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Best of the Fests! Portland’s Summer Fairs for Families

From a celebration of hot air balloons and berries to rides at the Oregon State Fair, it’s a non-stop summer party every weekend from now through Labor Day.  Check out our Cliff’s Notes to help you navigate the summer festivals in Portland. Better yet: Program these into your family’s calendar. Summer’s here! tigardfestivalofballoons

Festival of Balloons in Tigard – Friday-Sunday, June 20-22, Tigard. In addition to morning hot air balloon launches and viewing the beautiful glowing balloons at night, the weekend’s events will include carnival rides and games, food, a Twilight 5K, a Festival of Cars, youth soccer tournament, and rib and corn eating contests. Details at tigardballoon.org.

Lifewise Oregon Berry Festival
Friday-Saturday, July 18-19, Pearl District. 
From marionberries to ollalieberries, this is berry-topia. There are berry tastings, local vendors selling sweet goods, bake-offs, kiddo activities and even a berry gala at the end of the weekend. Located in the Ecotrust event area, aka: Jean Vollum National Capitol Center, at NW 10th and Johnson in the Pearl District. Details at oregonberryfestival.com.

Hood River Cherry CelebrationSaturday-Sunday, July 19-20, Fruit Loop. Don’t forget about all the fruit-flavored festivals in Hood River. The cherry celebration is an adventure with activities for the entire family. Farms offer many varieties of fresh-picked and U-pick cherries, wines, lavender, jams and picnic areas. The apple extravaganzas kick off in August followed by pear parties in September and October. Details at hoodriverfruitloop.com.

Hood River Lavendar Daze Festival -Saturday-Sunday, July 19-20, Fruit Loop. While you’re on the Fruit Loop eating cherries, check out the 10th annual Lavender Festival with fragrant, purple lavender in full bloom. Live music, lavender-based crafts and an kids activities will take place. Kids can help Teacher Janet release ladybugs into the wildflower garden a few different times each day. Details at lavenderfarms.net.

Division/Clinton Street Fair and Parade – Saturday, July 26, Division/Clinton Street. Exuberance abounds at this street fair and parade that features kid-friendly contests, dancing ‘til dark, people watching, face painting, crafts, shopping, eating and music. Details at facebook.com/DivisionClintonStreetFairAndParade. Beaverton Festival

Party in the Park Saturday, July 26, Beaverton. Beaverton’s largest community event of the year includes favorite events like the Classic at T-Hills car show, the Family Triathlon, and the fourth annual Beaverton International Celebration with culturally diverse music and dance performances and food, giant inflatable play structures, climbing walls, arts and crafts, face painting and more. Details at thprd.org.

Fremont Festival – Saturday, August 2, NE Fremont St.
 The event kicks off with a bike and pet parade, and participants are welcome to decorate their bikes, wear costumes and dress their pets up to compete for prizes. Activities include a kids’ zone featuring bounce houses, face painting, art and craft tables, cake walks and pie-eating contests, as well as live music. Details at businessonfremont.com.

Alberta Street Fair – Saturday, August 9, NE Alberta St. Be one of the over 20,000 visitors expected at this vibrant and artistic street fair. Music performances, artisans, local vendors and eclectic businesses and crafts all in one place equal lots of new experiences and family fun. Details at albertamainst.org. multnomah village

Multnomah Days at Multnomah Village – Saturday, August 16, Multnomah Village. Kick off this fantastic fair with a Kiwanis pancake breakfast and parade. Then enjoy live music, food and art vendors in this quaint community. Details at multnomahvillage.org.

Hawthorne Street FairSunday, August 17, Hawthorne St. Running along SE Hawthorne Street, from about SE 12th – 52nd Aves., this event offers up plenty of live music, food vendors, crafts and art. Details at thinkhawthorne.com.

Festa Italiana – Thursday – Saturday, August 
21-23, Downtown. Pioneer Courthouse Square is transformed into “Piazza Italia” for this non-stop three-day event which celebrates all things Italian. Kids will love watching the Carter Family Marionettes, and they’ll get a kick out of the grape stomp and the pizza toss. Details at festa-italiana.org.

Oregon State Fair – Friday-Monday, August 22- September 1, Salem. The Oregon State Fair mixes good old-fashioned family fun, like 4-H exhibits, livestock, carnival games and rides, to live performances from boy-band, Emblem3, and iconic rockers, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Details at oregonstatefair.org.

Which of these summer festivals will you be attending?  Let us know in the Comments section below!

— Suzie Ridgway

Photos courtesy of John Lariviere via THPRD Facebook, Tigard Festival of Balloons, Courtesy of Portland on the Market via Creative Commons

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