You'll want to pack a raincoat in case of showers, but this weekend brings plenty of fun things to do outside your house. Read on for our picks, from The Portland Mercury and Rose City Rollers' Comedy Spectacular at Oaks Park to a Portland Pickles pre-game concert with Mood Beach, and from the Oregon Midsummer Festival to our guide to Portland farmers markets.
ARTS & PERFORMANCE
Feed your vinyl habit on Record Store Day. The Mercury's Blair Stenvick has rounded up all the Portland shops participating in Record Store Day this Saturday, including Jackpot, Beacon Sound, Music Millennium (which will also play host to a record signing with Portland-based indie-rock outfit Portugal. The Man at 2 pm!), Exiled, and more. "Your haul could include a special-release yellow vinyl of Lady Gaga's Chromatica; a re-release of an underrated Prince album from 1988; or an archival vinyl of 1960s home recordings and radio broadcasts from Joni Mitchell. Other artists with special Record Store Day Releases include Animal Collective, Cautious Clay, Ella Fitzgerald, Ariana Grande, Al Green, the Grateful Dead, Lupe Fiasco, Perfume Genius, Sublime, and Iggy Pop," writes Blair.
Support local artists for Black Music Month. It goes without saying that Black artists should be celebrated all year long, but in case you've been recycling the same playlists for a while and need some new tunes, this month is a good time to download an album by a local Black luminary (or hit up your local record store). Check out our (incomplete) guide to Black PNW artists we love and where to listen to and purchase their music, from pop personas like Parisalexa (who will make an appearance alongside Amenta Abioto [aka Yawa] at a virtual Juneteenth celebration next weekend) and Archie to soulful rockers like the Black Ends and Bear Axe to MCs like Gifted Gab. Plus, be sure to snag tickets to upcoming Portland shows with Thundercat (Dec 3 at Crystal Ballroom) and Armand Hammer (Sept 23 at Mississippi Studios), and follow along with Jenni Moore's weekly Refresh Playlists.
Take your craft project outside for Knit in Public Day. Sweater weather has decidedly given way to Chaco weather in Portland, but if you've been looking for an excuse to flex your knitting skills after a long and isolated winter, you finally have one: Knit in Public Day is this Saturday. Running low on supplies? Close Knit in Northeast is here for all your craft needs, as is Pearl Fiber Arts in Northwest and Starlight Knitting Society in Southeast.
Other notable weekend events:
Anna Sinatra Presents: The Gaybaret
Opera singer, stand-up comic, and storyteller Anna Sinatra will "bring to life a one-hour show of comedy, song, and improv from a place of hilarious heart and pitch-perfect accolades of gaydom."
Local Lounge, Northeast (Friday)
Comedy Spectacular hosted by Rose City Rollers & Portland Mercury!
Level up your summer picnic at this live comedy event with Amanda Arnold, Grant Lyon, Tyler Boeh, Chris Johnson, and Derrick Brown, hosted by The Portland Mercury and Rose City Rollers. Beer and food will be onsite.
Oaks Park, Southeast (Friday-Saturday)
Classical Up Close
This series that hosts pop-up classical performances in driveways, yards, and porches wraps up this weekend.
Various locations (Friday-Saturday)
Two men sharing a prison cell form a deep romantic bond in this intense-looking drama from director Jon Garcia.
Clinton Street Theater, Southeast (Friday)
MUSIC + MOVIES at The Lot at Zidell Yards
Hollywood Theatre has partnered with the Lot at Zidell Yards for a summer filled with socially distanced outdoor live music and film pairings. Tonight it's Crazy Rich Asians and Small Million.
The Lot of Zidell Yards, Southwest (Friday)
The Neverending Story
A guileless wimp stumbles into Fantasia and finds himself head to head with the most existentially profound antagonist in all of children's literature, nothingness itself.
Clinton Street Theater, Southeast (Saturday)
The theatre’s season OBT MOVES is being reimagined for an outdoor performance in partnership with Portland Opera and OMSI. Part performance, part celebration, part reunion, OBT LIVE will premiere two new programs thematically inspired by the joy of reconnection.
