Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Portland This Weekend: Sept 30-Oct 2, 2022

Portland Greek Festival, Street Bazaar, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15
September 30, 2022
After a three-year hiatus, Portlanders will finally be able to get their fill of loukoumades at the 69th Annual Portland Greek Festival! (Portland Greek Festival via Facebook)
Weekend plans should be easy breezy. To make sure they're just that, we've rounded up a bunch of events that are low commitment and inflation-friendly, from the 69th Annual Portland Greek Festival to Street Bazaar and from Lardo's 10 Year Anniversary with Quasi and Help to Nancy Wilson of Heart. For more ideas, check out 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.

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Death Cult: A Fun and Flirty Sketch Show Add to a List
Go ahead and drink the Kool-Aid—this sketch comedy show will provide answers to all of your burning philosophical questions. You might have to pledge your undying loyalty to them, though. Directed by Dylan Reiff, Death Cult invites audiences to gaze into the void with cult comedy favorites Alex Beeken, Jaren George, Ryan King, Nariko Ott, Tory Ward, and Lauren Sigler.
(21ten Theater, Hosford-Abernethy, $15)

The Return of 7 on 7 Add to a List
In this quick-and-dirty improv show, up to seven comedians are given seven minutes to perform sets that will inspire further jokes from a cast of improvisers. LoveJoy Improv will perform alongside stand-ups Lucky Mincer, Melissa Jean Swenson, Drew Grizzly, and Chris Hudson for this collaborative comedy event.
(Curious Comedy Theater, King, $10)


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)


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 continues this weekend with technicolor odyssey Moonage Daydream, an "officially sanctioned" Bowie doc narrated by the Starman himself.
(Whitsell Auditorium, South Park Blocks, $12-$55)


Outer Orbit Add to a List
Funk-soul collective Outer Orbit will visit our galaxy for a night of potent grooves with influence from classic soul artists like Sly Stone, The Meters, and Aretha Franklin.
(Jack London Revue, Downtown Portland, $15)


Snap! Back to School Flannel Party Add to a List
With summer coming to an end, this installment of the beloved monthly dance night will celebrate back-to-school season with genre-spanning sounds of the early '90s through the early '00s courtesy of resident DJs Colin Jones and Introcut.
(Holocene, Buckman, $10)

Street Bazaar Add to a List
If you dig the Portland Flea, you'll love this colorful mash-up of the city's food, drink, music, and art scenes, complete with mouthwatering street fare from Buddy's Steaks, Hapa Pizza, and Birrieria Jalisco, plus festive cocktails from Zoo Bar. Over thirty artists will be on site to share their bright, contemporary works, and an epic dance party soundtracked by DJ Maddog will set the vibes for the evening, so don't miss the bazaar's final event of the season.
(Electric Blocks, Central Eastside, free)


15th Annual Dancing in the Square Powwow Add to a List
Head to Pioneer Square for the 15th annual Dancing in the Square Powwow, which celebrates the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board's 50th anniversary with a showcase of their ongoing projects. Although there will be a drum ceremony and performance, attendees won't find vendors and food carts this year—the event spotlights NPAIHB's powerful work of eliminating health disparities for American Indians and Alaska Natives.
(Pioneer Courthouse Square, Downtown, free)



Boy Smooches Improv: October Show Add to a List
This long-form improv troupe may be all fun and games, but they also take their craft seriously—audiences can expect stellar storytelling, character-building, and scene-setting from the Minnesotan gang. Boy Smooches' fast-paced show is informed by audience suggestions, so bring your best prompts to get the party started.
(Siren Theater, Old Town-Chinatown, $10-$15)


Halloween Decorating Party Add to a List
Clinton Street Theater is kicking off October with spooky screenings of Chopping Mall Add to a List  and Häxan Add to a List  this weekend, but they're also decorating for Halloween, and they need your help. Stop by on Saturday to help festoon the theater in frightening decor and you might score limited edition merch, snacks, and prizes. (And watch out for ghosts—the historic movie house is over 100 years old.)
(Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy, free)

Oktoberfest at Olympia Provisions Add to a List
Prepare to hoist foamy steins aloft at this Oktoberfest celebration with Olympia Provisions and Rosenstadt Beer. Festivities include special seasonal sausages, other traditional Oktoberfest fare, games (including stein-holding and hammerschlagen), prizes, live music, a ceremonial tapping, and of course, plenty of beer. Both canines and humans dressed in lederhosen will receive a free spin on the prize wheel.
(Olympia Provisions Public House, Richmond, free)


Nancy Wilson of Heart Add to a List
Legendary guitar hero Nancy Wilson (half of sister duo Heart) will perform classic rock hits like "Barracuda," "These Dreams," and "Crazy on You," with the help of Seattle-based vocalist (and recent contestant on The Voice) Kimberly Nichole, who will sub in for sister Ann.
(ilani Casino Resort, Ridgefield, free)

