Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Portland This Weekend: Sept 16-18, 2022

My People's Market, Portland Zine Symposium, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15
September 16, 2022
El Grito is the perfect way to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month. (El Grito via Facebook)
Don't let the weekend slip away before making it to one or more of these fuss-free events, from El Grito to My People's Market 10 and from the Portland Zine Symposium to A Black Art Ecology of Portland and AUX/MUTE + Museum Free Day. Still lookin' for more ideas? Peep our guide to the top events of the week.

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 draw crowds of 2,000 or more. This Friday, laugh along with local funnybones Dianna Potter, Dan Weber, Thomas Lundy, Kyle Adams, James Bosquez, and Clancy Kramer (who shall henceforth be known as "the funnier Kramer").
(Laurelhurst Park, Laurelhurst, free)


El Grito Add to a List
Head to El Grito for folkloric and Aztec dance performances, mariachi and salsa tunes, traditional food offerings from Latinx businesses, educational booths, health screenings, and more. The holiday is important to Oregon's Hispanic community, held each year in commemoration of Mexico's independence from Spain.
(Rose Quarter Commons, Lloyd District, free)


Raiders of the Lost Ark Add to a List
In life, we sometimes need to watch an ophidiophobic archaeologist shamble around lookin' for a mystical relic before it falls into Nazi hands. If that sounds up your alley, head to this screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark, which celebrates Spielberg's '81 adventure classic on the Hollywood's 50-foot screen. 
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $8-$10)

Top of the Heap Add to a List
Christopher St. John's oft-overlooked, subtly Afrofuturist thriller Top of the Heap follows George, a Black cop in DC whose experiences of racism on the force lead him to pursue vigilante justice. Sound like a straightforward enough plot? Just wait for George's trippy astral dreams—he has a penchant for visiting alternate galaxies. 
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $8-$10)


Durry Add to a List
Sibling duo Durry started making their nostalgic indie rock tunes to pass the time while quarantining together back in 2020, when their single "Who's Laughing Now" unexpectedly went viral on TikTok. Catch the rising band on their debut tour with local support from surf-rock outfit Spooky Boys.
(Polaris Hall, Humboldt, $12)

Gaytheist with The Mistons and M.A.R.C. & The Horsejerks Add to a List
Former Mercury senior editor Ned Lannamann wrote the following about the noise rock trio: "The metal-tinged power rock of Gaytheist is one of those purely pleasurable things in life—like ice cream, or Lee Van Cleef." They'll be joined by post-rock outfit The Mistons and "farmcore" band M.A.R.C. & The Horsejerks.
(Mississippi Studios, Boise, $10)

Spend the Night Presents: Shanti Celeste, Lite Drama, Leeonn, and Ben Tactic Add to a List
Get down to a wide range of underground electronic bangers with a set from accomplished Chilean DJ Shanti Celeste, known for her monthly show on the online radio station NTS. She’ll spin a vivacious mix of house and techno alongside DJs Lite Drama, Leeonn, and Ben Tactic.
(Holocene, Buckman, $15)



FX2-Division Grand Opening Celebration Add to a List
Commemorate the grand opening of the Division Transit Project with three separate mini-festivals (located near the OMSI Bridge lot, Portland Community College Southeast campus, and the Gresham Central Transit Center) connected by the new bus line. Each event will highlight its respective neighborhood with local cuisine, live musical performances, and a giant paint-by-numbers mural. Plus, ride free on the snazzy new FX2-Division bus between noon and 6 pm.
(Various locations, free)

Parade to Broadway Add to a List
The Northwest Children's Theater (NWCT) will wave goodbye to the Northwest Neighborhood Cultural Center (NNCC), the institution's home for the last 30 years, and kick off their move to the Judy Kafoury Center for Youth Arts with free festivities and a joyful parade. The party kicks off at NNCC, where folks will flock together to make parade signs and grab grub from food trucks on site. NWCT’s Youth Company will then perform a final send-off on the NNCC stage, after which a procession will lead participants all the way to the Judy for a "ceremonial illumination."
(Northwest Children's Theater & School, Northwest Portland, free)

Put a Bird on it! Falconer Event Add to a List
There are two types of people in this world—those who really wanna hold a raptor, and those who absolutely do not. If you're gutsy enough to fall into the first camp, this feathered event at Paxton Gate is for you. John the Falconer (cool guy alert!) will head to the curiosity shop with a variety of raptors, and you might get to hold one if they're not too busy chowing down on rats, or whatever it is raptors do. Donations from the event will benefit Portland Audubon.
(Paxton Gate, Boise, free)


Brooklyn End of Summer Block Party Add to a List
503 Distilling and Ruse Brewing will kiss summer goodbye with a free all-ages block party complete with craft vendors, live music, an onsite tattoo artist, tasty fare from Holy Trinity BBQ, shaved ice from Island Nectar, and plenty of spirits and brews.
(503 Distilling, Brooklyn, free)

