What to Do in Portland (May 24-30, 2023)

If you love to discover new stories and talent, then you don’t want to miss the Oregon Short Film Festival at the Clinton.

GO: Portland Rose Festival Opening Night & Fireworks

In Portland, Memorial Day weekend—the unofficial kickoff to summer—always arrives with some extra pageantry because the city’s signature festival gets started on the same date. Friday marks the opening of CityFair, which will pack Waterfront Park with all of the traditional rides, games and food vendors you’d expect. Arrive early to claim a seat for the fireworks show that evening, which is choreographed to a special soundtrack. A full lineup of events is scheduled through late June, including the Starlight and Grand Floral parades, Dragon Boat Races, a Spring Rose Show and a sailors-gone-wild Fleet Week. Tom McCall Waterfront Park, 98 SW Naito Parkway, 503-227-2681, rosefestival.org. Opening ribbon cutting ceremony 5 pm, fireworks 9:50 pm Friday, May 26. Free. $12 general admission to CityFair.

DANCE: Afrobeats Meets Bollywood Dance Party

The brainchild of DJ Prashant in 2017, this event blends Afro-Caribbean and desi music, creating a fusion of sounds you won’t find anywhere else in Portland. The former Intel engineer is now the life of these late-night parties; he not only runs the turntables, but also works interactive dance lessons into sets to get everybody moving. Add one more task to that lineup at this gathering: director. DJ Prashant plans to shoot a music video at the venue, so come wearing your finest. Lola’s Room, 1332 W Burnside St., 503-225-0047, mcmenamins.com/crystal-ballroom/lolas-room. 8 pm Friday, May 26. $16 in advance, $20 at the door. 21+.

DANCE: Bikini Bottom Rave

Prepare to party in a pineapple under the sea: Bikini Bottom Rave (named after the city SpongeBob SquarePants calls home, for anyone who didn’t tune in to the Nickelodeon cartoon) is a celebration of the iconic yellow character set to music. Costumes are encouraged, though maybe don’t forgo pants if you want to pay tribute to SpongeBob’s crotchety neighbor, Squidward. A murderers’ row of EDM DJs will keep the party going until 2 am, so bring that youthful energy. Rainbow City, 301 NW 4th Ave., 971-212-2097, rainbow-city.org. 8 pm Friday, May 26. $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

DRINK: Portland Farmhouse and Wild Ale Festival

The maintained grounds of a golf course might not say “17th century Belgium farmstead,” but that will be your view while sipping well-crafted farmhouse ales behind Von Ebert’s eastside location. The Portland Farmhouse and Wild Ale Festival returns to the paved and covered pavilion at Glendoveer Golf Course with 50 beers made by 25 breweries. You can expect saisons, bière de gardes and grisettes from esteemed producers like Hill Farmstead, Fair Isle, Alesong and The Ale Apothecary—and if you’re truly a fan of these funky, tart and earthy beverages, attend the event on both days since the tap lists will not repeat. Glendoveer Golf Course, 14015 NE Glisan St., portlandfarmhousefest.com. 4-9 pm Friday, noon-9 pm Saturday, May 26-27. $35 general admission, $50 VIP.

DRINK: Hip Chicks Do Wine Memorial Day Weekend Tasting

Start embracing summer vibes with Hip Chicks Do Wine’s special Memorial Day weekend tasting menus. Two flights will be available to purchase; one includes a sangria while the other comes with truffles made by local chocolatier A Yen for Chocolate. Can’t decide between the two? Why not get both? Dessert wine fans will also want to tack on a tasting of three ports. Hip Chicks Do Wine, 4510 SE 23rd Ave., 503-234-3790, hipchicksdowine.com. 2-7 pm Friday, noon-7 pm Saturday, noon-5 pm Sunday, May 26-28.

GO: 2nd Annual Holi Spring Harvest Fest

Get ready for the messiest festival of the year. While Holi traditionally takes place in March to usher in spring, the conditions at Topaz Farm are typically more enjoyable come late May (you want to get covered in colored powder at this event, not mud). Plus, the spirit of the holiday—rejuvenation—still applies, since we’re emerging from a chilly, wet start to the season. You can expect music, dancing lessons and South Asian food vendors like Big Elephant Kitchen and Bhuna. Each ticket comes with a packet of organic colored powder, so you can get to slinging right off the bat. Like last year’s inaugural festival, sales will benefit farmers in India who are facing drought and distress. Topaz Farm, 17100 NW Sauvie Island Road, topazfarm.com. 4 pm Saturday, May 27. $25 for individuals 17 years and older, $15 for kids ages 6 to 16, children younger than 6 get in free.

WATCH: West Side Story

Oregon Symphony hosts a special screening of this iconic film by playing the score live as it’s projected. Sure, West Side Story’s performances were amazing, the choreography was brilliant, but the songs by Leonard Bernstein (music) and Stephen Sondheim (lyrics) are unforgettable and will probably get stuck in your head after this event. Don’t miss this chance to see, on the big screen, why the picture won 10 Academy Awards and became an American classic. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, 503-228-1353, orsymphony.org. 7:30 pm Saturday, May 27. $25-$115.

WATCH: Oregon Short Film Festival Spring 2023

Fans of indie films, assemble! If you love to discover new stories and talent, then you don’t want to miss the Oregon Short Film Festival at the Clinton. This daylong screening is actually part of a four-times-a-year program, and spring’s edition features amazing works by budding directors in multiple genres. Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton St., 971-808-3331, cstpdx.com. Noon–9 pm Monday, May 29.

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