Strategy, Location Services & Derek Hunter Wilson, Brianna Sas, and DJ Patricia Wolf Add to a List
This neighborhood coffee shop will host an evening of electronic, ambient, and experimental sounds with local producer Strategy, sound bath healer Brianna Sas, DJ Patricia Wolfand, and ambient project Location Services with multi-instrumentalist Derek Hunter Wilson, celebrating the release of their collaborative album, Wake.
(Capitola Coffee, Boise, $5-$10)


CVLTRD_ with M5007 and LU. Add to a List
Kelly's Olympian's new dance night CVLTRD_ aims to share Black history through various styles of electronic music. DJ/Producer M5007, known for his dark techno style and knack for balance, will take over the decks this week alongside Portland-via-New York DJ LU.
(Kelly's Olympian, Downtown, $10 or pay-what-you-can)


Dropped Notes: An Outrageous Musical Revue Add to a List
The cast of Dropped Notes knows no more about what the evening will bring than the audience does—the musical revue promises to be a hilarious mash-up of song, dance, and storytelling entirely determined by audience suggestions. Each night they'll tackle new themes, so submit yours for a chance to see it translated on stage.
(Curious Comedy Theater, King, $15 - $20)



Häxan Add to a List
What better way to celebrate the arrival of October than with a witches' brew of demonology and medieval superstition? Benjamin Christensen’s 1922 silent film Häxan explores the notion that Middle Ages-era "witches" were actually "hysterical," à la 20th-century psych patients. Don't expect a dry, tedious documentary, though—the film casts an unbelievably eerie spell that stands the test of time, and it's peppered with dark humor that sends conventions of filmmaking straight to Hell. (Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy, $8)


Artiste Entertainment Presents: Indie As They Come Add to a List
This showcase of independent artists will fill your Sunday night with smooth tunes, impressive rhymes, belly laughs, and more, with performances from R&B singer-songwriter Jeronimo, comedian Drew Grizzly, poet Briana Hammerstrom, rapper Knowsee, hip-hop artist Nello Fernando, emcee Ejipt, and multimedia artist Bitter Camari.
(Kelly's Olympian, Downtown, $10-$13)

Lardo's 10 Year Anniversary with Quasi and Help Add to a List
Beloved sandwich hub Lardo is celebrating its 10th birthday with a free concert across the street from its Hawthorne location featuring legendary Portland indie rock project Quasi, led by Janet Weiss (formerly of Sleater-Kinney) and Sam Coomes, alongside noise punk band Help.
(Lardo, Ladd's Addition, free)


The Biggest Clothing and Costume Swap in the Northwest Add to a List
The pandemic transformed our approach to fashion—for several years, leggings were the name of the game, and everything else was called "hard pants." But hey, times have changed since March 2020, and all of our wardrobes are probably in need of a little boost. Bring your clean, gently-worn duds (no holes, odors, or previously-worn undergarments—gross) for this exchange, which will include shoes, accessories, plus-sized and non-binary sections, and a bar. This time around, there'll be some Halloween costumes in the mix, too, so bag up your old prom dresses and weirdo duds!
(Crystal Ballroom, West End, $10)



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)


69th Annual Portland Greek Festival Add to a List
Opa! Celebrate all things Greek culture at the largest Greek festival on the west coast—it often draws crowds of 15,000 or more. Head to the agora for imported merch, flokati rugs, cookbooks, and more, and don't miss the mouth-watering cooking demonstrations, traditional Greek tunes, and Hellenic dancers in cultural costumes.
(Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Kerns, free, Friday-Sunday)


The Evil Dead in 35mm Add to a List
Screened here in a 35mm print, Sam Raimi's terrifying '81 classic The Evil Dead is a perfect night out for those who think horror movies don't scare them. Take this one for a spin, we dare ya. The flick stars B-movie legend Bruce Campbell alongside a bunch of misfortunate buddies as they head to the woods to release some very cantankerous demons.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $8-$10, Friday-Saturday)

Moonage Daydream Add to a List
Brett Morgen's technicolor odyssey stays true to the tour de force that was David Bowie. Centering his experimental, forward-thinking vision, Moonage Daydream, the first "officially sanctioned film" about the artist, includes rare and never-before-seen footage guided by narration from Bowie himself.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $8-$10, Friday-Sunday)

Vesper Add to a List
Vesper is a superb post-apocalyptic film set in a world that is still technologically advanced but has reverted to a society and economy that resembles Europe's Dark Ages. Its story is centered on a girl, Vesper (Raffiella Chapman), whose father, Darius (Richard Brake), is dying, and whose uncle, Jonas (Eddie Marsan), is just evil. One day, Vesper meets a princess, Camellia (Rosy McEwen), who fell out of the sky—her flying machine crashed in the heart of a dark forest. The princess comes from the Citadel, which is basically a medieval castle. Those who do not live in the Citadel, such as Vesper's family, depend on exchanging types of blood for seeds. This world has little to eat or things to do outside of obtaining enough energy to see the next miserable day. STRANGER SENIOR STAFF WRITER CHARLES MUDEDE
(Cinemagic, Buckman, $7-$9, 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, Slabtown, 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)


