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The Best Things To Do in Portland This Month: June 2023

Portland Rose Festival, Diana Ross, and More Major Things To Do All Month Long
May 31, 2023
Tigard Festival of Balloons will bring pops of color to the summer skies. (Tigard Festival of Balloons via Facebook)
By any measure, June is one of the most splendid months of the year in Portland; boasting fine weather, the city's flagship Portland Rose Festival, and the peak bloom of our beloved roses. As is our custom every month, we've compiled all of the notable events you should have on your calendar, including Father's Day, Juneteenth, and Pride events. Read on for details on happenings from the Tigard Festival of Balloons to the Oregon Midsummer Festival and from Diana Ross to Ocean Vuong and Anis Mojgani. Find even more things to do on our June events calendar.

Jump to: Comedy | Community | Film | Food & Drink | Music | Performance | Readings & Talks | Visual Art


Margaret Cho: Live and LIVID! Past Event List
Margaret Cho is a household name, so listing all of the accolades that the trailblazing comedian, actress, and LBGTQ activist has acquired over her three-decade career feels pretty unnecessary. If Cho's brand of dry, unapologetic, and continually crude comedy appeals to you, you probably already know it and have followed her work for years. She'll return to the stage with more candid, sure-footed thoughts on everything from world politics to womanhood for this performance. LC 
Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn (Sat June 3)

Samantha Bee: Your Favorite Woman Past Event List
Samantha Bee, The Daily Show sharpshooter (and longest-serving correspondent of all time), will buzz into the Pacific Northwest following the cancellation of her TBS show Full Frontal. Don't get too teary-eyed for Bee, though—she's bouncing back with this stage show, which continues to bring her bracing, myth-debunking vision to audiences to make complex issues more accessible. "Nothing much is happening in the world of women’s bodily autonomy, so I am taking it upon myself to teach the parts of sex ed that should’ve been taught by your gym teacher," says Bee. (Insert your own joke about "the birds and the bees" here.)  LC 
Newmark Theatre, South Park Blocks (Sat June 17)

Ben Schwartz & Friends Past Event List
Your first encounter with Ben Schwartz may have been his role as wannabe baller Jean-Ralphio Saperstein on Parks and Recreation. ("It's like I always say. When life gives you lemons, you sell some of your grandma's jewelry, and go clubbing.") Since then, he's voiced Sonic the Hedgehog (a role that oddly suits his comedy style, which has a case of the zoomies) and starred in three Netflix improv specials. He'll drop by Seattle on the heels of the release of schlocky horror-comedy Renfield, in which he stars alongside Nicolas Cage as Dracula. LC
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks (Sun June 18)


Oregon Renaissance Faire 2023 Past Event List
Whether you're there for the Middle Ages vibes or the unbeatable people-watching, the Ren Faire at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds (the "Vale of Dunrose" for these purposes) is always a mead-guzzlin' good time. Harkening back to when musicians, jugglers, and falconers all reveled together, this fantasy-loving festival (led by Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots) will take place for three consecutive weekends in June, celebrating fairies, pirates, Celtic culture, and everything in between. Nothing says summer like chainmail and wool tunics, so head to the fair to catch jousting knights and snag trinkets and treats from a long-gone era. LC 
Clackamas County Fairgrounds, Canby (June 3-18)

Juneteenth Oregon Past Event List
Commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans, Oregon's 51st annual Juneteenth celebration is a community event that was first started by Vanport shipyard worker Clara Peoples. Over the two-day festival, celebrants will watch a parade, peruse vendors and local community organizations, and enjoy a lineup of performances. Plus, you'll want to brush up on your steps because the Cupid Shuffler-in-chief, Cupid himself, will headline the festivities. JW
Lillis-Albina Park, Eliot (June 17-18)

Oregon Midsummer Festival Past Event List  
This Midsummer celebration is a little less "Ari Aster folk horror," and more "Nordic summer delicacies and yard games." But yes, you can still wear a flower crown. Warm up to the summer sun with maypole decorating, Scandinavian traditional dancing, Nordic vintage vendors, Viking history, and a gnome-themed scavenger hunt, plus the League of Swedish Societies' 96th annual raising of the Portland Midsummer pole. You'll find delicious treats from Broder Söder and Carina's Bakery available for snacking, too, plus Nordic brews on tap from Ridgewalker Brewing. Skål! LC
Nordic Northwest, Metzger (June 23-24)

