Top Portland Events - May, 2015

Fun Things to do -- Festivals, Parades, Theater, Concerts

Beth C

Celebrate spring with lots of fun Portland events in May. There is so much to do this month I don't know how anyone could just stay home.  It's get outside and enjoy time. 

May is when the City of Roses begins its annual Rose Festival celebrations. The Fun Fair arrives at Waterfront Park and starts things off right with a huge fireworks display on opening night. Festivities continue with the Starlight Parade through downtown Portland.

Storm Large entertains at the Schnitzer and Showboat and Phantom of the Opera are on at the Keller Auditorium. Cirque du Soleil returns to Portland with Varekai.

A Festival of Quilts

Quilters and those who just love to own them will enjoy Portland's premiere quilt event.  You will see hundreds of quilts on display and you will have the opportunity to build a block yourself which are then combined into children's quilts by guild members.  There is a silent quilt auction, demonstrations for you to watch, and quilts for sale.

Dates: May 1st and 2nd

Hours: 10 am to 5 pm

Admission: $8 - Children under 12 are free. (Note there is an $8 parking fee.)

Portland Expo Center
2060 N. Marine Drive
Portland, Oregon 97217

Ceramic Showcase

Over 200 ceramic artisans from Oregon and Washington come together to put on this huge show.  If you are a potter you can learn new techniques at demonstrations.  If you wish you were a potter, you can throw your first pot with expert advice while you are doing it and  there will be a potting area for children.  Of course there will also be gorgeous ceramics for sale.

Dates: May 1st, 2nd, and 3rd

Friday and Saturday - 10 am to 7 pm
Sunday - 10 am to 5 pm

Portland Veterans Memorial Coliseum
300 North Winning Way
Portland, Oregon 97227

Portland Challenge Scavenger Hunt

What a fun way to spend a Sunday.  Teams race around the city looking for clues, planning the best strategy, and hoping for the top prize of $300.  Top 50 winning teams are eligible for the championship race in New Orleans.Date: May 3

More information.

Cinco de Mayo Fiesta


Celebrate everything Mexican with three full days of music, dancing, authentic food, carnival rides, art exhibits, and more. 

Dates: May 2, 3, and 5 (closed May 4th)

Hours: 11 am to 11 pm

Adults – 13 yrs and older   $8.00

Child – 6 yrs to 12 years  $4.00

Seniors – 62 Yrs and older   $4.00

Children 6yrs and under $3.00

Where: Tom McCall Waterfront Park

More information.

Cheers to Belgian Beers

Over 50 Belgian style beer brewers will be on hand so you can sample their special brews.  Some of Portland's favorite food carts will also be there including Philadelphia's Steaks & Hoagies and Urban German.

Dates: May 8 and 9

Friday - 5 pm to 9 pm
Saturday - 12 pm to 8 pm

Free.  $15 for a glass and five taste tickets. Additional tastes $1
Must be 21 and over.

Metalcraft Fabrication
723 N Tillamook St.
Portland, OR

Whiskey Town

The world's top whiskey distillers will be in Portland to give you a chance to taste their spirits. Enjoy excellent whiskey, food, and live music.

Dates: May 8 and 9

Friday - 4 pm to 10 pm
Saturday - 12 pm to 10 pm

Pearl District
NW Front Avenue and NW 17th Street with the entrance on NW Front Avenue

Get you tickets here.

Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Spring Sale

This is the best place in the Pacific Northwest to buy handmade goods made by local artists and crafters. There is even a special section with items made by kids.  This is a good place to go if you want to learn a new craft, too.  Instructors will show you how and you can take home a new treasure made by you.

Dates: May 9

Hours: 11 am – 6 pm

Admission: Free

Oregon Convention Center
777 NE MLK Jr., Blvd.
Portland, OR

St. Johns Bizarre and Parade

Enjoy a Saturday afternoon in the community of St. Johns in north Portland.  The parade starts at noon and afterwards the street is closed to traffic and the celebration continues with over 70 craft stalls, food galore, and three music stages.

Date: May 9

Mother's Day Brunch - Oregon Zoo


Have a very special Mother's Day with brunch at the Oregon Zoo.  The spread includes eggs benedict, French toast, sausages, pastries, eggs how you like them and more.  Price does not include zoo entrance and reservations are recommended. (You can attend the brunch without visiting the zoo itself.)

Date: May 10

12 and older: $30
Moms: $27
Children 2–11: $13

Zoo members age 12 and older: $27
Zoo members age 2-11: $11

For reservations phone 503-525-4299

Festival of Flowers

Pioneer Square in downtown Portland really comes alive with color each year during this event.  The square will be decorated in an artistic design made up of 20,000 flowers.  See the photo at top of this page.

