Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Portland This Weekend: Mar 10-12, 2023

Snack Fest, Irish Festival, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15
March 10, 2023
There'll be nibbles and noms everywhere you look at Snack Fest. (Snack Fest via Facebook)
Go ahead and weigh your weekend options with our roundup of cheap and easy events, from Snack Fest to the Irish Festival 2023 and from Oscar Night at The 4th Wall to Polar Plunge 2023. For more ideas, check out our guide to this week's top events. And don't forget to set your clocks forward this Sunday!

Venues may have health guidelines in place—we advise directly checking the specific protocols for an event before heading out.

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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—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)


Beaverton Symphony Orchestra: From The New World Add to a List
For their spring concert, the Beaverton Symphony Orchestra—with a solo from flutist—Adam Eccleston, will pay musical tribute to the blooming blossoms and gradually rising temperatures with inspiring works from seminal composers Wagner, Dvorák, and Francois Borne.
(Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, Beaverton, $10-$15)

Eyelids Add to a List
After being struck with record delays and show cancellations, Portland indie-rock band Eyelids (consisting of members from Guided By Voices, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, The Decemberists, Camper Van Beethoven, and Boston Spaceship) are finally back to the stage to debut their new album A Colossal Waste Of Light. Anticipate plenty of swirly, psychedelic, and fuzzed-out Flying Nun- and paisley underground-inspired tunes alongside "soft punk" duo Man's Body.
(Mississippi Studios, Boise, $15)

Family Worship Center Add to a List
Self-identified "cult-rock cohort" Family Worship Center will bring the country-stained jams from their self-titled EP (and possibly some new material as well) alongside local garage rock outfit Lo Fives.
(Polaris Hall, Humboldt, $10)

The Lagoons with Jelly Ellington Add to a List
The Lagoons are the project of musically gifted LA-raised brothers Ryan and Joey Selan. The duo crafts lively indie pop that evokes the blistering sun, expansive beaches, and booming nightlife of their hometown in tracks like "California," "Surfing," and "FOMO." They’ll support their sophomore album Daybreak alongside Texas-based blues-rock guitarist Jelly Ellington.
(Holocene, Buckman, $15)



Friday in 35mm Add to a List
Either you're a Friday fan, or, well, bye, Felicia. Catch the '95 classic in 35mm and relive loveable slacker Craig Jones's very complicated day—the film's ultra-nostalgic cast includes Ice Cube, Chris Tucker, Nia Long, and Bernie Mac. 
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $8-$10)

Sunset Boulevard Add to a List
When an aging film star plans her career revival, she enlists the help of a young screenwriter, whose manipulative methods soon spiral into destruction and violence for the pair. This classic black comedy film noir was directed by Billy Wilder, who would go on to direct The Seven Year Itch and Some Like It Hot. Sunset Boulevard will screen at Cinema 21 as part of their "Walk on the WILDER Side" series, with a pre-show introduction by fabled film programmer Elliot Lavine.
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, $9)


Holi Celebration Add to a List
Expect to walk away rainbow-hued after attending this Holi festival, a vibrant spring tradition in India. Attendees are encouraged to fling colored powder all over each other, so wear light-colored duds to get the full experience. 
(Rock Creek Park, Rock Creek, free)

Rose City Sneakerfest Add to a List
Streetwear enthusiasts, sneak on over to the Rose City Sneakerfest this weekend to hang with other shoe lovers, sell and trade sick sneaks, and build community around footwear design. The event aims to "put the city of Portland on the world stage and cement it as the true sneaker capital of the world." (We'd assert that Portland is also the Blundstones capital of the world, but that's beside the point.)
(The Leftbank Annex, $15-$20)


Free Coffee Cuppings! Add to a List
If you're looking to expand your java knowledge, look no further than this complimentary coffee cupping. Sip a few different brews, savor their tastes and aromas, and participate in a discussion.
(Nossa Familia Coffee, Pearl District, free)

MILK+T Mini Grand Opening! Add to a List
The self-described "friendly neighborhood queer boba bar" MILK+T is going all out to celebrate the grand opening of its newest (and tiniest) store MILK+T Mini. Festivities include boozy boba, "boba pong," arts and crafts, speeches, a lion dance by White Lotus, raffle prizes, local vendors, BTS cup sleeves created in collaboration with KPOP NW (in celebration of band member Suga's birthday), and a giveaway with 100 free mystery bags filled to the brim with goodies.
(MILK+T Mini, Downtown, free)

