Last winter I heard about the Portland Winter Light Festival and it sounded interesting, but I wasn’t really sure what it was, and my schedule was busy, so I didn’t plan to go. And then, as I was coming over the bridge from downtown late one evening, I saw all these gorgeous, brightly colored lights down by OMSI. I realized it was the Winter Light Festival, and it was open for another half hour, so I changed up my plans and stopped by.
I’m so glad I got to go, even if only for a little bit, because the lights were gorgeous and interesting and zany and so delightful on a cold winter evening. This year I’m planning on spending much more time there and taking my real camera instead of just my iPhone.
Portland winters can seem long and dark, and this festival is a perfect antidote. And best of all, it’s FREE!
The festival describes itself as “a premier winter event hosted at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI). This outdoor celebration illuminates Portland’s waterfront through contemporary light-based art installations, engaging performance, and fun activities for all ages.
Free and open to the public, this nighttime community-supported event generates critical opportunities for artists, designers, creatives, makers and performers to collectively expand art, performance and technology innovations in our region.”
The Portland Spirit and Columbia Sternwheeler boats will also be illuminated this year and will provide free, easy transportation from the downtown Salmon Springs dock to the Eastbank Esplanade at Caruthers Landing. And the Portland Opera will be performing on most rides! I’m tempted to drive over to the west side just so I can take a boat back!
Clever Cycles is sponsoring an illuminated bike ride on Friday night, there’s a bring your own lantern parade on Saturday evening (fun for the whole family), there will be free “light science” talks from a bunch of smart, interesting folks throughout the event, and lots of drum performances, stilts, glow shows — all kinds of fun things happening. Check out the schedule!
The festival runs Wednesday night through Saturday night, February 1-4, 2017, beginning at 6:00 each evening — and it’s a great family event or date night. No tickets are needed for this outdoor event — simply show up and enjoy the show! The creativity and talent of the people who plan, put on this show is, dare I say, brilliant. I hope you get a chance to check it out. Enjoy urban art, whether it’s during a week or a weekend, wherever you are!