A momentous weekend lies ahead, and not just because of Juneteenth, Father's Day, and the summer solstice (although we have plenty of suggestions for ways to celebrate all three). Read on for our full roundup of picks through Sunday, including a Juneteenth Pride Party at Local Lounge, Timbers and Thorns games at Providence Park (which will increase its capacity to 80% on Saturday), places to get vegan Philly cheesesteaks (like Papi Sal's Lechon Shack), and more.
Celebrate the summer solstice. This time last year, we would have encouraged you to spend the longest day of the year (this Sunday) distracting yourself from your quarantine-induced malaise by eating a popsicle and rewatching Midsommar, but things are (a little) different now that Oregon plans to fully reopen by June 27. On Sunday evening, you can watch the sunset in Laurelhurst Park while you dance to bass, house, or "funky stuff" with Heartbeat Silent Disco DJs. The night before, Big Legrowlski is hosting a pre-solstice dance party (not silent) with Soul House DJs Alma, Bergmönch, Nate Aries, and Harriet Thugman. If you're open to a day trip (or even a last-minute overnight getaway), head northwest for the three-day Astoria Midsummer Festival, whose modified festivities include a drive-by OpTog Parade (Saturday) at the Columbia River Maritime Museum, to-go fruit soup and rice pudding behind the Finnish lodge at 244 West Marine Drive (Saturday), and a flag-raising and Nordic scavenger hunt at Nordic Heritage Park (Saturday). You could also keep things simple and take advantage of the extra daylight hours by reading outdoors until it gets dark. We have a couple of recommendations for new books by LGBTQ+ authors if you need some inspiration!
Commemorate Juneteenth in its newly state-sanctioned glory. Juneteenth (a portmanteau of "June" and "nineteenth") is a holiday commemorating the 1865 emancipation of Black slaves in the United States. Today, the celebration often includes singing, street fairs, cookouts, and Miss Juneteenth contests. (Speaking of which, have you seen Miss Juneteenth yet?) Activists have long campaigned for the recognition of Juneteenth as a national holiday, and they finally gained traction last year at the peak of the Black Lives Matter protests that followed the murder of George Floyd. Recently, the Oregon Senate unanimously agreed to officially recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday. The bill now heads to the desk of Governor Kate Brown and will go into effect in 2022. We’ve rounded up ways to observe the holiday this weekend, from Oregon’s flagship Juneteenth event to a market where you can support Black creatives and makers. We also suggest supporting Black-owned businesses! Some great options include Erica's Soul Food, Everybody Eats, Drink Mamey, Dirty Lettuce, Nacheaux, and Trap Kitchen PDX. For more ideas, check out The Mercury's guide to Black-owned restaurants.
Pick up last-minute Father's Day sundries. Your dad(s) might have told you that the only gift he needs on Father's Day (Sunday) is a phone call, but he's lying. He would love nothing more than a little card and/or something small enough to fit in a mail slot-sized parcel, even if it arrives one or two days late. The paper goods store Little Otsu has an adorable Father's Day collection with cards, pens, and crafty things, any of which would pair well with a small gift from the Pearl District's Italian marketplace Cooperativa. We've also compiled a list of food and drink specials for the holiday—whether your father figure's tastes run to barbecue, charcuterie, ice cream, or bagels, you're sure to find something to his liking.
Party in a modified fashion for Pride Weekend. The days of packed queer clubs teeming with sweat-glistened party people crushing endless cans of Montucky are still on hold, but this Pride Weekend will hardly leave you in the lurch. From major online events and modified in-person ones (like a Juneteenth Pride Party at Local Lounge on Saturday), you've got options. See them all here, or check out our complete Pride guide for more ways to celebrate this weekend and beyond.
Other notable weekend events:
Celebration of Black Lives
Join the Big Yard Foundation for a one-and-a-half-mile march through Portland’s historically Black neighborhoods from Peninsula Park to King School Park, where they will celebrate Juneteenth with speeches, food, music, and more.
King School, Northeast (Saturday)
Portland’s Black radio station The Numberz and Your Morning Drip present Drip Market, with four blocks of Black vendors offering vintage, resale, food, art, and music. Attendees are invited to join the live broadcast and submit a playlist, and the radio station will have exclusive merch to celebrate Black Music Month.
Produce Portland, Northwest (Saturday)
Juneteenth Pride Party
This queer dance party featuring BIPOC performers and allies will be presented by nonprofit Sweethearts of Portland and hosted by Miss Sweetheart 29 and Flawless Shade. The event will have ASL interpretation and proceeds will go to Brown Hope in support of the Black Resilience Fund.