This is She: Holly Ong Add to a List
In 2019, Holly Ong left her corporate job in Nike's marketing department to pursue her passion for food, eventually co-founding the celebrated Singaporean food startup Sibeiho with Pat Lau. At this free event, she'll impart tales about her favorite Singaporean foods and the story behind Sibeiho, and you'll get to sample some of the brand's award-winning products and maybe even some "off-menu surprises."
(Lan Su Chinese Garden, Old Town-Chinatown, free with $14 admission or Lan Su membership)


Global Based with Uproot Andy, Lapaushi, and Laflor Add to a List
Portland's global music dance party will return for a night of reggaeton, dembow, Baile funk, guaracha, and other Latin American grooves brought to you by Brooklyn-based DJ Uproot Andy. Don't miss support from like-minded selectors Lapaushi and Laflor.
(Holocene, Buckman, $15)

The Lab: Sotae, Scooter Rogers, and MacMFBillz Add to a List
Billed as "if Big Sean, GloRilla, and Drake curated a show," the long-running downtown venue will host a showcase of local talent featuring rising hip-hop stars Sotae, Scooter Rogers, MacMFBillz, and DJ Drae Slapz. If you're in search of new music, this is the place to be.
(Kelly's Olympian, Downtown, free)

Tropitaal Desi-Latino Soundclash with DJ Anjali and The Incredible Kid Add to a List
Tropitaal blends Latin American tropical sounds 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 celebrate their homecoming from a recent trip to India with their signature blend of bhangra, dembow, future filmi, reggaeton, funk carioca, moombahton, electro Cumbia, and more.
(Goodfoot, Kerns, $12)


Portland Opera presents Composer Kamala Sankaram Add to a List
Thumbprint composer Kamala Sankaram, “one of the most exciting opera composers in the country" (Washington Post), will explore the creative process behind her contemporary operatic work, which will hit Newmark Theatre later this month. The forward-thinking production blends traditional Hindustani and western classical music to tell the story of pioneering Pakistani human rights activist Mukhtar Mai.
(Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, 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. Local artists hawking ceramics, art, textiles, apparel, jewelry, and accessories will celebrate the forthcoming spring by keeping things rainbow-hued and sparkly. It'll all go down at ADX (Art Design Xchange), a "creative hub" that offers membership-based studio space, a wood shop, classes, and more.
(ADX, Buckman, free)


Polar Plunge 2023 Add to a List
Did you know that polar bears have an insulating layer of blubber that can be up to 10 centimeters thick? You don't have that, but you should dunk your body into the frigid Willamette River anyway. Wim Hof would approve, and you'll help raise money for Special Olympics Oregon athletes.
(Willamette Park, Johns Landing, free)



Portland St. Paddy's Day Parade Add to a List
The luck of the Irish is sure to rub off on you at this parade, a Grant Park neighborhood tradition for 34 years. The very green procession will kick off at Beverly Cleary Elementary School on a roughly one-hour circuitous route.
(Beverly Cleary Elementary School, Grant Park, free)


Church of Film: I Like Bats Add to a List
If you like the Oscars, we get it. Sometimes you get to see outfits that become cultural touchstones. Sometimes the right people win in the end. But also, the Oscars kind of suck. The Hollywood institution's history of racism and sexism is well-documented, and the whole affair is just another excuse for rich people to celebrate their (largely unearned) wealth and status and clutch their pearls when someone gets slapped. If the tacky shebang drains the life out of you, head to The Red Fox for Church of Film's free screening of I Like Bats on Oscar night. The '86 goth comedy, which follows a young vampire who lusts after a psychiatrist, might be the perfect antidote to your malaise.
(The Red Fox, Humboldt, free)

Oscar Night Add to a List
Hollywood's schmanciest night comes to the big screen (150 inches, to be exact) for this event at cinema-themed lounge The 4th Wall PDX. Sip on glitzy drinks and guess the award winners for your chance to snag prizes at the end of the evening. (We'd play it safe by betting on Everything Everywhere All at Once—the film leads the pack with 11 nominations.)
(The 4th Wall PDX, Buckman, $5)

Sisters with Transistors Add to a List
Directed by French American filmmaker Lisa Rovner, this 2020 documentary probes the lives of women pioneers in electronic music. The too-cool lineup of featured musicians includes Doctor Who theme composer Delia Derbyshire, "deep listener" Pauline Oliveros, theremin virtuoso Clara Rockmore, and Wendy Carlos, the first trans woman to win a Grammy. All proceeds from this screening of the beep-boop film will benefit Synth Library Portland, an electronic music education nonprofit that promotes sonic experimentation within underserved communities.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $8-$10)