Adam Sorensen: Water Color Add to a List
Adam Sorensen's paintings may seem dreamy and fantastical, but they're rooted in real climate anxieties. Sorensen's works, inspired by everything from 19th-century romanticism to ukiyo-e Japanese woodcuts, seem to illustrate the continued idealization of our rapidly-changing world. His sublime, rainbow-tinged interpretations of landscapes suggest that we're still in denial about the dire state of the planet, but Sorensen's ambiguous approach prompts more questions than answers.
(PDX CONTEMPORARY ART, Slabtown, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

Along these lines Add to a List
Artists Julia Bradshaw, Ron Linn, and John Whitten will present time-intensive new works focused on landscape in Along these lines. The show critiques "the authority of the grid," looking closely at maps and other gridded divisions imposed throughout history to consider how land is impacted by the sociopolitical sphere.
(Well Well, Kenton, free, Saturday-Sunday; opening)

In My Own Little Corner: Willie Little Add to a List
The final exhibition in Oregon Contemporary's Site program, an exhibition series that replaced the Portland2021 Biennial, Willie Little's In My Own Little Corner explores the artist's North Carolina hometown and childhood. Revealing the shrouded stories of rural Black childhood through found objects, photographs, and a sound installation, Little delves into the turmoil that gay children faced in the '60s and '70s, a time of repression and radical hope.
(Oregon Contemporary, Kenton, free, Friday-Sunday; closing)

Invisible Labor Add to a List
In this playful, yet incisive exhibition, artists Raphael Arar and Renee Couture use satire to make bold statements about labor, alienation, and "what makes us human." Arar's work revolves around the capitalist imperative—what if we didn't feel the need to monetize, like, everything?—while Couture uses photography to make the emotional toll of motherhood more visible.
(Carnation Contemporary, Kenton, free, Saturday-Sunday; opening)

Learn but the letters forme(d) by heart, Then soon you'l gain this noble art Add to a List
Contemporary gallery Adams and Ollman brought together over 20 artists for this exhibition on the theme of fraktur, a decorative form of record-keeping practiced by Pennsylvania Dutch communities between 1740 and 1860. Reflecting rural traditions while incorporating a stylish flourish, the art form was used to record important life events. Local fave Jeffry Mitchell will share conceptually and formally related works alongside Polly Apfelbaum, Joy Feasley, Ryan McLaughlin, Katherine Bernhardt, and other buzzy names.
(Adams and Ollman, Northwest Portland, free, Friday-Saturday)

Nā́rī - Threads of Identity: Spandita Malik Add to a List
Spandita Malik's embroidered portrait project, Nā́rī, was made in collaboration with women in India to illuminate the gendered violence and fight for women's rights in the country. Malik explains that the Sanskrit word Nā́rī’ translates to "woman, wife, female, or an object regarded as feminine, but it can also mean sacrifice." Interested in the power of embroidery as both a visual language and a traditionally feminine handcraft, Malik traveled to regions in India known for their distinct embroidery styles, meeting with women to discuss their experiences of oppression and photographing them to share their stories.
(Blue Sky Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

Nene Sin Patria (Our mother's hands became our homes): Amarise Carreras Add to a List
Amarise Carreras, a "photo-based performance artist," draws on photography to facilitate performative conversations that reference the artist's connection to Boricua womxn. Currently investigating Santeria practices, Carreras considers the densely embedded histories found within symbolic objects and altars.
(Blue Sky Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

Ourselves, a Resurrection. Add to a List
Writer A Hunter Sunrise and photographer Marico Fayre will present their collaborative publication, And Then the Flash, at the opening reception (Sat Oct 1) of Ourselves, a Resurrection., an exhibition inspired by the book. Blending text, audio, and visual art forms, the two creatives dig deep into personal transformation, connection, love, and grief. Plus, the show is a great reason to pop by the brand-new Strange Paradise Gallery housed within Oregon Contemporary.
(Strange Paradise Gallery at Oregon Contemporary, Kenton, free, Saturday-Sunday; opening)

Straight from the Studio: Tanner Lind: Riff Add to a List
Tanner Lind’s abstract paintings appear through October 2. The show, titled Riff, works within the context of a three-part group exhibition called Straight from the Studio, which explores the inspirations and experimentations in one’s studio. A recent graduate MFA in Visual Studies at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, Lind’s artistic practice memorializes change and creates a unique and varied lexicon of repeated brushstrokes, lines, and patterns. ASHLEY GIFFORD
(Nationale, Buckman, free, Friday-Sunday; closing)

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