Top Things to Do This Weekend: July 12–15
Books & Talks
7:30 p.m. Thu, Powell's City of Books, FREE
Join writer and marine conservationist Jonathan White for a discussion of Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean, which dives into the history and science of the tides. The book is based on White’s 10 years of research across five different continents, from the science behind tidal power generation to the experiences of monks on French island Mont Saint-Michel. The Seattle Times called it “a grand mix of science history, ocean lore and literary travel writing.”
Tin House Summer Readings
8 p.m. Thu–Sat, Reed College's Cerf Amphitheater, FREE
As the heat rises in Portland, another packed shelf of wondrous writers—among this year’s cohort are novelists Tayari Jones and Alexander Chee, essayist Melissa Febos, and poets Shane McCrae and Danez Smith—take to Reed College’s leafy outdoor amphitheater and share their work.
Portland Sketch Comedy Festival
7 p.m. Thu–Sat, Siren Theater, $12–100
A dozen groups descend upon Old Town’s Siren Theater for this second-annual celebration of short-form comedy. In addition to hometown troupes like the Aces and Nacho Gold, expect funny folks from Los Angeles, Vancouver, BC, and beyond.
7:30 p.m. Sat, Lincoln Hall, $20–25
Choreographers Kristen Céré and Menghan Lou, winners of the annual Pretty Creatives International Choreographic Competition, spent the last week creating new work for the 30 professional dancers in NW Dance Project's summer LAUNCH project. Their world-premiere pieces will be unveiled tonight.
Food & Drink
Various times Fri–Sun, Rossi Farms, prices vary
Portland Monthly's new three-day food festival celebrates Oregon's bounty—our locavore candyland where chefs, farmers, ranchers, artisans, and purveyors unite to forge a true regional food culture. The fest kicks off on Friday with a five-course VIP dinner, followed on Saturday by daytime workshops, demos, and tastings. Saturday evening brings Barn Bash, featuring barbecue, beer, and bands. On Sunday, cap things off with amped Bloody Marys and ice cream for breakfast at our seventh annual Country Brunch.
8 p.m. Fri, Revolution Hall, $20
Wye Oak, a duo formed by Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack in 2006, soared into the spotlight with guitar-heavy indie rock in the early 2010s, over time veering toward a more electronically focused sound. The band’s fifth-full length album, The Louder I Call, the Faster It Runs, was released in April, earning raves from critics for its audacious synth use and introspective lyrics.
Car Seat Headrest
8 p.m. Sun, Crystal Ballroom, $24–28
Just one of those 20-somethings who recorded a heap of songs in the family car and quietly self-released them on Bandcamp before signing with indie juggernaut Matador Records, Car Seat Headrest front man Will Toledo crafts emotive, lyrically smart guitar-pop. Earlier this year, the band dropped a re-recorded version of 2011's Twin Fantasy, which the A.V. Club praised for its “blustery, achingly funny songs.”
OPENING La Cenerentola
7:30 p.m. Fri, 2 p.m. Sun, Newmark Theatre, $35–200
Escape into a faraway land where true love prevails with Portland Opera’s production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola, arguably the most famous operatic interpretation of the Cinderella fairy tale. The opera follows a chambermaid’s journey from rags to riches, with many impressive crescendos and arias (and zero singing mice) along the way.
7:30 p.m. Thu–Sun, $20
Need an escape from the summer heat? Consider this fest your retreat, with four new productions over as many weeks. On deck this weekend: a multimedia performance about a cyber-celebrity trapped in social media algorithms.
OPENING Sun Kittens & Moon Puppies
Noon–6 p.m. Thu–Fri, Littman Gallery, FREE
Four members of Killjoy Collective—a local group that curates public art exhibitions and events to create more visibility for women, women-identifying, and gender non-conforming artists—imagine a non-patriarchal, futuristic society in their new exhibit, Sun Kittens & Moon Puppies. Strongly influenced by queer and womanist utopias, the works envision a sustainable and united world.
Clifford Prince King
Noon–5 p.m. Fri–Sat, Melanie Flood Projects, FREE
L.A.-based photographer Clifford Prince King’s first solo photography exhibit, Colors So True, provides a “visual diary” of present-day experiences of queer black men. Through powerful images in which blackness predominates—one photo depicts white milk running down the shoulders of a dark-skinned man—King seeks to counteract anti-black discrimination and queer erasure.
11 a.m.–2 p.m. Thu, Pioneer Courthouse Square, FREE
Farm animals! Pie-eating contest! Marching band! Quilts! It's all the folksy delights of the Oregon State Fair, on a condensed timeline, smack-bang in the middle of Portland.
Mississippi Street Fair
10 a.m.–9 p.m. Sat, N Mississippi Ave, FREE
One of Portland's biggest street fests returns for the 17th year running, with tons of vendors and live entertainment on five stages. Musical acts include blissed-out cumbia trio Sávila, R&B singer Blossom, dream rocker Ezza Rose, and many more.
The Big Float
11 a.m.–6:30 p.m. Sat, Tom McCall Waterfront Park, $5–15
Yes, you can swim in that river that runs through Portland. This annual event, which supports the Willamette’s preservation and sustainable development, invites floaters to get wet for a good cause, complete with food carts, live music, a beer/wine garden, and kids’ activities. Arrive early for a beach cleanup event, plus free admission to the later festivities.