Portland Rose Festival 2023 Past Event List
The city's landmark festival will return to celebrate its 115-year legacy with petals, pistils, stamens, and a slew of much-loved events that "focus on fun." The festivities include the Grand Floral Parade (a botanical spectacular on wheels) and the twinkly nighttime Starlight Parade of illuminated floats, plus the Queen's coronation, a treasure hunt, dragon boat races (a thrilling Chinese tradition practiced in the Rose City since 1989), and a three-weekend CityFair with carnival rides. (Bring your thirst to CityFair Past Event List —Oregon Brewers Festival will present a "tap takeover" with featured beers and Rose Festival mugs up for grabs.) LC
Various locations (May 26-June 11)

Tigard Festival of Balloons 2023 Past Event List
While a buoyant brigade of kaleidoscopic hot air balloons floats in the morning skies above Tigard, festivities will ensue below, including craft and vendor booths, classic carnival rides, a Rogue Ales beer garden, country and blues-infused tunes, tethered rides, and more. If the festival's daytime events somehow don't offer up enough balloon action for you, never fear: A sunset launch of even more balloons will cap off the Friday and Saturday celebrations with a luminous glow. LC 
Cook Park, Tigard (June 23-25)


Portland Horror Film Festival Past Event List     
Life itself might seem kinda frightening right now, but in our opinion, horror flicks offer the perfect catharsis. (At least you're not dodging a chainsaw-wielding maniac...right?) Channel that glad-it's-not-me spirit at the Portland Horror Film Festival, which will return this year, inviting attendees to get their spook on with "over 20 hours" of fresh shorts, indie haunts, and sleeper hits to die for. With in-person screenings and virtual options, it's a lil' like Halloween in June. Expect spooky offerings from BIPOC, women, and queer filmmakers, and pick your poison—you'll find folk horror, masked killers, and haunted houses in the festival lineup. LC 
(Various locations and virtual, June 7–11)

Movie Madness Direct to Video Film Festival Past Event List
Creating a short film over the course of 48 hours that ends up on the shelves of one of the world’s biggest video stores has never really been an ambition of mine, but only because it never occurred to me. Movie Madness dreamed it up, though. Enter the Direct to Video Film Festival, which invites participants to create an original short film (on a secret theme) over the course of 48 hours in June. Films must feature a prompt and prop that will be revealed at the festival kickoff party on June 9; to sweeten the deal, there are also prizes and trophies involved. Filmmakers, registration is unfortunately closed now, but you can catch the finished flicks when they screen at the Movie Madness Miniplex on June 16. LC 
Movie Madness, Sunnyside (June 9-16)

Asteroid City Past Event List
You've likely already seen your fair share of cheeky, smartly costumed Wes Anderson ensemble comedies. You probably want to see this one, too. Sure, Anderson's style is becoming a little more than formulaic, but it's because the formula works—a formalist approach, careful aesthetics, and a pop of color in the form of Jeff Goldblum always make sense. In Asteroid City, the itinerary of a space cadet convention ("organized to bring together students and parents from across the country for fellowship and scholarly competition") takes a nose dive when world-changing events rock a '50s-era desert town. (Is it aliens?) LC 
Cinema 21, Nob Hill (Opens June 23)


Boba Dash Past Event List
Let Chris Fleming's "Boba Manifesto" be your theme song as you stroll through downtown Beaverton and Portland's metro region, picking up tapioca-studded beverages from businesses like Milk + T, Sharetea, Phin Cafe, Auntea Ha, Just Tea, Mo Cha Tea House, Tamu Boba, and Tan Tan. You'll get to partake in ten four-ounce samples and receive a complimentary reusable glass boba straw and souvenir boba cup, so you can be the most stylish person at the bubble tea cafe. JB 
Various locations (Sat June 3)

Portland Mercury's Sandwich Week 2023 Past Event List
IT'S A FACT: The pinnacle of human ingenuity is undoubtedly THE SANDWICH. And at long last, it's time to celebrate humankind's greatest feat with Jim Beam presents the Portland Mercury's Sandwich Week! And if you love sandwiches, you are gonna lose your damn mind, because from Monday, June 5 to Sunday, June 11, Portlanders will be feasting on delectable, original sandwiches Past Event List built by some of the city's most creative sandwich makers... and if that's not enough, each of those sammies can be had for a mere $8! Are you dreaming? NO, YOU ARE NOT! PORTLAND MERCURY EDITOR WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY 
Various locations (June 5-11)