Oregon Angel Food 2022 Grand Finale & Marketplace Add to a List
Local food and beverage innovators will pitch their ideas à la Shark Tank to investors on a main stage for a shot at being selected for angel investment. Plus, craft food and beverage entrepreneurs will sling their wares at a marketplace. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit Oregon Entrepreneurs Network.
(The Redd on Salmon, Buckman, $15)


Cedars In-Store Performance Add to a List
Texas-based band Cedars take inspiration from alt-rock veterans like The Pixies, PJ Harvey, and Nine Inch Nails for their textural electronic rock. They will stop by Music Millennium for an in-store performance celebrating the release of their latest release, Cowards, which they describe as "an album about choosing yourself, even in the face of great consequences."
(Music Millennium, Kerns, free)


OMSI Star Party: Autumnal Equinox Celebration Add to a List
Swap stargazing stories and scope out celestial sights with fellow astronomy lovers at this free event. Attendees can head to either Rooster Rock State Park or Stub Stewart State Park to participate, and astronomers of all skill levels are invited to join in on the fun (telescopes will be provided, but you're welcome to bring your own). This Saturday, the event will double as an autumn equinox celebration, so bring your pumpkin-spiced cheer.
(Rooster Rock State Park, Corbett, Parking $5/vehicle)


TBA:22 UwU & Friends Add to a List
After absorbing so much art, you're going to be full of inspiration, wonder, and energy—and that means it’s time to dance! UwU Collective's massive crew of Portland-based QTBIPOC DJs and multimedia artists promise a night of underground music and fun (check out their show on XRAY for a taste of what they’re all about). UwU aims to create futuristic queer utopias through partying, which sounds like a pretty magnificent way to close out TBA 2022, if you ask me. MARTHA DAGHLIAN
(PICA, Eliot, $5-$20)


Hanif Abdurraqib, Kaveh Akbar, and Leslie Jamison Add to a List
Organized by The Alano Club of Portland's Artists in Recovery series and Literary Arts, this free event centers mental health, creativity, community-building, and substance abuse recovery. Attendees will hear readings from novelist and educator Leslie Jamison, lauded poet and cultural critic Hanif Abdurraqib, and Iranian American Pushcart Prize winner and poet Kaveh Akbar, followed by conversation.
(Literary Arts, Southwest Portland, Sold Out)


My People's Market 10 Add to a List
My People's Market winds down from the summer heat with BIPOC businesses, creatives, and culinary masters taking center stage. The Saturday celebration includes free rides on TriMet's brand-new FX2-Division line, plus performances by taiko ensemble Unit Souzou, Mariachi Una Voz, and Bridge City Revival. Visitors can peruse 120 different vendor booths, The Numberz will broadcast live on site, and there'll be plenty of multicultural dishes to try, like sweet antojitos from Maruka Loka, Kenyan delights from Spice of Africa, and Hawaiian shaved ice from Da Shave Ice Shack.
(OMSI, Central Eastside, free)

7th Annual Rose City PhotoFair Add to a List
Heads up, photo freaks! The Rose City PhotoFair returns this year with thousands of cameras and lenses to snap up, plus opportunities to sell and trade your own equipment. You'll find plenty of options from your fave brands on site—think Leica, Rollei, Nikon, Canon, Hasselblad, and more. Attendees can swap tips with fellow photogs, check out merch from local camera stores, and hear from special guests.
(Kliever Armory, Northeast Portland, $5.50-$15)


A Black Art Ecology of Portland and AUX/MUTE + Museum Free Day Add to a List
In celebration of APEX: Sharita Towne & A Black Art Ecology of Portland Add to a List and The Numberz FM's AUX/MUTE Gallery Add to a List , this edition of Smithsonian Magazine's Museum Day includes programming with the artists involved in both exhibitions, plus ice cream, live music, and a Black Art Ecology of Portland risograph poster giveaway. While you're there, check out other recently installed exhibitions like Black Lives Matter-focused Perspectives Add to a List and Making a Mark: Contemporary Drawings Add to a List .
(Portland Art Museum, South Park Blocks, free)



Annual Multicultural Kids Festival Add to a List
Kids and their grown-ups will dig this celebration of our region's diverse cultures, musical traditions, food offerings, and more at this friendly festival in Ventura Park. Portland Bureau of Transportation staff will be on site to provide bike-riding lessons and activities, and famished folks can chow down on Uzbek, Ukrainian, and Mexican food offerings. Don't miss the Traveling Day Society drum circle and Karin Kirkland School of Dance's Armenian dance performance, plus community resources, a petting zoo, and a rock climbing wall. (Regardless of your age, you'll probably need a nap after this activity-packed festival.)
(Ventura Park, Mill Park, free)


Depressed Cake Shop Portland Pop-Up Add to a List
This one-day pop-up bakery sells gray-colored cakes, cookies, and other goods (all donated by local bakers) to raise awareness and encourage conversation about mental health issues. The goodies, though dismal looking on the outside, are bright and colorful on the inside to symbolize hope. Proceeds benefit Baby Blues Connection, which provides free support for parents and families dealing with perinatal mood disorders.
(Opal 28, Kerns)


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)

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)


