It ain't no Manifest Destiny of God-fearing hordes hitting the Oregon Trail to civilize us Northwest natives, but watch out anyway, because hundreds of alt-newsweekly types are coming to Portland.

The 30th annual convention of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies begins its three-day run Thursday, June 14. And wait till you see our visiting kin engage in some good old-fashioned, unadulterated, convention-style barn raising.

According to the convention's blog (see, many of the nearly 600 attendees are already fretting about the weather, looking for a "bike library" and signing up to tour the real Portland of strip bars on BarFly's bar bus. (Remember, attendees, it may look like a school bus, but it's...well, it's actually a school bus. Behave.)

Yes, they've come to have fun (and network), and for this they are prepared. "The hope is," says the convention's Mad Libs-style website welcome, penned by convention chair (and WW's own) Byron Beck, "that we will all drink ourselves into a [adjective] stupor, and imagine ourselves to be [adjective] [name of former First Lady plural] in the middle of the [adjective] street at [time of early morning], [verb describing bodily function with attaching '-ing'], in true Portland fashion."

Welcome to Portland. You'll do just fine.

Just to give the rest of our readers an idea of what a stupendous weekend this will be, WW put together this handy chart comparing the convention with other recent conventions large and small that have filled Portland with complete strangers.