The Bloody Mary Festival - Portland Past Event List  
With its savory vodka-spiked tomato juice base and garnishes ranging from the humble (celery) to outlandish (mini cheeseburgers), the bloody mary is a bona fide brunch classic. At this event, you’ll get to enjoy an unlimited supply of the umami-rich cocktail in a myriad of iterations from local bars and restaurants, not to mention coffee, food and drink samples, temporary tattoos, photo opportunities, and more. Plus, cast a vote for your favorite bloody mary to win the People’s Choice Award. JB 
The Redd on Salmon, Buckman (Sat June 10)

Portland Beer Week
Past Event List The annual celebration of all things beery and beautiful in the Pacific Northwest returns in grand style, stretching the definition of "week" to encompass 10 whole days, and sprawling all over the city like a freshly shaken can of lager popped with no regard, featuring a wide range of events at notable breweries and venues. JB

Various locations (June 16-25)

Portland Craft Beer Festival at Elizabeth Caruthers Park Past Event List    
Unlike similar craft beer events, this annual festival focuses primarily on beers brewed within the city limits of Portland, making an excellent opportunity to avail yourself of plenty of local suds in one place. If beer isn't your thing, there's also a selection of cider, wine, and mead. This year's gathering will be held at the charming Elizabeth Caruthers Park, with food, live music, vendors, games, and other entertainment. Best of all, you can rest easy knowing your ticket supports a good cause: Together with its partner CaskAide, Inc., the festival has raised $35,000 for local nonprofits. JB   
Elizabeth Caruthers Park, South Waterfront (June 30-July 2)


The National Past Event List
Brooklyn-born indie rock stalwarts the National (or as Swifties know them, the producers of folklore and evermore) will support their first album in four years, entitled First Two Pages of Frankenstein, which features A-list pals like Phoebe Bridgers, Sufjan Stevens, and yes, Taylor Swift. Clash praised the album, noting its "level of fluidity and richness stitched together with the highest caliber of performance, production, and songwriting." Don't miss an opening set from the Nashville-bred indie rock project Soccer Mommy. AV 
Edgefield, Troutdale (June 2-3)

Garbage with Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and Metric Past Event List
This bill is like one of my high school iPod playlists came to life. The ’90s alt-rock heavies Garbage, fronted by perennial cool girl Shirley Manson, will play alt-rock radio staples like “Only Happy When It Rains,” “Stupid Girl,” and “I Think I’m Paranoid.” This will be the first stop on tour with Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds (yes, they will most likely play “Wonderwall”) and indie sleaze missionaries Metric. AV 
RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater, Ridgefield (Sat June 3)

Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band Past Event List
Here's your chance to see a real-life Beatle live! Legendary drummer Ringo Starr will treat Portlanders to a well-rounded set of Beatles songs, original solo tunes, and crowd-pleasing covers. He will welcome endless amounts of peace and love, but please, for the love of god, don't give him any fan mail. AV  
Hayden Homes Amphitheater, Bend (Sat June 3)

Seal Past Event List
Angel-voiced R&B icon Seal will celebrate 30 years of his eponymous albums Seal I and Seal II with a career retrospective, showcasing his smooth-as-hell vocals and distinctive fusion of soul, folk, pop, dance, and rock music. Just imagine hearing the sensual ballad "Kiss From a Rose" performed live...shivers! AV 
Keller Auditorium, Downtown (Sat June 10)

Death Cab For Cutie: Asphalt Meadows Tour Past Event List
Ben Gibbard's Northwest indie-rock troupe Death Cab for Cutie will jam tracks from their latest album, Asphalt Meadows, which the band composed by passing around recordings remotely through the pandemic. Sing (or cry) along to their reflective, moody tunes after an opening set from indie folk project Lomelda. AV
Edgefield, Troutdale (Fri June 16)

Sessa Past Event List  
While we mourn two pioneers of Brazilian psychedelia, Rita Lee and Gal Costa, it’s wonderful to see the next generation of tropicália stars come up. My favorite troubadour of this new wave is the São Paulo-based singer-songwriter Sessa. His sound ranges from transcendent nylon-string guitar tunes (reminiscent of Leonard Cohen) to free-flowing bossa nova, which is backed by a five-woman choir. He will return to Portland to support his 2022 album Estrela Acesa. AV  
Mississippi Studios, Boise (Mon June 19)

