Join us for the Return of the Washington Park Summer Festival

News Article
A variety of world-class performances, here at home - Friday, August 11 through Sunday, August 13 at the International Rose Test Garden Amphitheater
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(Portland, OR) –

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) is proud to announce the return of the beloved Washington Park Summer Festival, featuring world-class performances at the gorgeous Rose Garden Amphitheater in Washington Park. The festival is part of the bureau’s Summer Free For All program, which offers free cultural events and the Free Lunch + Play series in Portland parks all summer long.

A view from the top of the Int'l Rose Garden amphitheater with a large crowd on a sunny late afternoon. Portland Cello Project is on stage with greenery surrounding them.
A huge crowd enjoys The Portland Cello Project at a previous Washington Park Summer Festival performance.

Washington Park Summer Festival Lineup 

  • Friday, August 11, 6pm: Dance at Washington Park! This year, enjoy a new performances by NW Dance Project and Mexican folk dance troupe Ballet Papalotl (Papalotl means “butterfly” in Nahuatl, the language of the Aztec people) with a live mariachi band. Also, enjoy an interactive dance class with Dance Church.
  • Saturday, August 12, 6pm: Portland Cello Project presents "Purple Reign: The Music of Prince." The Pacific Northwest's premiere alt-classical ensemble turns the evening purple, blending their deep textures with the unique harmonic landscape of the artistic power of Prince. Joined by musicians who have worked with Prince, expect a lively evening of diverse music that influenced, or was influenced by, The Purple One.
  • Sunday, August 13, 6pm: Opera in the ParkPortland presents Verdi's "Rigoletto" featuring baritone Luis Ledesma and soprano Aubry Ballaro, with Maestro Keith Clark conducting a full chorus and orchestra.


Parking is limited at Washington Park. The FREE Explore Washington Park shuttle will be running until 9:30 pm each night of the concerts. Take the TriMet MAX to the Washington Park stop, or park in the lots near the Oregon Zoo and ride the free shuttle to the Amphitheatre. You can find more transportation information at explorewashingtonpark.org 

Funding 

The 2020 Parks Local Option Levy (Parks Levy) is making the Washington Park Summer Festival and the rest of Summer Free For All possible. These beloved programs would not be taking place without this voter-approved community investment. The Parks Levy is helping deliver recreational programs, including family-friendly movies and concerts, fitness and art classes, teen- and older-adult-focused programs, life-saving swim lessons, and Free Lunch + Play. The Parks Levy is also committed to removing financial barriers and Summer Free For All’s free programming eliminates cost as a barrier to participation. Thank you, Portland, for your support of the Parks Levy!

“The Parks Local Option Levy has allowed PP&R to ramp up staffing to once again offer a variety of recreation programs,” notes Portland Culture & Livability Commissioner Dan Ryan. “That includes swim activities at all City pools and the popular Summer Free For All program. I’m delighted to see the Parks Levy continue to provide such a wonderful quality of life for Portlanders.”

A concert attendee sitting on the grass with a colorful outfit smiles and flashes a peace sign at a recent Washington Park Summer Festival performance.

Other Summer Free For All activities include:

Free Lunch + Play 

Play for days at Free Lunch + Play, where kids come to share a meal together and have fun in the sun! 

Thanks to our school district partners Portland Public Schools, Parkrose School District, Centennial School District, and David Douglas School District, PP&R’s Free Lunch + Play program expects to serve up to50,000 free, healthy lunches to children this summer in parks and at three East Portland apartment complexes. More than 50% of young Portlanders qualify for free and reduced lunches during the school year. PP&R supports families by offering nutritious meals and recreational activities during the summer break from school. Free lunches are accompanied by play activities including sports, games, arts, crafts, music, and other activities provided by trained staff, PP&R’s arts centers and community program partners. Lunches are being served at 29 sites across the city, including Mobile Lunch + Play sites.   

Mobile Lunch + Play Program, part of Free Lunch + Play 

Our Mobile Lunch + Play program is back and travels to five East Portland locations, twice per week, focusing on areas where there are fewer parks. PP&R brings the summertime play experience to children at four apartment complexes and one park for kids to enjoy meals, arts, crafts, games, and sports.  

“Summer Free For All is a wonderful way to get introduced to all that Portland Parks & Recreation has to offer,” says Parks Director Adena Long. “And when school is out, Portland Parks & Recreation helps fill the summer meal gap with Free Lunch + Play offerings in parks, and even at apartment complexes. It’s another vibrant season full of memorable events.”

Movies, Concerts, and Cultural Events

Free movies, concerts, and cultural events are back in Portland’s parks this summer. The calendar of events is at portland.gov/parks/culturalevents.  

August movie highlights include beloved films like Jumanji (1995), Encanto, The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Big (1988), and much more.

A few upcoming concert highlights include Dance United with DJ Prashant and the Jai Ho! Dance Troupe (world music and dance) on August 10 at Peninsula Park, Jujuba (Afrobeat) on August 17 at Alberta Park, and Mo Phillips and the Spaghetti Pants Dance Band (kid-friendly) at Irving Park.

Free Open Play Swim sessions at PP&R pools, part of Summer Free For All 

PP&R’s outdoor pools are now open through Sunday, August 27, 2023. Each outdoor pool will host a weekly free swim session in addition to regularly scheduled swim lessons, open play swims, and water fitness offerings:

  • Creston Pool – Free swim on Mondays 6:30-8pm
  • Grant Pool – Free swim on Wednesdays 1-3pm
  • Ida B. Wells Pool – Free swim on Thursdays 6:30-8pm
  • Montavilla Pool – Free swim on Tuesdays 6:30-8pm
  • Peninsula Pool – Free swim on Tuesdays 1-3:30pm
  • Pier Pool – Free swim on Thursdays 1:45-4:30pm
  • Sellwood Pool – Free swims on Wednesdays 6:30-8pm

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