Hit the Bricks

The Northwest’s Biggest Lego Convention Is Coming to Portland

The ninth annual Bricks Cascade features a giant replica of Multnomah Falls and two unlikely local reality stars.

By Daniel Bromfield February 24, 2020

The Oregon Convention Center already kind of looks like a Lego temple, with its towering glass spires, so it should be no surprise it hosts the Northwest’s biggest Lego convention every year.

Bricks Cascade, which is open to the public February 29 and March 1, features vendors, jaw-dropping Lego creations such as local builder Erik Mattson’s eight-foot-tall replica of Multnomah Falls, and irreverent seminars on the vast web of theory that lies beneath the simple act of snapping plastic bricks together. The Bearded Builders, the two (extremely) Oregon men who are currently competing on Fox’s Lego Masters reality series, will also make an appearance.

Bricks Cascade is the descendant of Brickfest, the first convention for Adult Fans of Lego (AFOLs, in the Lego-fandom parlance) in the country. Brickfest was the brainchild of long-distance couple Christina Hitchcock and Steve Barile, who lived respectively in Washington, DC, and Portland.

After being held in DC from 2000 to 2006, the event took place in at the Oregon Convention Center in 2007 and 2009, and after the latter proved to be its final year thanks to staffing issues a group of enthusiasts in Portland revived the concept as Bricks Cascade in 2012. This is its ninth year.

Builders must be 14 or older to have their work displayed at the event or to attend the private Builders’ Convention that precedes the public event. But Bricks Cascade has always been a family-friendly occasion and features building stations for kids, who might take inspiration from their older peers’ work and find new possibilities in these humble blocks of plastic.

Which, by the way, are called Lego bricks or “Lego”—not “Legos.” Consider this a warning in advance. 

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