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Portland Parks & Recreation’s Summer Free For All Returns with Movies, Concerts, Free Lunch + Play, and more

News Article
Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R)’s extremely popular Summer Free For All (SFFA) series returns for 2019 with amazing events all summer long.
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POSTED MAY 23, 2019

(Portland, OR) -

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R)’s extremely popular Summer Free For All (SFFA) series returns for 2019 with amazing events all summer long. 

Summer Free For All (SFFA) keeps kids active and healthy, builds community, and celebrates our diverse city by providing free, accessible, and family-friendly summer activities – like live music, movies, crafts, sports, games, and free lunches.

“Summer Free For All is about community. Families enjoy free events, kids stay active and make new friends, and we celebrate our diverse city,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Nick Fish. “And special thanks to the many civic-minded businesses that make Summer Free For All possible.”

This year, Movies in the Park and Concerts in the Park will take place at 41 different parks across the city, and the Free Lunch + Play program will again provide healthy lunches to kids in need, in partnership withfive local school districts and Meals on Wheels People.

This year’s events begin on June 17, 2019. Summer Free For All event guides are posted online at in English and eight other languages (Arabic, Burmese, Simple Chinese, Nepali, Russian, Spanish, Somali, and Vietnamese). 

“Summer Free For All is a wonderful way to get introduced to all that Portland Parks & Recreation has to offer,” says PP&R Director Adena Long. “When friends and family come together for shared experiences, fun, and recreation, it leads to a lifetime of connections and a more united Portland community.” 

PP&R welcomes everyone to join the Summer Free For All Kickoff Celebration at lunchtime on Thursday, June 20, 2019 at Luuwit View Park in Portland’s Argay neighborhood. It’s a great way to start the summer and thank our sponsors, including our Title Sponsor Nike Made to Play, Presenting Sponsors Bank of America, Comcast, and Vacasa. 

WHAT: Summer Free For All Kickoff Celebration
WHEN: Thursday, June 20, 2019, 10:30am-12:30pm (music, games, and activities start at 10:30; free lunch served at noon)
WHERE: Luuwit View Park, NE 127th Avenue and Fremont Street 

Summer Free For All is made possible thanks to our sponsors. For a list of sponsors, please visit this link

“Summer Free For All helps make play accessible to everyone,” said Caitlin Morris, General Manager of Social & Community Impact at NIKE, Inc. “The spirit of the program embodies Nike’s belief that kids aren’t made to sit still, they’re made to play – and summer is the perfect time for kids of all ages to be active, play, and celebrate the power of community in Portland’s beautiful parks.” 

Summer Free For All Highlights

Movies in the Park
2019 is the 13th season of free Movies in the Park, and Portland Parks and Recreation will be showing more than 30 movies throughout Portland this summer with something for everyone! Highlights include a rare showing of the Navajo language Finding Nemo, with English subtitles; the classic E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial; the Academy Award-winning animation of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse; and a screeningof Laika’s newest film, Missing Link. 

Concerts in the Park
Portland Parks & Recreation has Movies in the Park and Concerts in the Park at 41 different parks across Portland this year! The 23 free concerts set for this summer feature some of Portland’s finest, including jazz legend Mel Brown B-3 Organ Group; the crooning of Tony Starlight (a Portland favorite); South American dance rhythms from Grupo Masato; The Sirens of Blues featuring the icons and rising starts of Portland’s female blues singers; and funk masters Farnell Newton & The Othership Connection.

Free Lunch + Play
Through Free Lunch + Play - and thanks to our school district partners - PP&R expects to once again serve around100,000 free, healthy lunches to children this summer in parks, PP&R community centers, and several apartment complexes in areas of town which are currently under-served by parks. 57% of young Portlanders qualify for free or reduced-price lunch during the school year. Portland Parks & Recreation supports families by offering nutritious meals and recreational activities during the summer break from school. Free Lunch + Play is accompanied by sports, games, crafts, and family activities. Lunches will be served at 32 sites across the city, including Mobile Play program sites. 

Mobile Play, part of Free Lunch + Play
Our Mobile Play program is back and will travel to 5 sites in east Portland in park-deficient areas. Portland Parks & Recreation brings the park and play experience to children at apartment complexes and sites for kids to enjoy games and sports. Every Mobile Play site will have lunch this year, thanks to Meals on Wheels People.

Washington Park Summer Festival
Enjoy world-class performances at the gorgeous Rose Garden Amphitheater in Washington Park on August 1, 2, 3, and 4, 2019.

  • Thursday, August 1 – PDX Jazz presents Mike Phillips with special guest Saeeda Wright; King Louie & LaRhonda Steele
  • Friday, August 2 – Painted Sky Northstar Native Dance Company with Evening Star Painted Ponies
  • Saturday, August 3 – Portland Cello Project performing Radiohead, Coltrane, and Bach
  • Sunday, August 4 – Opera in the Park – Viva Verdi! Giuseppe’s greatest works

Special Summer Free For All Events 

Festival Latino – Saturday, August 10 at Cully Park from 4pm until after sunset – a vibrant, multicultural annual festival that includes live music by Orquestra Pacifico Tropical, dance performances, and a Movie in the Park showing of Incredibles 2 in Spanish.

Tonga Day2019 – Saturday, August 17 at Gateway Discovery Park from 12pm until dusk – the third year of this special event, featuring Tongan and Pacific Islander music and dance performances, food, and a Movie in the Park showing of Bumblebee after sundown.

11th Annual Slavic Festival “Heritage”– Sunday, September 1 at Gateway Discovery Park, 10am until after sunset – an all-day festival showcasing the diverse cultures of Eastern Europe and Central Asia that includes a classic Soviet car show, traditional songs, dances, food, fashion, and a showing of Pawn Sacrifice.

Free Swim sessions at Portland Parks & Recreation pools
No registration needed to stay cool at your nearby pool! Just check the website for dates and times for FREE open play swimming at Columbia, Creston, Grant, Montavilla, Peninsula, Pier, and Sellwood Pools.

Additional FREE Summer Events – at Gateway Discovery Park
Free performances, festivals, drop-in activities, and more family-friendly fun at PP&R’s Gateway Discovery Park, 10520 NE Halsey Street. 

Come join friends, family, and neighbors and make memories in your parks this summer! 
Stay up to date and follow Portland Parks & Recreation on both and Twitter, @PDXParksandRec.

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