Springtime is fast approaching – birds are chirping, tulips are blooming, and the weather is becoming more and more inviting. What better way to shake off the winter blues and ring in spring than at one of Portland’s many spring parades and festivals? To help, we’ve handpicked eight of our favorites taking place between now and the end of June, rain or shine. Reed on to find out more.
The Friends of Tryon Creek kick off each spring with a plant sale at Tryon Creek Park, a 675-acre wooded area nestled at the base of Palatine Hill Rd. in Southwest Portland. Along with a treasure trove of native species, gardening resources abound, so feel free to ask specific questions. There’s also education displays, hands-on presentations, and hiking trails to explore.
Good to know: Parking at Tryon Creek and along Terwilliger Blvd. is limited. If possible, try carpooling.
April 7, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
11321 SW Terwilliger Blvd.
Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest
There’s something for the whole family at this 40-acre farm, which holds a month-long fête amidst its beds of brilliantly-colored tulips and daffodils. Along with flower and craft markets to browse, you’ll find a host of daily and weekend-only activities to delight the kids, from pony rides to zip lines. Adults can nip by the Wooden Show Vineyards tasting room for samples.
Good to know: While most activities and parking are covered by the general admission, there are a few rides that have an additional charge.
Cost: $5/adult; free for children 12 & under
March 23-April 30, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. every day
33814 S Meridian Rd.
82nd Avenue of Roses Parade & Carnival Day
One of first parades of the season – if not the first – both the carnival and the parade kick off in the morning at Eastport Plaza. After enjoying the parade, which travels down SE 82nd Ave. to SE Yamhill Ave., head back to the plaza for a variety of entertainments, from live multicultural music to pony and carnival rides.
April 28, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
4000 SE 82nd Ave.
Rose Festival Fred Meyer Junior Parade
The oldest and largest all-children’s parade in the country, this Rose Festival mainstay has been promenading through Portland’s Hollywood District since 1936. After the ribbon is cut, watch as hundreds of kids march down NE Sandy Blvd., many in school bands or costumed with colorfully decorated wagons.
June 6, 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
NE Sandy Blvd. & NE 52nd Ave.
St. Johns Bizarre and St. Johns Parade
Known for its small-town feel and picturesque park, each spring this North Portland enclave hosts a neighborhood parade and street fair. When you’re done cheering on the parade, stay to browse the bizarre, which offers six booth-lined blocks filled with local craft vendors, food purveyors, and live music stages. There are plenty of games and activities for the kiddos as well.
May 12, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (bizarre), noon (parade)
N Lombard St. & N Philadelphia Ave.
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Online: stjohnsbizarre.com and stjohnsparade.org
Scandinavian Midsummer Festival
Channel your inner Viking – and celebrate the coming of summer – at this annual festival, now in its 90th year. Along with sampling Nordic music and fare, you and the kids can play lawn games and craft dala horse lanterns. Not-to-miss is the raising of the flower-and-leaf covered maypole, followed by folk dancing and songs.
Cost: $8/adults; $7/seniors; $17/families; free for ages 11 & under (tentative prices)
June 9, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Maypole raised at 2 p.m.
Oaks Amusement Park
7805 SE Oaks Park Way
Festival of Balloons
Kicking off each morning at 5:45 a.m. with a dramatic launch of 20+ brightly colored hot air balloons (weather permitting), this 30-year event is one of the largest and most popular in the Tigard community. Along with the launch, highlights include free tethered balloon rides, Saturday’s Twilight 5K Run/Walk, a kids’ pie eating contest, and the Night Glow.
Good to know: Advanced tickets are available online for a $2 discount, see the website for details.
Cost: $7/person; free for children 6 & under
Fri., 5:45 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat., 5:45 a.m.-dusk; Sun., 5:45 a.m.- 5 p.m.
17005 SW 92nd Ave.
Recycled Arts Festival
Who knew celebrating all things green could be so much fun? This fest is all about inspiring and encouraging families to reduce, repurpose, and recycle. Along with plenty of resources and programs, you and the kids will discover roaming entertainers, a children’s art area, and over 150 recycled art vendors.
Good to know: Because on-street parking is limited, the festival runs a free shuttle between the Public Service Center Parking Garage and its location in Esther Short Park.
June 23 & 24
Sat., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
301 W 8th St.
What are your family’s favorite spring festivals and/or parades? Give them a shout out in the comments below.