OMSI, Southeast (Friday-Saturday)
Rockin' the Walk Concert Series
Portland's minor-league baseball team the Portland Pickles will team up with local record label/gift shop Tender Loving Empire for a series of pre-game live concerts at select Friday home games throughout the summer. Tonight, the synthy local dance outfit Mood Beach takes the field.
Walker Stadium, Southeast (Friday)
FOOD & DRINK
Try food and drinks with butterfly pea flower. Butterfly pea flower tea is a mystical substance that's taking the food and drink world by storm for good reason: It's brewed into a deep, dark blue color, but a squeeze of lemon magically transforms it into a vibrant violet hue, thanks to a shift in the pH balance. And what better way to celebrate the fact that to-go cocktails are now here to stay permanently than with some stunning beverages? Try the "Ungu" (coconut rum, gin, crème de violette, lime, butterfly pea flower) at Wajan, the "Sleep Witch" (DL Franklin Vodka infused with Tea Hunter’s Blue Valentine tea, lemon, rosemary simple syrup, and soda water, garnished with dehydrated kiwi) at Wedgehead, or the butterfly pea toddy at Buranko. Thai Farmhouse also uses the brilliant plant to infuse its house gin and make its signature blue rice, and Decibel Sound & Drink has a lavender French 75 special made with TikTok-trendy, butterfly pea flower-infused Empress Gin, Lillet, lavender simple syrup, lemon juice, and Cava. Looking for non-alcoholic options? Check out Smith Teamaker's blackberry jasmine drink and the newly opened Honey Latte Cafe's butterfly pea flower tea.
Celebrate Falafel Day. Sunday, June 12, is Falafel Day, a holiday dedicated to celebrating everyone's favorite crispy chickpea-or-fava-bean-based fritter. You can find some exceptional versions around town at Falafel House, DarSalam, Cedo's, Nicholas, and Wolf and Bear's.
Visit a farmers market. It's farmers market season, otherwise known as prime time to sling a canvas tote over your arm and load up on glorious fresh produce and artisan goods. Happily, many outdoor markets are awakening from hibernation, with several COVID-safe practices (such as limiting the number of customers, requiring masks, and offering pre-ordered pickup) firmly in place. We've compiled a list of farmers markets in the Portland area so that you can shop to your heart's content any day of the week. Happy browsing, and don't forget to observe your market's safety guidelines!
Other notable weekend events:
Luxuriate in Italian goodness at this market featuring Tuscan sandwiches from Sorbu Paninoteca, scoops from Pinolo Gelato, local organic produce (including Italian specialties) from Wild Roots Farm, imported Italian radicchio seeds, vegetable starts, and marzipan molds from Lane Selman of Culinary Breeding Network, vegetable themed wrapping paper from Kate Blairstone, prints from Tatti Stampa, and more.
Wellspent Market, Southeast (Saturday)
OTHER PICKS & HAPPENINGS
Oregon Midsummer Festival
Presented by Nordic Northwest, this year’s festival will have two time slots in order to ensure safety. Revelers during the morning and afternoon sessions can partake in traditional Scandinavian events, such as kubb (also known as “Viking Chess”), flower crown making, and of course, the raising of and dancing around the Maypole.
Nordia House, Southwest (Saturday)
Rose Festival Porch Parade
The traditional Rose Festival parade is on hold until 2022, but this year Portlanders can decorate their street-facing porches, front windows, yards, and/or walkways with decorations that fit one of four themes: Grand Floral Parade ("All things grand and floral"), Starlight Parade ("A sparkly, illuminated display for a nighttime celebration with lights"), Junior Parade ("Creative concepts and decoration for our kids, done by kids"), or Rose Garden ("Showcase your beautiful flowers for all to see").
Various locations (Friday-Sunday)
Spectrum Art Market
This LGBTQ2SIA+ pop-up market in the heart of the Mississippi neighborhood will feature artists, designers, and makers from around the Portland metro area. The market makes its debut for Pride month and will recur monthly through October.
Q Center, North Portland (Saturday)