It's a light-filled festival that blends science with art, welcomes sight-seers of all ages, and is completely free, supported by generous sponsors. Sounds like a great party, right? It is, and this year it runs from February 7-9. The annual Portland Winter Light Festival is a nighttime winter celebration originally hosted around the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, but now it has grown to locations around the city:
Eastside Art Experience
- OMSI (1945 SE Water Ave.)
- Oregon Rail Heritage Center (2250 SE Water Ave.)
- Eastbank Esplanade
- Inner SE
West Riverfront Art Experience
- World Trade Center (121 SW Salmon St.)
- Salmon Springs Fountain (1000 SW Naito Parkway)
Portland State University Art Experience
- South Park Blocks
- Portland State University
Out and Around Portland Art Experience
- Alberta Arts District
- West Park Blocks
- Pearl District
- Mississippi Neighborhood
- Cathedral Park Neighborhood
There will also be many live performances, listed here. And numerous educational programs will engage all ages with light science!
The outdoor event lights up the city's waterfront and other beautiful settings with luminous installations, creative performances and an array of activities. It's a community-supported festival that welcomes creatives and makers to display their skills, and invites everyone from Portland and beyond to enjoy the imaginative blending of disciplines on display.
It's a three-day festival which requires no advance tickets or booking, and runs from 6 p.m. - 10 p.m/11p.m., depending on the day.
Highlights from past Portland Winter Light Festivals have included:
- A whimsical Art Lantern Parade during which the community is invited to show up with their own lanterns. The parade will be a celebration of creativity and light, and is sure to include color, music and fun.
- An Illuminated Bike Ride hosted in partnership with Clever Cycles. The three-mile loop ride is free and open to all, and encourages rides to deck their two-wheeled transportation friends with creative, illuminated bling. Glow sticks and wheel lights are just the beginning!
- Amazing and groovy light-based installations, including the Lumascope, a large, walkthrough kaleidoscope; Graffiti Lanterns, a paint-and-light interactive piece; Feedback and Flow, a live video installation, and Inside the Kaleidoscope, a sensory-bending creation.