Best Things To Do

The Best Things To Do in Portland This Week: Oct 4-10, 2021

Portland Open Studios Tour, Wing Week, KATER's Ghosts, Ghouls & Goblins Art Show
October 3, 2021
OMSI's Mandela: The Official Exhibition will give you the chance to view personal memorabilia from the iconic freedom fighter up close. (OMSI)

The first full week of October is off to a fine start, with a plethora of interesting activities beckoning you out of the house. Choose your own adventure during the Portland Open Studios Tour, see comedian Jacqueline Novak's highly praised Get On Your Knees Tour, gobble down plates of $6 wings at Wing Week, or try to discern the mysterious identity of the anonymous artist KATER at his new show Ghosts, Ghouls & Goblins. For more delicious ways to kick off the festive and cozy season, check out our guide on where to find pumpkin specials and our 20 favorite coffee shops in town.

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Taste America: Portland
This year, in order to be more conscious of COVID safety and comply with health regulations, the prestigious James Beard Foundation's annual Taste America dinners will take on a more intimate form. For this event, Mariah and Tom Pisha-Duffly of Oma's Hideaway and Gado Gado and Maya Okada Erickson of LangBaan will prepare a multi-course menu that showcases their cooking styles, with dishes like fermented beef rib satay, roti canai with braised rabbit curry, wok-fried Brussels sprouts, and sangkaya kabocha squash, complemented by beverage pairings. Guests will also receive a swag bag to commemorate the evening.
Gado Gado, Hollywood District


The Moth StorySLAM
Storytellers will craft five-minute tales revolving around the theme "legends." Marvel at the different direction each speaker takes, whether they wax on about a long-standing urban myth, tell the astounding feats of a larger than life icon, or dig into the mythos of their family history.
The Old Church, Downtown



Bianca del Rio: Unsanitized
Drag Race season six winner and fan fave Bianca Del Rio is "vaxxed, waxed, and has more attitude than ever," which should make for some rip-roaring laughs in her brand new comedy tour Unsanitized. Del Rio is the first drag queen ever to headline London's Wembley Stadium, so you know she knows how to put on a show.
Revolution Hall, Buckman



KATER’s Ghosts, Ghouls & Goblins Art Show
Anonymous graffiti artist KATER presents a limited time exhibition of ghoulish scenes and characters. The artist, who has amassed a cult following, is a recent transplant to Portland. All work on display will be up for sale, and the first 10 visitors at the First Thursday opening reception will snag a prize.
Chaos Gallery, Pearl District


The Thesis
Portland's premier hip hop showcase makes its monthly return, hosted by Verbz as always, but this time around featuring flows from Sour Deez, Wavy Josef, MADGESDIQCEG, and Hinnessy Da Goon.
Kelly’s Olympian, Downtown


Wicker Man Double Feature
Part of their month-long celebration of horror, Clinton St. Theater presents a Wicker Man double feature. Each has their virtues—the original (1973) is considered a gem of British cinema and was called "the Citizen Kane of horror movies" by film mag Cinefantastique, while the American remake is comically bad (as is often the case) but still a revisited cult classic.
Clinton St. Theater, Hosford-Abernethy



Men I Trust
Let the dreamy vocals of frontwoman Emmanuelle Proulx help you unwind from the stress of the weekly grind. The Montreal indie pop band is touring on the heels of their latest release Untourable Album... so color us curious on how this show's gonna go down.
Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn



Moles & Stews Festival
In continuation of Portland Mercado's Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations, the collective will offer complex and traditional moles from Oaxaca and stews from all over Latin America and beyond to warm your heart and soul. We can't think of a better way to start off soup season.
Portland Mercado, Mt. Scott-Arleta


The Maker’s Fair
Makers Union PDX is putting together two of Portland's favorite things—beer and makers—in this street fair where you can shop locally made goods, enjoy some craft brews from co-hosts Hammer & Stitch, and grab a bite or two.
Hammer & Stitch Brew Co., Northwest


Circo Tropical: A South American Circus Party
Celebrate the diversity of vibrant Central and South American cultures with Peruvian music from Grupo Masato and Brazilian music from Bloco Alegria, DJ Blas pumping out danceable beats, performances by aerialists, jugglers, and stilt walkers, food from Favela Brazilian Café, and a Famosinha Cachaça tasting.
The Circus Project Domes, South Waterfront 


