Move over, spring. It’s beginning to feel a lot like summer in the Rose City. No, it’s not just the downright balmy weather. It’s also the appearance of BIG city celebrations that bring Portlanders and their kids out into the streets. The Rose Festival keeps rolling with giant parades and a rush of dragon-boat racing excitement. And the Cirque du Cycling takes over Mississippi Ave. An oh-so-very-Portland spectacle, it unites food, music, the….uh…circus, general merriment, and some pretty serious bicycle racing action‑all for a great cause.



Rose Festival Dragon Boat Races (pictured)
For over 20 years Portlanders have enjoyed watching the drama and fun of the dragon boat races on the waterfront. Watch over eighty teams compete (including local, national, and international teams). Kids will love the decorative boats and non-stop action: There is a race every nine minutes! Sat and Sun, Tom McCall Waterfront Park, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm, free, all ages. Event details.

Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade
You can complain about the road closures in Portland on Saturday or you can just kick back and watch the parade go by. Highlights include the 16 colorful, floral-covered floats and 18 marching bands. This year’s Mardi-Gras themed celebration will be alive with music! Kids entertainment area in Coliseum features coloring books, toys, and other distractions. Sat, 8:00 am – noon, free, all ages. Event details.



Cirque du Cycling
Cirque du Cycling is a street festival, a circus, a bike race, and a parade—and a benefit for Albina Youth Opportunity School. Watch live entertainment and music all afternoon, and an evening criterium street race with two-way racing right down the Mississippi Avenue strip. Sun 11:00 am – 7:00 pm, free, all ages. Event details.

Safety Saturday at the Historic Belmont Firehouse
The Historic Belmont Firehouse is a local treasure. Now is your chance to go inside! The firehouse is open to the public and features exhibits, an interactive fire engine simulator, and education and fun for the whole family. Sat, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm, free, all ages. Event details.




Healthy Kids Day
Enjoy a day of fun for the kids and a wealth of resources for parents. Eartha the Clown and her pet parrot will be there doing face painting. (The parrot will just be assisting, not painting). There will be free gymnastics classes. Oh, and a Bounce Castle on the Court House Lawn. Afternoon napping will surely follow. Sat, 8:30 am – 1:30 pm, Hillsboro Farmers Market, free, all ages. Event details.


Oregon Coast


Yappy Days in Pacific City
Portlanders love dogs. And kids. And Pacific City. Bring all of these elements together for a day of four-legged family fun for a good cause. Sat, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, register in advance or day of event, Cape Kiwanda $20/family, all ages. Event details.


– Cheyenne Terbrueggen