Portland Saturday Market
When you’re in Portland on a weekend, you won’t want to miss the Saturday Market, the largest arts and crafts fair in the country, which draws more than 750,000 visitors each season.
Like most of the attractive aspects of the city, the market has a unique quality: instead of carrying mainstream merchandise, it specializes in hip, artsy items. You’ll also find a plethora of food stalls offering a wide selection of edibles. In addition, the bazaar provides a variety of live music and serves as a venue for festivals.
It’s fun to stroll through the waterfront market and peruse the handcrafted wares offered from 250 booths. Some of the most interesting items include vintage buttons, vegan soaps, cute caps for children, organic teas, and jewelry made of metal and gemstones. The market is the perfect place to pick up a rare and novel item that you never knew you needed. It’s also nice to interact with the friendly vendors, as they’re more than happy to talk about their creations.
The live entertainment provided is part of what gives the market its characteristic vibe. Each weekend features music from genres including ragtime, country, folk, calypso, jazz, and more. While listening to the concerts, you can also engage in the pleasant pastime of people watching.
A good time to plan your trip to Portland is in late July, when the market hosts the Annual Canterbury Renaissance Faire. Attending this festival is an imaginative foray into merry old England that involves the sights, sounds, entertainment, and crafts of the 16th century. Expect to see folks dressed in period costumes entertaining fairgoers with singing, dancing, and juggling. Demonstrations of pursuits of the era, such as sword fighting and blacksmithing, will also be a part of the event.
The market is aglow with holiday cheer at the Festival of the Last Minute in December. During the week before Christmas, it’s open every day, which makes it a convenient destination for last-minute shoppers. The gala is made magical with roving carolers, sparkling decorations, and holiday treats.
A trip to the market is a nice family outing because it has attractions that appeal to all ages. Children are not forgotten, as most months feature something especially for them. Your little ones will delight in events like a puppet show, a visit with Santa, or activities designed to foster their creativity.
Food from the far corners of the world can be sampled at the market. Ethnicities represented include Greece, Poland, Nepal, Guatemala, Uruguay, Mexico, and Thailand. You can feast on exotic dishes, such as falafel, empanadas, and gyros, but ice cream and American food is also available.
The market is open between March and December from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sundays. You’ll find it at 2 SW Naito Parkway. An easy way to get there is to take the MAX Light Rail or TriMet Bus and get off at the Skidmore Fountain Station.