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Summer events coming in hot to Portland

Make the most of the warm weather with this list of the best local events and activities happening this summer.

Spectators at the PDX Adult Soapbox Derby watch with big smiles on their faces as a racer zooms by on a trike with a mounted alligator head on the front.

The PDX Adult Soapbox Derby is a must for any Portland bucket list.

Summer’s here and Portland is so ready. From live music and Memorial Day celebrations to hiking and festivals, summer is when the City of Roses comes alive.

Get ready to get outside with this guide featuring 25 summer events — including ideas for the Fourth of July — happening between May and August.

Black cowboys hang out in the pen at the 8 Seconds Juneteenth Rodeo.  They're wearing wide rimmed 10 gallon hates and vests with patches.

Organizers of “the first Black rodeo in the Pacific Northwest” expect 7,200 attendees in the second year.

Photo by Ivan McClellan/8 Seconds Juneteenth Rodeo

Holidays are here

Multnomah County Fair | Saturday, May 25-Monday, May 27 | Oaks Amusement Park, Portland

Memorial Day Weekend brings loads of family fun, with rides, musical and stage performances, a car show, pioneer village, competitive agriculture exhibits, as well as small animal activities.

Do Good Ruck March | Monday, May 27 | University of Portland, Varsity Sports Practice Field, 5000 N. Willamette Blvd., Portland

Support veterans’ mental health by joining this Memorial Day fundraiser where you and your team will work together to conquer a military fitness test over varying distances. Registration is $50.

Eight Seconds Juneteenth Rodeo | Sunday, June 16 | Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 300 N. Ramsay Way, Portland

Portland-based photojournalist Ivan McClellan started this event in 2023 as a “thrilling celebration of Black cowboys, cowgirls, and western culture.” It’s back for a second year, featuring live music from DJ O.G.ONE, soul food, apparel vendors, and giveaways, all culminating in a wild night of bull riding, barrel racing, and more.

4th of July Spectacular | Thursday, July 4 | Oaks Amusement Park, Portland

This fireworks show dazzles watchers further upriver. For optimal viewing, bring your lawn chairs and set up on the bluff above Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge — the entire neighborhood comes out along Southeast Sellwood Boulevard. Pro tip: Parking will be severely limited, but you can take the MAX Orange Line to the SE Bybee Boulevard station and walk.

The Rose Festival Queen waves from a parade float that has the White Stag Sign as a background.

Who will be the Rose Festival Queen for 2024?

Festivals for everyone

Portland Rose Festival | Friday, May 24-Sunday, June 9 | Locations vary

From the Grand Floral Parade to CityFair, this civic tradition dates back to 1907. The excitement isn’t solely reserved for dry land either; Fleet Week brings massive ships up the Willamette River as well as dragon boat races.

Festival of Balloons | June 21-23 | Cook Family Park, 17005 SW 92nd Ave., Tigard

We’re not blowing hot air when we tell you this combination of carnival attractions, hot air balloon rides, and concerts is fun for the whole family. The kids will never forget waking up early to watch as the colorful craft lift off for sunrise voyages through the sky.

Oregon Midsummer Festival | Friday, June 28-Saturday, June, 29 | Nordic Northwest, 8800 SW Oleson Rd., Portland

Leave your mark on the Midsummer pole, craft your own flower crown, indulge in Nordic food and drink alongside Vikings, say hello to Ole Bolle the troll, and enjoy outdoor music.

Pedalpalooza | June-August | Locations vary

Portland’s annual summertime bike festival is back and once again bringing cyclists together on themed excursions. Feel free to add your own event to the calendar, or join one of the upcoming outings like the “Pasta Costume Ride” or the “Old School Hip-Hop Ride.”

Portland Highland Games | Saturday, July 20 | Mt. Hood Community College, 26000 SE Stark St., Gresham

Don your finest kilt and dive into Scottish culture. Learn history of the country at clan tents, tap your feet to bagpipe and fiddle performances, and cheer on participants of the traditional dances and athletic competitions.

PDX Adult Soapbox Derby | Saturday, Aug. 17 | Mount Tabor Park, Portland

It’s all downhill in the best way at this annual event, which brings thousands to the slopes of Portland’s very own volcano. Get there early to secure a prime viewing spot; you won’t want to miss any of the wacky costumes and themed carts.

The Gay Beards celebrate Pride in Portland.

Rainbow suspenders are optional, but highly encouraged.

Photo by @thegaybeards

Show your Pride

Portland Gay Prides Pageant | Sunday, June 9 | Melody Event Center, 615 SE Alder St.

Visibility, education, and celebration are the “Recipe for Success” at this competition of passion and pizzazz. Crowns will be presented in three categories: theme look, formal wear, and talent.