Diana Ross Past Event List
Is there anybody bigger or more successful than Miss Ross? With her status as a girl group superstar, disco diva, Golden Globe-winning and Oscar-nominated actress, and fashion icon, Billboard dubbed her the "female entertainer of the century.” She is the boss! And, just in time for Pride month, Diana Ross will be “coming out” to the PNW on her Musical Legacy tour to celebrate her 60+ years of greatest hits. AV 
Edgefield, Troutdale (Tues June 20)

Janet Jackson: Together Again Past Event List
My obsession with Janet Jackson began in my late teens when I heard her 1990 pop banger “Escapade” on the radio. I hurried home to dig deeper into her catalog, which seemingly had no weak spots. Banger after banger, hit after hit. Flash forward to 2017 when I saw her State of the World tour—it was absolute bliss! I danced along to hits like “That’s The Way Love Goes,” “Control.,” “All For You,” and “Rhythm Nation” with several tequila shots in my system. The crowd was delightfully rowdy, with dedicated fans mirroring her iconic choreography. It was the most fun I’ve ever had at an arena concert. If you’ve never had the pleasure of seeing Janet in the flesh—Ms. Jackson if you’re nasty—the time is now! AV 
Moda Center, Lloyd District (Tues June 20)

Portland Gay Men's Chorus: Disney Pride Past Event List
The Portland Gay Men's Chorus will kick off Pride month with a family-friendly Disney-themed concert featuring over 200 choral singers, a 25-piece orchestra, and projections of memorable scenes from your favorite Disney and Pixar movies. Expect songs from classics like The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, and Mary Poppins, plus newer favorites like Coco, Zootopia, and Wreck-It Ralph, along with solo performances and personal anecdotes that explore themes of love and acceptance. AV 
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks (June 24-25)


Made in Portland Past Event List
Responding to the question “What have you heard about Portland, and how does it make you feel?” a series of acclaimed choreographers commissioned by Oregon Ballet Theatre (including Princess Grace Award winner Rena Butler, Guggenheim Fellow Helen Simoneau, push/FOLD founder Samuel Hobbs, and OBT’s Makino Hayashi) will share their perspectives on the Rose City through dance. This immersive multimedia experience will also include Portland-based artists sharing their own musical, painting, and written works. LC  
Newmark Theatre, South Park Blocks (June 8-11)

Apparatus of Repair Past Event List
The culmination of Flyaway Productions' The Decarceration Trilogy: Dismantling the Prison Industrial Complex One Dance at a Time, this site-specific aerial dance performance aims to "transform the intimate healing process of restorative justice" with five female dancers "on the vertical surfaces of buildings." The collaborative work, created in partnership with community organizations and people directly impacted by incarceration, thinks closely about the traumatic impacts of the carceral system and imagines new possibilities. All performances will include a discussion with local restorative justice activists. LC 
NW 4th and Everett, Old Town-Chinatown (June 9-11)

Old Gods of Appalachia: The Price of Progress Past Event List
I'll go ahead and ask what we're all wondering: What eldritch horrors loom in the shrouded hills of old Appalachia?! Steve Shell and Cam Collins may be the only folks who know for sure. The co-creators of the fictional horror anthology podcast Old Gods of Appalachia summon a Lovecraftian level of macabre imagination to weave the web of an alternate, or "shadow" Appalachia. Historical elements may feel familiar, but Shell and Collins' hills and hollers are just a smidge off-kilter. The duo's live show will take the form of an old-timey radio play, which is already a pretty creepy format, if you think about it. A rotating cast of actors and musical performances will enhance your shivers. LC 
Revolution Hall, Buckman (Wed June 14)

2023 Risk/Reward Festival of New Performance Past Event List
Encouraging theater, music, and dance artists to experiment, push boundaries, and generally go buck wild, the juried Risk/Reward Festival showcases spankin' new works (all under 20 minutes) by regional indie performers each year. (Willamette Week calls it "speed dating for contemporary performance," and we have to agree.) This time around, seven Pacific Northwest creatives will strut their stuff—we're looking forward to Shannon Stewart's river, river, river, set within a Panera Bread—and the Portland Drag Theatre Workshop will stage a reading of theatrical works by cabaret and nightlife drag performers. LC 
The Judy Kafoury Center for Youth Arts, Downtown (June 23-25)


