Pomo Picks

Top Things to Do in Portland This Week: Aug 26–Sept 1

Pedalpalooza winds down, the Agnès Varda Film Fest soldiers on, and Laurelhurst Park remains the city's premier comedy venue.

By Conner Reed August 26, 2021

The album cover for Impossible Weight by Deep Sea Diver, who will perform at the Lot at Zidell Yards on September 1.

We're in the thick—the dog days, even—of a summer that has gone by way too quickly. Time to carpe the remaining diems with outdoor comedy, Agnès Varda, and a rumination on public monuments. See you there. 


Comedy in the Park

6 p.m. Friday, Aug 27, Laurelhurst Park, FREE

Incredibly reliable local comedy collective Kickstand will perform free shows every other Friday in Laurelhurst park throughout the summer. We’ve been, and can fully attest to the therapeutic value of gathering with a hundred or so fellow Portlanders and their adorable, anxious dogs to laugh outdoors near a duck pond. 


Agnès Varda Forever Festival

7 p.m. various dates through Aug 31, Clinton Street Theater, $8–35

This five-film mini-fest, inspired by the public art project that's taken over the city's utility poles, mixes classics by the mother of the French New Wave with some lesser-known fare. This final week includes Vagabond, one of Vàrda's best-known works, and her idiosyncratic 2000 doc The Gleaners and I


7:30 p.m. Thu, Aug 26, Hollywood Theatre, $8–10

The Hollywood will kick off its new quarterly Comedy 101 series, programmed by creative director Sarah Mulligan Williams, with perhaps the fundamental text of movie comedy: 1980's Airplane! The mile-a-minute disaster movie parody is sure to satisfy any laugh-huungry filmgoers looking for something to do on a Thursday night. And don't call me Shuretoo. Wait—


Deep Sea Diver

7 p.m. Wed, Sept 1, The Lot at Zidell Yards, $45–60 per person

The Seattle indie rockers will welcome September at the Lot at Zidell Yards in support of their latest LP, last year's woozy Impossible Weight, which American Songwriter called their "strongest and most powerful statement yet." As always at the Lot, tickets will be sold in distanced pods of 2, 4, or 6.

Polka Dot Downtown

Noon daily (plus additional times, see here) through August, Pioneer Courthouse Square, FREE  

Portland artist Bill Will has unleashed a set of more than 100 colorful 12-foot vinyl dots throughout downtown, setting a wide variety of stages for local musicians and artists. The dots, created last summer, were designed to provide a safe entertainment space for Portlanders to enjoy local music during the pandemic. 

Special Events 


Through Aug 31, various locations
Pedalpalooza, the beloved three-month biking festival that holds multiple events every single day, has entered its 2021 home stretch. Start the final weekend off on the right wheels with Friday's 7:30 p.m. ska punk ride that kicks off at Irving Park, and break out your kerchiefs on Saturday afternoon for Saturday's Audrey Hepburn ride, complete with a photo booth designed to recreate shots from Roman Holiday. Bring it all home Sunday evening at the end of a weekend-long scavenger hunt, and say goodbye until next summer.

Visual Art

Archives for Black Lives

Noon–5 p.m. Thu–Sun by appointment through Aug 28, Holding Contemporary, FREE

Don't Shoot PDXwhich held an exhibition at Holding Contemporary last summer, has returned to the space this month to showcase pieces from its archives detailing the lives and historical treatment of Black people in Portland. 

Out West

Noon–5 p.m. Wed–Sat through Aug 28, Blue Sky Gallery, FREE

Acclaimed late photographer Ingeborg Gerdes, a German immigrant who set up shop in San Francisco in the late ’60s, spent the bulk of her career chronicling the American West in vivid, idiosyncratic detail. This retrospective at the the Pearl District's Blue Sky Gallery seeks to capture the qualities that make her work tick. 


Aug 25–Oct 9, 1010 NW Flanders St, FREE 

As a part of its Portland Monuments and Memorials Project, Converge 45 will host this two-month exhibition in a 5,000-square-foot Northwest Portland warehouse. Featuring work by more than 30 artists, it reckons with the meaning and importance of public monuments, featuring proposals and prototypes for new ones beside art that provokes questions about old ones. 

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