Thorns and Timbers Pride Northwest Fundraisers | Saturday, June 8 + Saturday, June 29 | Providence Park, 1844 SW Morrison St., Portland

Our hometown soccer squads are partnering with Pride Northwest for visibility and fundraising during two games in June. Discounted tickets are available to purchase through the nonprofit.

Rose City PrideCon | Saturday, June 22 | Locations vary

Paint the town for this bar crawl of epic proportions, which will visit 10+ venues and feature a massive group photo. Make sure you make it to the free after party, too.

Portland Pride Waterfront Festival & Parade | Saturday, July 20-Sunday, July 21 | Locations vary

This year’s theme is “Feast and Love,” celebrating 30 years of Pride Northwest with activities for all to enjoy, regardless of age, gender, or background. Entry is donation based, but no one will be turned away if cost is a barrier.

Fireworks explode above a packed crowd at Portland's Waterfront Blues Festival, illuminating the nearby Hawthorne Bridge and soundstage in an orange glow.

The music is electric and the show is pyrotechnic at the Waterfront Blues Festival.

Photo courtesy of Waterfront Blue Festival

Outdoor movies, concerts, and comedy

Waterfront Blues Festival | Thursday, July 4-Sunday, July 7 | Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland

Happiness is sitting by the river taking in shows from headliners like Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals and Lucinda Williams. To make sure the vibes stay good, keep in mind that the event’s outside food and drink policy will look a little different moving forward.

Pickathon | Thursday, Aug. 1-Sunday, Aug. 4 | Pendarvis Farm, 16581 SE Hagen Rd., Happy Valley

After surviving a permit scare that put its future in doubt, this “experiential music festival” will return to the woods of Clackamas County to showcase rising stars and yet-unknowns on the music scene across almost every genre.

PDX Live | Wednesdsay, Aug. 7-Wednesday, Aug. 21| Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland

Huge acts including Mt. Joy, Sleater-Kinney, and Yo La Tengo are bringing the noise to downtown Portland during this popular series organized by The Square and True West.

Comedy In the Park | Dates TBD | Laurelhurst Park, Portland

Laugh on the lawn alongside hundreds of fellow funny people fans, where a line-up of talented stand-ups from near and far perform for free.

Flick on the Bricks | Dates TBD | Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland

Each summer, “Portland’s Living Room” really leans into its nickname, inviting citizens to cozy up in front of the big screen for feature films.

Two people wearing sunglasses and hats cheers their Zoo Brew pint glasses with the sun setting in the background.

Zoo Brew admission includes a souvenir glass and 10 drink samples.

Photo courtesy of Oregon Zoo

Eat, drink, and shop

Zoo Brew | Friday, June 7-Saturday, June 8 | Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Rd., Portland

Lagers and pilsners and stouts, oh my. Take a walk on the wild side and drink the wares of 50+ local breweries and cideries. There will also be zoo keeper chats and interactions with ambassadors animals, plus lawn games and music.

Snack Fest | Friday, June 14-Saturday, June 15 | 100 SE Alder St., Portland

Take a big bite out of this celebration of Portland’s foodie ingenuity, spanning the scrumptious spectrum from food trucks to retail.

Portland Night Market | Friday, July 12-Saturday, July 13 | 100 SE Alder St., Portland

Bring your friends and family to the summer edition of this indoor/outdoor market featuring 140+ local vendors, live music, photo ops, food and drinks, and more.

Alt Wine Fest | Sunday, July 14 | 10280 NE Oak Springs Farm Rd., Carlton

It’s a chance to shine a spotlight on Oregon wines that aren’t pinot noir, and you’re invited. Get unlimited pours from 32 winemakers and take advantage of shuttle services from Portland.

Fuji to Hood | Saturday, July 20 | The Redd, 831 SE Salmon St., Portland

Brewers from Japan and Portland collaborate on unique recipes at this exhibition of beermaking talent which alternates between the City of Roses and Tokyo every other year. Attendees can also enjoy Japanese-inspired arts and culture vendors set to live music and entertainment.

Craft Beer & Wine Fest | Friday, Aug. 9-Sunday, Aug. 11 | Esther Short Park, 605 Esther St., Vancouver

This weekend-long party entertains with cover bands, delicious eats, and of course plenty of the finest craft beverages around. Stop by on the final day for “Kill the Kegs” where every pint is $5.

Seasonal essentials

  • Tired of losing your sunglasses in the water? These floating sunglasses provide optimal clarity and comfort for all your summer adventures.
  • Shield yourself from the sun while adding a touch of flair to your outfit with one of our hats.
  • This iceless cooler keeps your drinks cold for 7 hours.
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