Ocean Vuong and Anis Mojgani Past Event List
Ocean Vuong made major waves in the literary world in 2019 with On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, an epistolary novel reflecting on loss, memory, and family; he's also an award-winning poet whose collection Night Sky With Exit Wounds won the T. S. Eliot Prize in 2017. Vuong will discuss his second poetry book, the New York Times-bestselling collection Time Is A Mother, during this visit to Portland. He'll be joined in conversation by Anis Mojgani, Oregon Poet Laureate, author of In the Pocket of Small Gods, and poetry hotline creator. Our tip: Before the event, listen to Vuong's tear-inducing March 2020 interview with journalist and podcaster Krista Tippett, in which he casually says things like "I want to take off the shoes of my voice, so that I can enter a place with care, so that I can do the work I need to," and “When the apocalypse comes, what will you put into the vessel for the future?” LC 
Powell's Books at Cedar Hills Crossing, Beaverton (Mon June 5)

Matt Baume and Mary O'Hara Past Event List
Cultural critic, pop culture YouTuber, and former Stranger staff writer Matt Baume will head to Portland in celebration of the release of his new book, Honey, I'm Homo! Sitcoms, Specials, and the Queering of American Culture, a deep dive into the "subversive" queer comedy storylines that transformed the American sitcom and continue to shape cultural attitudes toward LGBTQ+ folks today. Baume will be joined in conversation by Mary O'Hara, LGBTQ+ journalist and Powell’s PR and communications manager. LC 
Powell's City of Books, Pearl District (Fri June 9)

Guillermo del Toro in Conversation Past Event List
In celebration of the opening of Guillermo del Toro: Crafting Pinocchio Remind List , an 8,000-square-foot show centering the cinema nonconformist's stop-motion process, del Toro himself will head to Portland for an onstage conversation with Amy Dotson, the Portland Art Museum's curator of film and new media. The Guadalajara-born Academy Award winner will chat about his distinctive style and his connection to the artists at Portland animation studio ShadowMachine. (We're hoping he also shares the scoop on his next stop-motion project, which is based on Nobel Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel The Buried Giant.) LC  
Portland Art Museum, South Park Blocks (Fri June 23) edit

Ottessa Moshfegh and Sarah Marshall Past Event List
Love her or hate her, Ottessa Moshfegh knows how to generate buzz, and her 2022 novel Lapvona is no exception. It grapples with religion, terror, and the spirit world—you know, all that lighthearted stuff. Moshfegh's explicitly dour writing style stretches far back to a medieval fiefdom, following the young son of a village shepherd who just wants someone to love him in a freakishly cruel world where the veil is thin. For this conversation, she'll be joined by Sarah Marshall, whose podcast You're Wrong About attacks the myths embedded in modern history and pop culture. LC  
Powell's City of Books, Pearl District (Fri June 23)


Andrew Alba Past Event List
Self-taught painter and Mexican migrant worker descendant Andrew Alba will share more of his textured, larger-than-life compositions (we love Tamalitos and At the 7/11) in this solo exhibition, which spotlights pieces that borrow from neo-expressionist abstraction to think carefully about "our wildly complex sociopolitical present." Preach, Alba. For a deeper sense of his style, we recommend checking out this curious video of his staged "worker" sculptures, which were created in response to COVID-era conversations around "essential" work. ("Though many workers like myself are not deemed essential, we are still expected to leave our home every day and work for the upper class,” says Alba.) LC   
Froelick Gallery, Pearl District (June 1-July 29) 

Derek Franklin: Grief is on my calendar everyday at 2:00 p.m. Past Event List  
Derek Franklin, a Portland-based artist and the founding director of SE Cooper Contemporary, will present a new series of paintings and sculptures reflecting on the theater of the everyday and the violence woven into all structures of society. Grief is on my calendar everyday at 2:00 p.m. meditates on rituals of performance embedded in the minutiae of life—in Franklin's paintings, vases and plates serve as "objects that bear witness to the lives of their owners," and his distorted, stick-figure sculptures suggest the strange groundedness of common detritus. LC 
Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Pearl District (June 8-29)

Rembrandt and The Jews Past Event List
This exhibition of 22 etchings by Dutch Golden Age master Rembrandt reveals the artist's unique relationship with Amsterdam-based Jews of the era, who were mostly Sephardic refugees fleeing the Inquisition. Rembrandt consulted with Jewish theologians to interpret Old Testament narratives, and even depicted these scholars in etchings and painted portraits. LC 
Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, Pearl District (June 11-Sept 24)

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