Dates: May 29 through June 9

City Fair - Opening Night Fireworks

The annual Portland Rose Festival kicks off with the opening of City Fair in Tom McCall Waterfront Park.  There will be midway rides, live music, local beer and food. Opening night visitors will enjoy a spectacular fireworks display and celebration.  Fireworks are at night fall.

May 22-25
May 28-31
June 3-7

Gates open at:
 May 22 - 5 pm
 May 23-25 - 11 am
 May 28-29 - 3 pm
 May 30-31 - 11 am
 June 3-5 - 3 pm
 June 6-7 - 11 am

 Fair closes at 11pm

Admission: $7 - Kids under 7 are free.  If you plan on visiting more than one day, you can get a "season pass" Rose Festival pin at Fred Meyer for $10. Admission is free for veterans, reservists, and active military with a valid military ID.

Starlight Parade

Sam Churchill

The Starlight Parade is another Rose Festival tradition. Hand-built floats with colourful lights and marching bands have drawn huge crowds to downtown Portland since the early 1900's. The parade will be televised on Fox 12 but you won't really experience the magic unless you are there.

Date: May 30

Hours: 8:30 pm - 11 pm

Admission: Free

Map of parade route.

Google Wallet discounts

Trail Blazer NBA Playoffs

NBA playoff tickets are now available.  It is almost certain that the Blazers will be in at least the first round of the playoffs.  Who they will play, of course, is unknown but if you want to be assured of a seat, get your tickets now.

Blazer Playoff Tickets

Mobile: Blazer Playoff TicketsMobile: Blazer Tickets

Portland Timbers Home Games

Timbers Schedule and Tickets

Vancouver Whitecaps F.C. - May 2, 7:30 pm at Providence Park

D.C. United - May 27, 7:30 pm at Providence Park

Timbers Tickets - May

Mobile: Timbers Tickets

Portland Thunder Home Games

Thunder Schedule and Tickets

Los Angeles Kiss - May 16, 7:30 pm

San Jose SaberCats -  May 30, 3 pm

Thunder Tickets - May

Mobile: Thunder Tickets

Shows and Concerts - May

Storm Large at the Schnitzer

Storm has appeared as a contestant on Rock Star: Supernova. Since then she has branched out from rock to other genres and has toured the world with Pink Martini. She is a Portland favorite and we get to see more of her than other cities because she lives here.  This show will sell out well in advance so be sure to get your tickets early.

Date: May 1

Time: 7:30

Get your tickets NOW!

Mobile: Storm Large Tickets

Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
1037 Southwest Broadway
Portland, OR 97205


Showboat, a revival of the Broadway musical by Oscar Hammerstein and Jerome Kern, tells the story of the lives of the people living on a Mississippi show boat over three generations. It is a story about tragic love, loss, and triumph.

Dates: May 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9. Sunday May 3rd is a matinee.

Buy Tickets for Showboat

Mobile: Showboat Tickets

Keller Auditorium
222 SW Clay Street
Portland, OR 97201

Varekai by Cirque du Soleil

Cirque Du Soleil has always amazed its audiences but Varekai just might top them all. It is the story about a Greek mythological character, Icarus, whose wax wings are melted when he flies too close to the sun. He then falls into a mysterious forest where he sees all kinds of strange animals. Watch the trailer below for a taste of what you will see.

Dates: May 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10

Get your ticket here for Cirque du Soleil

Mobile: Cirque du Soleil Tickets

Portland Veterans Memorial Coliseum
300 North Winning Way
Portland, Oregon 97227

Phantom of the Opera

Don't miss the chance to see this spectacular Broadway hit. Phantom of the Opera is a tale of love, jealousy, loss, tragedy, and terror set to the music of London's Andrew Lloyd Webber. Thrill to songs like All I Ask of You, Music of the Night, and Masguerade.

Dates: May 13 through May 23. There are several matinee performances.

Get your tickets now.

Mobile: Phantom of the Opera Tickets

Keller Auditorium
222 SW Clay Street
Portland, OR 97201

Barry Manilow

Here's your chance to see Barry Manilow and hear him sing songs from Dream Duets, his latest album plus a selection from his many hits.

Date: May 28

Tickets for Barry Manilow

Mobile: Barry Manilow Tickets

Moda Center
1 N Center Court St
Portland, OR 97227

Portland Entertainment Venues

Aladdin Theatre | Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall | Earle A. Chiles Center | Hawthorne Theatre | Keller Auditorium | McMenamins Crystal Ballroom | Mississippi Studios | Moda Center at the Rose Garden | Newmark Theatre | Oregon Zoo | Portland Expo Center | Portland Veterans Memorial Coliseum | Providence Park | Roseland Theater | Delores Winningstad Theatre | Wonder Ballroom

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