to contour, outline, architectural detail, and anatomy, Young's pictorial works feel familiar yet reorganized. "His accumulations tell fragmented stories and invent new taxonomies," PICA artistic director Kristan Kennedy explains. A Berry, A Boot, A Building, A Blue Door: New Works by Mike Young is a great opportunity to check out Elbow Room, a local arts organization providing material support, mentorship, and studio space to artists experiencing intellectual and developmental disabilities. LC
(Elbow Room, Buckman, free, Friday-Sunday; closing)

Alyson Provax: To know what we say we know Remind List
Prolific letterpress artist Alyson Provax is always up to something artistic, so her latest solo exhibition comes as no surprise. To know what we say we know presents new letterpress works by Provax, referencing spoken language and diaries to reflect on "the limitations of language to express our individual perceptions and the way that this affects connection between us." Provax adopts a repetitive "drawing" style to help the viewer notice their own experience of reading, but don't expect a novel: Her work more closely resembles concrete poetry. LC
(Well Well, Kenton, free, Saturday-Sunday)

Assembly 2024 Past Event List
If you're not hip to Portland State University's Art and Social Practice MFA program, you should be. Graduate candidates in the experiential program consistently engage with the community through social practice projects that feel thoughtful, resourceful, weird, and often funny. Each year, Assembly offers an opportunity to catch up with the MFA students and learn more about social practice as an ever-expanding medium. This year, they'll stage three days of artist talks and events at Lloyd Center, the Rose City Book Pub, and the Community for Positive Aging (fka the Hollywood Senior Center). LC
(Various locations, free, Friday-Sunday)

Justin L’Amie: Living in the City Remind List
I'll be honest: At first, I wasn't certain what Justin L'Amie's watercolor and gouache compositions had to do with city life. They're fun to observe, though. Stems of star-shaped flowers squiggle and form faces, while grasshoppers, spiders, and colorful moths land on the paper for a moment of rest. "Living in the city, a churning, hectic place...Pigeons sharing chicken bones. Laughter from the stairwell. Sobbing from under a tarp. The indifference of a machine. Find a support system. Rent raised again," the show's promotional materials read. Living in the City seems to nod toward the other-than-human life occupying urban spaces, hinting at the need for moments of respite, sanctuary spaces, and quiet noticing. LC
(PDX CONTEMPORARY ART, Slabtown, free, Friday-Saturday)

Noah’s Out-of-Order Ark-ade and Reliquary: Maria Lux Remind List
Research-driven artist Maria Lux, an associate art professor at Whitman College, creates "installation-based works" that center species loss, conservation, and "the ways animals are used to generate human knowledge and understanding." Interesting, no? In Noah’s Out-of-Order Ark-ade and Reliquary, Lux constructs an arcade-turned-shrine, where lost and revived animals are revered. It's sort of a roadside curiosity, and sort of a holy site—expect Catholic visual excess with tinges of the darkly humorous and absurd. LC
(Carnation Contemporary, Kenton, free, Saturday-Sunday)

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