Quinn XCII & Chelsea Cutler – Stay Next To Me Tour
Close friends and collaborators Quinn XCII and Chelsea Cutler are staying next to each other on their biggest tour to date. (Cutler's first ever tour was opening for Quinn in 2018.) Expect the two artists to perform their collabs "Little Things," "Flare Guns," and of course "Stay Next To Me."
Edgefield, Troutdale



Jacqueline Novak: Get On Your Knees
With a New York Times "Critic's Pick" stamp of approval, comedian Jacqueline Novak’s one-woman show Get On Your Knees discusses all manner of sexual activities in an "unexpectedly philosophical" manner. The show has also been lauded by the likes of Ilana Glazer, Miranda July, Amy Sedaris, and John Mulaney if you won't take the NYT's word for it.
Revolution Hall, Buckman



Portland Mercury’s Wing Week
Have a pile of napkins at the ready while you dig into a plate of $6 specially-sauced drums and flats at 24 of Portland's best bars and restaurants. Maybe have some carrot and celery sticks for good measure... or don't.
Various locations (Monday-Sunday)

Olympia Oyster Bar at Function
Chef Maylin Chavez resurrects the beloved Olympia Oyster Bar, slinging a seasonal, oyster-centric seafood menu at Function in collaboration with winemaker Cristina Gonzales of Gonzales Wine Company, pastry chef Palmira Obeso of Here for the Cakes, and the farmhouse brewery Wolves & People.
Function, Nob Hill (Friday-Sunday)


Portland Open Studios Tour 2021
Get an inside look at the studios of over 100 participating artists across the city who represent a vast variety of media. You'll get to take a glimpse at works in progress and chat with artists about their process in this unique and intimate opportunity.
Various locations (Saturday-Sunday)


Shakey Graves
The one-man (Alejandro Rose-Garcia) Americana act has evolved immensely since its early days. His debut album, Roll Your Bones, blew up after being released on the relatively new at the time Bandcamp, and was re-released this year for its 10th anniversary. Rose-Garcia still nods to his roots on the platform, releasing free music every year on February 9th, which was christened Shakey Graves Day by his hometown mayor. Pick your speed: Friday's seated, 21+ show, or Saturday’s all-ages mostly standing-room affair at the Roseland.
Revolution Hall (Friday) & Roseland Theater (Saturday)

The husband/wife duo Tennis are known for the lo-fi, retro sound they’ve been perfecting over six years of performing and several albums. Catch them on one of two nights with support from chanteuse Molly Burch.
Wonder Ballroom, Eliot (Monday-Tuesday)

Wilco - Ode To Joy Tour
With 11 studio albums, plus a live album and more collaboration albums under their belts, Grammy-winning band Wilco has established themselves as alt-rock royalty. Their two-night stint in Portland will feature their well-received 2019 "protest record" Ode to Joy.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks (Tuesday-Wednesday)


Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Musical
Join the Funhouse Lounge for their grand re-opening show, a live musical theater parody of the 1992 cult classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The original girl to slay all day, Buffy is a high school cheerleader who has the high stakes (pun absolutely intended) job of vanquishing vampires. This unique take on the film (not the TV show!) will be packed with humor, dance numbers, pop culture references, and a soundtrack of familiar pop hits.
Funhouse Lounge, Hosford-Abernethy (Thursday-Saturday)


Mandela: The Official Exhibition
Created in collaboration with Nelson Mandela's family, friends, and colleagues, this global exhibition tells the story of the anti-apartheid revolutionary and political leader through personal memorabilia. With the freedom fighter's wisdom still remaining relevant in today's politically tense society, this look into the recent past can help us create a better future.
OMSI, Central Eastside (Saturday-Sunday; opening)

Part of Converge 45's Portland's Memorials and Monuments Project (PMMP), this exhibition starts a discourse on the intersection of artistry and civic engagement, imploring the public to ask not just who gets memorialized but by whom, when, why, and how? Explore a collection of artwork, projects, and proposals from over 30 artists who examine the past and future of public monuments.
Skanska USA, Pearl District (Thursday-Saturday; closing)


26th Annual H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival
This year, Lovecraft fans have the opportunity to stream the festival from the comfort of their own homes. The cosmic horror fest features several shorts blocks with filmmaker Q&As, a special 10th anniversary presentation of The Whisperer in Darkness with some fine folks from the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, plus streaming-exclusive bonuses that weren’t shown during the in-person part of the festival.
Virtual (Oct 8-10)