Blush Button, Wut, Phone Voice, and Cum Rag Add to a List
Portland-based trio Blush Button infuses their '90s-inspired indie rock with whimsical lyrics on tracks like "Wildflower Nights," "Brain Soup," and "Frida Kahlo." They will support their debut full-length, Glowing Home, alongside Canadian post-riot grrrl rockers WUT, bedroom pop project Phone Voice, and mysterious outfit Cum Rag, who are playing their first show.
(Lollipop Shoppe, Buckman, $8-$10)



Escape Reality Presents Fine Art Add to a List
Local sketch comedy experts Escape Reality will deliver a mind-bending, absurd adventure on stage that's sure to leave you laughing and scratching your head.
(Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy, $12, Friday-Saturday)


Irish Festival 2023 Add to a List
The bagpipes will honk, the beer will flow, and Portland will get a lil' greener for this year's Irish Festival. Shamrock Run Portland and Kells Irish Pub & Brewery are teaming up to organize a “bigger and better” event this year—the collaboration will create a “finish line celebration” for the Shamrock Run on March 12, and tipsy emerald-hued festivities will take place at both Kells locations (March 11 at the waterfront, and March 17–18 at Kells Downtown). Plus, on March 10, the waterfront location will have a special Ireland vs. USA boxing match screening.
(Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Downtown, Friday-Sunday)


Cocaine Bear Add to a List
Lots of cocaine!!! One bear!!!!!! A movie about a bear who consumed a buttload of cocaine. It's based, if you do not know, on a real bear. But cocaine, which fell from the sky, killed the real bear—a black bear who is spending eternity in a Kentucky mall. The movie bear does not die from an overdose but becomes larger than life and death. He goes on a rampage. He destroys this and that. Humans scream and die. And this is a comedy! How can we miss this movie? It sounds like top-notch trash. I hope it doesn't suffer the fate of Snakes on a Plane. STRANGER SENIOR STAFF WRITER CHARLES MUDEDE
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, $8-$11, Friday-Sunday)

Live Action Oscar Nominated Short Films Add to a List
These brief but spellbinding stories have made an impression on the Academy. Predict the winners at separate screenings of the nominated films in live action, animation, and documentary categories. Standouts include Ivalu, a meditative, icy tale based on a graphic novel set in Greenland's tundra, and Le Pupille, an inventive tale co-produced by Alfonso Cuarón and set in a Catholic boarding house during World War I.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $7-$10)

Studio Ghibli Film Festival Add to a List
Over the last 30 years, Studio Ghibli has become legendary for its lush visuals, emotional and affecting storytelling, and poetic, intelligent approach to nature and the more-than-human world. OMSI's Studio Ghibli Film Festival will return for its eighth (almost) annual presentation of audience faves like My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service, as well as underrated classics like Pom Poko and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya.
(OMSI, Central Eastside, $6.50-$7.50, Friday-Sunday)


Snack Fest Add to a List
The people who brought you the Portland Night Market have turned their eyes towards the very serious business of snacking, and Snack Fest is the result: a weekend's worth of local vendors dedicating their time and energy to sharing bite-sized deliciousness in a wide variety of forms and flavors.
(100 SE Alder, Buckman, free, Friday-Saturday)


GLEAN 2022 Artist-in-Residence Exhibition Add to a List
As part of the yearly GLEAN program (a partnership between Metro, waste management company Recology, and nonprofit Cracked Pots), artists-in-residence are challenged to create with materials gathered at the Metro Central Transfer Station, aka the dump. This year's participating artists Val Britton, Maddy Dubin, Joshua Sin, Ahuva S. Zaslavsky, and Oregon Poet Laureate Anis Mojgani will share their new works inspired by ecology, memory, consumerism, and more.
(Parallax Art Center, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

Remembering to Remember: Experiments in Sound Add to a List
Curated by Roya Amirsoleymani and Felisha Ledesma, Remembering to Remember: Experiments in Sound (named after a Pauline Oliveros quote, natch) includes live performances, workshops, multichannel compositions, and video works at the cutting edge of experimental sound and moving image art. An exhibition with works by contemporary tastemakers like Synth Library Portland, Takashi Makino, and others will set the scene.
(PICA, Eliot, free, Friday-Sunday)

Shiela Laufer: Six More Weeks Add to a List
Shiela Laufer's warm, swirling compositions evoke dappled light, wrought-iron decor, and tangled flora. Inspired by her rural Pennsylvanian upbringing, the Portland-based painter draws her dreamy motifs from Pennsylvania Dutch folk art and hex signs, which you've probably seen decorating a barn or two. 
(Nationale, Buckman, free, Friday-Sunday; opening)

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