Portland Events and Festivals 2015


Portland has many great events and festivals each year, and 2015 is no exception. If you are planning a trip to Portland, plan around a Portland event and make it special. Want a Portland music festival? How about MusicfestNW, What The Festival, or Waterfront Blue Festival? Want a more unusual Portland event? Try the Portland Pirate Festival or the Adult Soapbox Derby. There are great film festivals in Portland, too, such as the Portland International Film Festival. Want a running event in Portland? Try the Portland Marathon or the Hood to Coast Relay. And don't forget great food events: check out Feast Portland, Bite of Oregon, and Eat Mobile, a food cart extravaganza. The events below are just a sample of things going on. I suggest you get the 12-month wall calendar that has all the Portland events and their dates on it. (If you don't want to buy it, you can still see all of the events on the BigWeekendCalendars.com website for free.)

Adult Soapbox Derby

Join the fun on Mt. Tabor! Watch people in hilarious costumes hurl themselves down the side of a volcanic cinder cone in homemade, gravity-powered vehicles.

Art in the Pearl

This massive fine arts and crafts festival in Portland's North Park Blocks includes world music, hands-on activities, and artist demonstrations.

Bite of Oregon

A tour de force of the local culinary scene, it spotlights celebrity chefs, well-known restaurants, wineries, and breweries and raises money for Special Olympics Oregon.

Eat Mobile

Sample grub from Willamette Week's favorite food carts and see which one receives the coveted Carty Award. This is a great way to get to know some of Portland's most beloved food carts. Admission includes all food.

Feast Portland

Presented by Bon Appétit, it's a perfect snapshot of Oregon cuisine: demos by all-star chefs, lots to eat and drink, and proceeds go toward ending world hunger. Join the PDX food community!

Filmed by Bike

Watch 8-minute, bike-centric films produced by independent filmmakers around the world at Clinton Street Theater. Prepare for one wild block party on opening night!

Hood to Coast Relay

It's 199 miles from Mt. Hood to the beach, and more than 12,000 runners do it every summer. It's one of the largest relay races on earth, and the beach party at the finish touts bands, food, and libation.

Lights on Peacock Lane

It's one of the best light displays in Portland. Tudor-style homes and Christmas lights - every house on the street shines. The lane is pedestrian only for one or two nights each year. Traffic can be thick at other times, so it can be nice just parking and walking.

Macy's Holiday Parade/Tree Lighting Ceremony

Issuing in the holiday season, the parade winds through downtown in the morning. Get there early for this very popular event. In the evening, the Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place in Pioneer Square.

Mississippi Ave Street Fair

Over 200 vendors, multiple stages, and free admission makes this one of Portland's most popular street fairs. Enjoy the Rib-Off Competition and an exclusive local beer and wine garden.


A straight shot of independent and underground music, it features over 100 bands in venues across the city. In conjunction, check out sister-event TechFestNW.

Oregon Brewers Festival

Oregon's illustrious brewers bring their beer to you in Tom McCall Park. Taste, learn about homebrewing, and check out book signings.

Oregon Lavender Festival

When the scent of lavender fills the air, it's time to hit the countryside and find the source. Choose from numerous farms and activities.

PDX Pop Now!

See what NW music is all about at this free, all-ages, grassroots festival showcasing emerging bands. Past performers include the Decemberists and The Shins.

Pints to Pasta 10k

Voted the Best 10K in the Northwest six years in a row, this race goes through downtown then ends with everyone sharing pasta and beer.

Polish Festival

Better begin practicing how to say "cheers" in Polish, this free fest has great food, live polka, dancing, and more. Na zdrowie!

Portland Historic Races

These classic, historic race cars aren't even close to being ready for the gerat junkyard in the sky: Watch them burn rubber at the Portland International Raceway.

Portland International Film Festival

The largest film fest in Oregon features over 140 international film premieres as well as interviews with directors and cinematic parties galore.

Portland Pirate Festival

Great for families and renegades alike, it provides sword fighting lessons and nautical history all in one place. Don't miss the ship-to-shore cannon battles, but please do watch out.

Portland Pride Festival & Parade

Diversity rocks! Party with DJs on Saturday and then, on Sunday, get ready for one of the city's biggest parades

Portland Rose Festival

It's Portland's parade! Celebrate the best city on earth with flowery floats, marching bands, equestrian shows, and loads of local pride.

Portland Swap Meet

The largest automotive swap meet weekend on the West Coast, the event is two miles long (you'll need a go kart just to get around)! Over 3,000 vendors supply hard to find parts for classic cars.

Reach The Beach

The courses, appropriate for both pro and amateur distance cyclists, vary in length but always end with a beach party. Help to raise money for the American Lung Association!

Waterfront Blues Festival

Leading blues musicians get together to rock on the banks of the Willamette River. Bands play after-hours sessions and even take the stage on the cruise ship, Portland Spirit. Don't forget to bring a couple cans of non-perishable food for Oregon Food Bank.

Sand in the City

Bringing the beach to Pioneer Courthouse Square: 450 tons of sand and some of the most impressive sand sculptures ever. With over 200 competitors, there's bound to be mind-boggling creativity.

Sasquatch! Music Festival

Head to the Washington side of the Gorge to hear the newest singer-songwriters and indie rock and folk bands at this huge music fest. Past headliners include Massive Attack, Ween, and My Morning Jacket. The surroundings are ideal for camping, even if the all-night parties make it impossible to sleep.

Shamrock Run

The unofficial kick off to foot racing season, it is one of the largest runs on the West Coast, with races for both kids and pros. It's also a great way to get in shape with friends and family!

The Portland Marathon

Sign up early to ensure a spot. The course winds through downtown, along the river, and through historic neighborhoods.

What The Festival

This massive festival offers micro-experiences, from a gigantic wading pool and a micro film fest to big-name musical acts, all in the desert on the far side of Mt. Hood.


Don't miss this unique sight: zoo animals frolicking in the form of one million holiday lights. There are even real animals wandering among the displays and a well-lit choo-choo train chugging, too.