It is hard to believe that Memorial Day weekend is already almost here! If you have yet to figure out how to spend your long weekend, you do not have to look any further than your own backyard, as there are plenty of May things to do in Portland. Experience a few of the features that make the city unique, like wonderful wines and beers, the lively biking community and the many flowers found in the city; after all, Portland is the city of roses. It looks like Portland is due to have a fabulous weekend in terms of weather, so there is no better time to get out and explore the city.
Taste or Cycle Your Way Through Portland
Wine and bike enthusiasts rejoice! This long weekend grants to you the opportunity to immerse yourself in either your favorite grapes or the creative world of cycling or a mix of both if you desire. Travel to Williamette Valley for Memorial Weekend in the Wine Country where you can sample wines from over 150 wineries and tasting rooms in the area. Relax and take in stunning views while you taste new wines from your favorite labels, sample food and specialty wine pairings, listen to live music, tour a winery or enjoy a vineyard picnic.
If bikes and films are more your speed, check out the 13th Annual Filmed by Bike Festival, which features the best bike movies from around the world. The event kicks off with a street party hosted by New Belgium, where attendees can enjoy live entertainment, a speed raffle, a beer garden, a video storytelling booth as well as a photo booth. During the festival, you can get a glimpse into worldwide bicycle cultures by watching these 50 short films that have been produced as close to home as right here in Portland, to as far as way as Slovenia, Hungary, Portugal, Australia, France and Ireland. Throughout the festival there will also be variety of special events each day, such as filmmaker question and answer sessions, a panel discussion on women in cycling and a biking brewery tour with the filmmakers.
Stop to Smell the Flowers and Enjoy the Festivals in the City of Roses
Celebrate the city of Portland with the CityFair, also known as the Rose Festival. The event opens on May 22 just time for Memorial Day weekend and continues to run for the two subsequent weekends, ensuring you get a chance to enjoy the fair. On the first night of the fair there will be a dance party and concert as well as gigantic fireworks display. The second weekend of the Fair is filled with more music, and activities that are also great for the whole family, like an exotic animal zoo, arts and crafts, and treasures from past festivals in the Rose Festival Museum. This weekend you can also watch the ever popular Starlight Parade that has been a Portland tradition since the early 1900s. About 100 illuminated floats, some of which are even hand built, along with marching bands and other community groups parade down through the city. Festival-goers in the mood to continue partying after parade, can attend the first ever Starlight After-Party in the Rose Festival “RoZone” and dance the night away to Sir Mix-A-Lot, Crazy 8s and Nu Shooz. The third and final weekend is a treat for those interested in all things maritime, as it highlights Fleet Week with ships from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and Canadian Maritime Forces.
Luckily, all the fun events in Portland do not end with Memorial Day weekend, in fact it is just the beginning. The following weekend starts another renowned festival in the city, the Festival of Flowers, which takes place in the heart of Portland. Every year the Pioneer Courthouse Square collaborates with a local artist or design firm to create a colorful design that spans the Square grounds out of thousands of plants and flowers. This year’s design, titled “Donut Trip” celebrates two Portland classics, coffee and donuts. The design has yet to be created, but the site plan for it looks pretty incredible. While you will want to make sure you catch sight of these flowers when they are on display, the festival is followed by a flower sale where you can cheaply purchase the plants used to make the design.