What To Do On August 17 In Portland


Tom McCall Waterfront Park on better days, i.e. no Nazis

As you probably know, right-wing bigot hordes are expected to invade Portland to proclaim their warped worldview; Antifa is planning on responding. There may be violence. Many Portlanders are wondering what to do about it all—some are choosing to carry on with their lives as planned, some are planning on heading to downtown to either protest or observe.

If you’re going to be downtown resisting bigotry, know that Snack Bloc will be there for you. They will helm a support table at PopMob’s The Spectacle: “We will have snacks, GF snacks, kid friendly snacks, sweet snacks, salty snacks, dog water, people water, small soaps, light groceries, stuff for your period and a chill zone, don’t know about puppy therapy yet. We will have ushers if you need someone to escort you safely to the bathroom or to your car.”

So what is The Spectacle? It is efforts of creativity and absurdity in the face of darkness. It is  a chance to witness and partake in “the biggest, weirdest, most spectacular costumes, performances, and other fun activities.” It highlights Portland’s reputation as the weirdest city in the country. “Let’s be weirder and more absurd than we’ve ever been before.”

If you are unable to be downtown, or simply don’t want to be downtown for whatever reason, there is nothing wrong with that. Some feel that carrying one’s life out in the open is a form of resistance; and frankly, there are some people that may want to protest but for whatever reason they are occupied with things like childcare, health issues, and work schedules.

During these difficult times, I’m reminded of a friend who grew up in El Salvador in the 70s and 80s who told me a story years ago. Her mother told her she could do one of two things during at time fraught with violence in their country: live her life or hide in fear. I choose to live my life and enjoy the riches Portland has to offer, so I’ll be out and about on Saturday. And believe you me, Portland has a lot to offer this weekend. Here’s a rundown of a select group of food-oriented events on Saturday (copy written by individual event organizers), some of which can help you feel more at ease in the world by learning about another culture.

Fall & Winter Vegetable Gardening – CH
Dennis’ 7 Dees Cedar Hills Garden Center, 10455 SW Butner Road, Portland

It’s early August and your vegetable garden should be in its glory days! Come learn how to keep your edibles happy through the summer, tips to maximize and creatively use your harvests, and how to prepare for the fall and winter growing season. Free class; pre-registration required. More information.

Portland Hot Sauce Expo
OMSI Bridge Lot, 1945 SE Water Avenue, Portland

Witness the insanity of the Stage of Doom, FREE Hot Sauce Tastings, Enjoy Our Selection of Craft Beers & Specialty Cocktails with Amazing Food Vendors from BBQ to Vegan. Tickets are from $7 to $75. More information.

O-bon : Sapporo Cultural Festival
Portland Japanese Garden, 611 SW Kingston Avenue, Portland

Join us on Saturday, August 17 in an O-bon celebration open to the public. The Garden will celebrate the more lively aspects of the O-bon festival including the bon-odori ( 盆踊り / Bon dance) plus additional music, food, and drinks. Free with Garden admission. More information.

Adult Beverage Tasting
Portland Fruit East, 8040 SE Foster Road, Portland

Portland Fruit East is excited to invite you in on August 17,
from 12pm to 3pm where Portland Cider and Level Brewing Co. will be sampling their amazing products. We can’t wait to see you join us for a fun day in the sun. More information.

2019 Homowo & Twins Festival of Ghana
Da Vinci Middle School, 2508 NE Everett Street, Portland

Come enjoy food, dancing, music and performances at the annual HOMOWO & Twins Festival in Portland, OR! More information.

The Exchange: A Multi-cultural Day Market
SE Uplift, 3534 Southeast Main Street, Portland

The Exchange is a multi-cultural day market that brings together food, art, and performances from a wide spectrum of our community. We want to highlight and make space to support local vendors of color and their respective crafts. Our mission is to make meaningful connections across perceived differences to create more vibrant communities. FREE. Registration. More information.

Oakshire Beer Hall & Biba! CHamoru Kitchen Grand Opening Party!
5013 NE 42nd Avenue, Portland

We are throwing an island bash! Join us on Saturday, August 17th for a day celebrating the grand opening of the Oakshire Beer Hall and BIBA! CHamoru Kitchen at 5013 NE 42nd Ave. Don your finest island attire and be prepared for a tropical party complete with your favorite Oakshire beers and a new Biba menu. More information.

2019 St. Sharbel Lebanese Food Festival
St Sharbel Catholic Church (Maronite Rite), 1804 SE 16th Avenue, Portland

Come enjoy a bite of Lebanese cuisine! Kids activities, games and fun for the whole family! A showcase of Lebanese cuisine and music. FREE to attend. More information.

PDX Tacos & Beer
Redd on Salmon Street, 831 SE Salmon Street, Portland

Raise a glass of your favorite cider or beer while enjoying delicious tacos and lucha libre entertainment! VIP’s will have the ability to pair their favorite ciders and beers with some delicious agave spirits. 21 + only. Tickets are
$15-$55. More information.

2019 Beaverton Night Market
The  Round, 12725 SW Millikan Way, Beaverton

The Beaverton Night Market exists to create a vibrant, intercultural, family-friendly space that is reminiscent of night markets internationally. The Market offers a culturally-relevant evening activity and gathering space with ethnic food and crafts for families of all backgrounds in Beaverton. FREE to attend. More information.

Travel Portland put together this nice looking infographic re: notable events on Saturday.


I wish I had something clever and pithy to end this post, but I’ll just say that I hope the protests are peaceful. At the same time, I am eager for the right-wing to stop causing Portland so much grief. I hope in the end that nobody dies or is seriously injured. Here’s to making the best of Saturday.

The following two tabs change content below.
Bridgetown Bites is written by Meg Cotner, a food loving freelance writer, editor and published author in Portland, OR.

Latest posts by Meg Cotner (see all)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.