Local Lounge, Northeast (Saturday)
FOOD & DRINK
Grab provisions for International Picnic Day. Today (Friday) is International Picnic Day, so pack up your cute wicker basket with some portable snacks and find a nice spot in the shade to unfurl your gingham blanket. If you're looking for ideas, check out a Baltic picnic set at Kachka Lavka, a picnic bundle with charcuterie, cheese, wine, and snacks at Cooperativa, various prepared foods at Elephants Delicatessen, sandwiches, side dishes, and snacks at P's and Q's Market, or fried chicken (a time-honored picnic staple) and jojos from Reel M Inn Tavern. We're fans of Laurelhurst Park, Pittock Mansion, and the Hoyt Arboretum for picnic spots.
Try vegan cheesesteaks. The Philly cheesesteak doesn't necessarily have to contain cheese or steak—several plant-based purveyors around town are now slinging vegan versions of the famed regional specialty that give their carnivorous counterparts a run for their money. The recently opened cart Buddy's Steaks sells a take made with textured vegetable protein and vital wheat gluten, with pockets of coconut oil fat and a cashew- and coconut oil-based cheese, while Whiz offers one with Impossible beef and cashew whiz. The relatively new Puerto Rican-Philadelphian cart Papi Sal's Lechon Shack is also offering a "vegan jawn" with smoked Bridgetown oyster mushrooms, semolina onion rings, vegan cheese whiz, and crispy shallot mayo.
OTHER PICKS & HAPPENINGS
Celebrate the new location of Portland's only Black-owned bookstore. In addition to some ribbon-cutting fanfare, Third Eye Books will celebrate its official Southeast debut on Sunday with an appearance from track and field champion Tianna Bartoletta, who will be signing copies of her inspiring memoir Survive & Advance. Co-owned by Portlanders Michelle Lewis and Charles Hannah, the store aims to be "the number-one supplier of African-centered books, accessories, and gifts in the Portland Metro Area." You can peruse their catalog and request special orders online, or wait until they're officially open to shop in-person from 10 am-6 pm on Tuesday-Saturday.
Snag tickets to a soccer game at Providence Park, which will increase its 25,000-seat stadium capacity to 80% on Saturday, just in time for the Timbers home game against Sporting Kansas City (Saturday) and the Thorns match against KC NWSL (Sunday). All fans over the age of 16 will be required to show proof of vaccination upon entry and will need to be at least two weeks past their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna (or two weeks past their single dose of the Johnson & Johnson). While masks are not required, fans are strongly encouraged to wear them in the stadium's indoor spaces.
Other notable weekend events:
Triangle Productions' first in-person production stars Lisamarie Harrison as a woman who has a pivotal moment on a diving board while approaching her 50th birthday in Greece.
Triangle Productions, Northeast (Friday)
Live at The Lot: Summer Brass with Members of the Oregon Symphony
Oregon Symphony players will perform a festive brass and percussion concert, which will include music by Grammy-winning composer Joan Tower, as well as excerpts from Bizet's Carmen Suite.
The Lot at Zidell Yards, Southwest (Saturday)
Open Air Concert Series with YAWA
The artist formerly known as Amenta Abioto will entertain concertgoers with her “rEVOLutionary soul synthy healing sounds” under The Old Church’s historic porte cochere. In her one-woman act, she builds vocal and instrumental loops with a variety of instruments, creating a lush textural audio experience. Libations and charcuterie boxes by Empress Fine Grazing will be available for purchase.
The Old Church, Southwest (Friday)
Pride Vaccination Pop-Up
Curative will offer walk-up Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines to LGBTQIA+ Portlanders over the age of 12 (youth between the ages of 12-14 will need a consent form signed by a parent or guardian). Appointments aren't required, but you can make one if you wish.
Cascade Behavioral Health, Northeast (Saturday-Sunday)
Rose Festival Art Show
Most of the Rose Festival’s events are virtual this year, but the Oregon Society of Artists is opening its downtown gallery to art appreciators for the Annual Rose Festival Art Show. This year’s juried categories are “Hope Reigns” (the Rose Festival theme), and “Rose Festival/Portland scenes.”
Oregon Society of Artists, Southwest (Friday-Sunday)
The Superstar Divas Mega-Pride-Show
Portland power-drag trio the Superstar Divas will take over this queer club with two back-to-back ultra-glam shows.
CC Slaughters, Northwest (Sunday)