PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — According to Portland Commissioner Dan Ryan, Rose City summer doesn’t begin until the Summer Free for All program does. Luckily, the city’s Parks and Recreation department just announced the slew of events that people can expect from the program in the coming months.
Back in November 2020, Portland voters approved the Parks Local Option Levy that was estimated to raise $48 million for Portland Parks and Recreation each year for five years.
The levy now partially funds Summer Free for All, the annual series of free movies, concerts, festivals, activities and more.
The series will commence on Wednesday, June 21, when more than 20 Portland-area sites host the Free Lunch + Play program. Through this program, Portland Public Schools, Centennial School District, Parkrose School District and David Douglas School District provide meals for children through late August.
“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,” Parks Director Adena Long said in a release.
The annual East Portland Summer Arts Festival is another facet of the series. This year’s festival will be held at Ventura Park on Saturday, July 8 and Sunday, July 9 from 4 p.m. to 8: 30 p.m.
Grammy-Award-winner and Maroon 5 keyboardist PJ Morton is the event’s headliner. PP&R says the festival’s theme is “Celebrating Black Excellence.”
The Washington Park Summer Festival is also returning this year, from Friday, Aug. 11 to Sunday, Aug. 13. At the Rose Garden Amphitheater, festival attendees will see performances from NW Dance Project, Portland Cello Project and Opera in the Park Portland.
Summer Free for All also provides free movie screenings. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Hidden Figures and Super Mario Bros are a few films that will be shown throughout the summer.
Lastly, PP&R offers free swim sessions at select pools including the Montavilla Pool, Peninsula Pool and Sellwood Pool.
Read more about the summer series and all of the free activities it has to offer here.
“Summer Free For All is community-focused, and it blends world-class entertainment with meeting real community needs,” Culture and Livability Commissioner Ryan said.