Things to Do for the Fourth of July in Portland

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Everyone’s favorite summer holiday is quickly approaching! Nothing says July 4th like BBQs, pool days, parades, and fireworks! But with the country beginning to emerge from the worst of it, some celebrations are returning in the area. Read on to see what’s happening around Portland this Independence Day and gather up some ideas for your Fourth of July weekend.

Waterfront Blues Festival

There’s going to be a big, socially distanced music festival in Portland over the holiday weekend. Waterfront Blues Festival, Upriver 2021 will be coming to The Lot at Zidell Yards for an unforgettable in-person event, along with optional livestreams for those that want to attend from home. There will be two performances each day from both local and national artists.

The festival takes place from July 2-5 with all shows separately ticketed. Make sure you gather up some friends, since tickets are sold in groups to promote social distancing -you’ll be seated in a “pod” with your group where you can dance and enjoy your beverage in a private area distanced from other groups. At the end of the night, you’ll have a perfect view of the city fireworks!

Laurelhurst Park

A laid-back day barbequing with family and friends is one of the best ways to spend the Fourth of July, and if you’re looking for a public park to host a BBQ, check out Laurelhurst Park which has lots of shady space to spread out ta picnic blanket or picnic areas with tables and grills that you can reserve through the Parks and Recreation Department.

You’ll love the atmosphere at Laurelhurst Park – it’s one of the city’s oldest parks with big trees and a lake. It’s also big enough that you can plan to spend the day there and keep everyone entertained. There’s an off-leash dog area for furry friends, room to run, kick soccer balls, or toss frisbees, playgrounds, a horseshoe pit, and walking trails.

Cannon Beach

Cooling off at the beach is the perfect way to spend a sweltering Fourth of July, and luckily, Portland isn’t too far from the ocean. If you want to get out of the city and head to the coast, the best town for an Independence Day by the water is Cannon Beach. This quaint coastal town has a breathtaking shore, with the famous Haystack Rock just off the coast.

If you’re looking for something special to do for the Fourth of July, you can enter their Sandcastle Contest! Normally this is a big festival, but to promote social distancing, this year it’s virtual and spread out through the summer. So, build an epic sandcastle, take a photo, and then submit it online to enter the contest!

And there’s plenty of other things to do around Cannon Beach, too! In the culture category, there’s shopping, art, museums, and exploring this corner of the North Coast Food Trail. Meanwhile, outdoor enthusiasts can join a birdwatching walk, go surfing, or explore local hiking trails.

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