Until now this column has dealt with locations you visit for a couple of hours. Since this is the last column until fall, things will be changed up. These are more than locations, they’re events that can take up a whole day, perhaps even a whole weekend.
The all-ages option is the Portland Saturday Market, not to be confused with the Skidmore market which takes place at the same time in relatively the same area.
The Saturday Market, now 41 years old, has strict requirements for vendors. The 240 individual booths of crafts and specialty items are arranged like a bazaar.
Besides the vendor booths, there are also food carts with an international flair. Many of Portland’s food carts that are now scattered around the city started out as part of this event.
There is always some sort of entertainment at the Saturday Market, usually of the musical variety.
The Max Blue Line can be taken from the Hillsboro transit center all the way to the Burnside Skidmore stop where both of these markets are located.
The markets also share the same schedule. They’re open every Saturday and Sunday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. running from March until December. They stay open the week before Christmas every day, closing on Christmas Eve.
Across the tracks, the Skidmore market also has booths, but the vendors’ wares are generally mass-produced. However there is often good food and entertainment as well.
One block toward the river is Tom McCall Waterfront Park. It was once a highway that was converted into a long grassy park area. From Cinco de Mayo weekend through August, Waterfront Park plays host to many festivals such as the Rose Festival, Blues Festival, Oregon Brewers Festival, and the Bite of Oregon Festival.
The 27th annual Waterfront Blues Festival will be held July 5-6, 2014.
Internationally known blues groups highlight this festival. The door fee can be covered by donating food to the Oregon Food Bank. The festival concludes with fireworks on July 4.
Besides the blues performances, there are multiple events held all along the 20 or so blocks that encompass Waterfront Park.
The Bite of Oregon is a weekend-long festival event that highlights interesting Oregon foods and restaurants. Generally closing out the summer, it’s scheduled Aug. 8-10 at Waterfront Park.
Oregon’s Waterfront Park also hosts the 27th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival on July 23-27. This Brewers Festival draws a large crowd of revelers and connoisseurs alike.