Buddy Wakefield: The Next Best West Tour Add to a List
Buddy Wakefield is a multi-talented dude—the world champion spoken word artist, actor, and writer has performed his poetry everywhere from the San Quentin State Penitentiary to Zimbabwe’s Shoko Festival. After quitting his day gig over 20 years ago, Wakefield set out to "live for a living," and hasn't stopped since. He'll head to Holocene for another raw, humorous, and insightful performance.
(Holocene, Buckman, $15)



Talk of the Town Add to a List
As the nights get shorter, the skies get gloomier, and we all stare down a solid eight months of rain, living in the City of Roses might have you feeling a little glum. Talk of the Town has your back. The recurring improv show will hit the stage every third weekend of the month with rotating guests sharing what makes Portland great—good art, great food, and hilarious, off-the-cuff conversation. Each guest will inspire a ragtag team of improv experts to create fresh scenes and characters on the spot. (Just don't bring your umbrella—it's gauche.)
(Curious Comedy Theater, King, $15, Friday-Saturday)


Chapman Swift Watch Add to a List
Every September, thousands of Portlanders flock to Chapman Elementary School to witness the phenomenon of Vaux's swifts funneling into the school's chimney to roost. Arrive early to snag a prime birding spot, settle in, and enjoy the early fall evening while you wait for the sun to descend. Close to sunset, the birds begin their sky show before tucking in for the night. Plus, Portland Audubon will be on hand most nights of the week with info about the swifts.
(Chapman Elementary School, Northwest Portland, free, Friday-Sunday)


The MAiZE at the Pumpkin Patch Add to a List
Have a corntastic day navigating immaculately cut pathways through corn stalks at Portland's eight-acre corn maze. This year's theme is "Cinnamon and Sugar"—warm up with the "easy" section of the maze before tackling the more challenging section, and don't forget your boots!
(The Pumpkin Patch, $8, Friday-Sunday)


Serbian Fest Portland Add to a List
Serbian hospitality will be on full display as you learn about the culture and customs of the Balkan country at this annual festival. Traditional Serbian food, including roast pig and lamb, will be served alongside beer and wine. Plus, watch (or join in on!) traditional kolo dancing and singing and partake in other fun activities.
(St. Stephen Serbian Orthodox Church, Historic Milwaukie, free, Saturday-Sunday)


DOC-O-RAMA Add to a List
PAM/CUT will screen five bold documentaries for this series, centering stories of radical change told through personal growth, social justice, and more. DOC-O-RAMA kicks off with Workhorse Queen, which follows drag diva Mrs. Kasha Davis on her journey from Scranton telemarketer to RuPaul's Drag Race season seven star. We're also stoked for Moonage Daydream, a neon-tinged Bowie doc, and Wildness, which spotlights an LA gay bar's connection to the Latinx immigrant community.
(Whitsell Auditorium, South Park Blocks, $12-$55, Friday-Saturday)

Pearl Add to a List
If you dug indie horror ace Ti West's southern-fried slasher X from earlier this year, you won't wanna miss Pearl, which delves into the sordid past of X's elderly villain. Set during the Spanish Flu pandemic, West pulled from an unusual source of inspiration for the flick—classic Disney movies. He describes Pearl as having a "naiveté that matches a Disney movie...except it’s much darker and more demented." Sign us up!
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $8-$10, Friday-Sunday)


CoHo Clown Festival 2022 Add to a List
Whether you're a literal clown or a simple clown appreciator, you'll want to honk your horn and slap on a gigantic pair of shoes for this fringe festival of all things clownery. CoHo Clown Festival includes an absurdist mix of physical comedy, workshops, and movement performances, building community between artists and audiences with a wide range of jolly performances.
(CoHo Productions, Pay-what-you-can, Friday-Sunday)

Shroom Show: A Foraging Tour Add to a List
Mycology nerds, we know you're out there. You're probably identifying Boletus edulis right this second. Well, take a breather to check this out—inspired by fungal ecology, Shroom Show: A Foraging Tour blends educational elements with opera, treasure hunting, and more for an organic take on the hero's journey. The show will take place at Tryon Life Community Farm, with ADA-accessible performances also planned at Back Door Theater. Wear your boots, dress for the weather, and bring a basket for the farm performance.
(Tryon Life Community Farm, Forest Highlands, Pay-what-you-can, Friday-Sunday)


Portland Zine Symposium Add to a List
Bring a tote bag for this celebration of Portland's unique DIY spirit—you'll wanna fill it with self-published and handmade goodies from small letterpress shops, independent magazines, cartoonists, and more. The Portland Zine Symposium is a great way to get to know local zinesters, but if you can't pop by the free event, remote programming will take place online throughout the weekend.
(Portland State University, Southwest Portland, free, Saturday-Sunday)


Collective Rage Add to a List
If you're furious about the recent SCOTUS decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, try channeling that righteous rage into something positive—this group benefit print show prices each piece at $125, and all proceeds will be donated to the National Network of Abortion Funds. Prints can be purchased online and viewed in person at Strange Paradise Gallery, housed within Oregon Contemporary.
(Oregon Contemporary, Kenton, free, Saturday-Sunday)

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