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Downtown Portland: Home of Everything You Want for Festive Fun

Downtown Portland is the #1 destination for festive events, performances and traditions

Presented by Portland Business Alliance November 7, 2019

With the holidays in full swing, you want to be at the center of the festivities—and who can blame you? Luckily, there’s one place that’s at the center of the city’s seasonal fun: Downtown Portland.

One of the city’s most popular events, the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, takes place at the heart of downtown. Pioneer Square, lovingly known as Portland’s Living Room, has formally invited you, Santa and 25,000 of your besties to the epic event. Sing carols with PDX musicians, then ooh and ahh along with everyone else as the enormous Douglas fir lights up like a million multicolored stars.

The sight of a 75-foot-tall tree sparkling under 14,000 lights is beautiful enough to melt even the grinchiest heart. 

Then don’t miss another one of PDX’s favorite traditions: the Holiday Ale Fest! With IPAs, stouts, sours and ciders from more than 50 breweries, you’re sure to find something you love. And since these creative connoisseurs craft brews just for the festival, you’ll taste flavors you can’t get anywhere else.

And no matter who you’re shopping for, you’ll find plenty of shops in Downtown Portland to take care of their wish lists. These uniquely Portland retailers offer out of the ordinary goodies you won’t find at suburban big box stores and in online shopping carts. What’s more, when you shop downtown in the city’s independent retailers, more of your dollars stay local to support the community you call home. 

A few of the shops we’re most excited about for the holidays:

  • PDX Pop-Up Shops: Alshiref and Friends. This is the final year of the decade-long program that has turned unused storefronts into opportunities for up-and-coming small businesses. This year, at the Alshiref and Friends Pop-Up Shop, you can find prints and original art, screenprinted home goods, one-of-a-kind blown glass drinking cups and—our fave—tote bags printed with illustrations of all 12 of the Rose City’s bridges. Find the PDX Pop-Up Shops on the ground floor of Pioneer Place.
  • Palette at Pioneer Place: This new storefront features more than 30 brands led by people of color who also call Portland home. From organic beauty products and hot sauce to locally made clothing and coffee—because of course coffee—you’re sure to find gifts for everyone on your list.
  • Portland Beer Museum: This homage to local beer culture puts brew on a pedestal—and then encourages you to drink it. Combine drinking and shopping at this newly opened downtown business, where you can order a brew on tap or pop open one of 250 cans and bottles on hand. Then pick up a handful of beer-themed gifts, from books and apparel to bottle openers and even a shower beer coozie.
  • Kinokinuya: This Japanese bookstore on SW 9th carries a gorgeous collection of stationery, prints and gifts with a special focus on Japanese comics and art. Inside, you can also sip tea lattes and nibble matcha brownies at the Book of Tea Café.
  • Baseballism: This hip storefront seems to have taken on the mission to outfit Portlanders for if (when?!) the Rose City finally gets an MLB team. Whether or not pros move to PDX, though, you can shop Baseballism’s caps, clothes and accessories line made from glove and baseball leather. (We know a bunch of folks who would love to find a cell phone case made from a baseball in their stocking!)

No matter if your loved ones made the naughty or nice list, we’re pretty sure you’ll find it in your heart to gift them something nice this year. And with all the Downtown Portland shopping options, you’re sure to find the perfect present for everyone.

For more information on downtown events and happenings this season, please visit downtownportland.org

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