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Parks' 'free for all' spices up summer

Concerts, movies and events across the city keep kids hopping


by: PHOTOS COURTESY OF PORTLAND PARKS AND RECREATION - The best part of the parks events: theyre free. And, being on grass, it allows the kids to dance and play.Portland parks are going to be hopping with activity the rest of the summer, thanks to the annual nights of concerts and movies and other fun things.

It’s called “Summer Free For All,” with emphasis on “free.” It’s why many people flock to the Portland Parks and Recreation parks around the city.

There’ll be 56 nights of free movies, 57 free concerts, eight consecutive days of the Washington Park Summer Festival in August, special events at Director Park, fitness activities such as swimming and rock climbing and 48 sites for the Summer Lunch and Playground program. Last year, PP&R served more than 110,000 free and healthy lunches to kids in the parks.

All “Summer Free For All” schedules are available at

PortlandOregon.gov/parks/freesummer, and it’s translated into seven different languages to accommodate Portland’s diverse population: Spanish, simplified Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian, Somalian, Burmese and Nepalese.

“The variety of ‘Summer Free For All’ opportunities offered is outstanding,” says Amanda Fritz, parks commissioner.

Movies begin at 6:30 p.m. and include music and free popcorn. The first of the movies will be the special “Peninsula Park 100 Years” documentary, Thursday, June 26 at Peninsula Park, 700 N. Rosa Parks Way. Another special screening will be July 5 at Argay Park, Northeast 141st Avenue and Failing Street, with “Instructions Not Included” in Spanish and English subtitles. Then, it’s “Frozen” at Hazeltine Park, 5416 S.E. Flavel St., on July 9. A special presentation of “Frozen,” a sing-along version, will be Aug. 22 at Laurelhurst Park. (Each Tuesday, the Tribune will highlight that week’s movies in the park).

• Concerts start after Fourth of July. The concerts at each park, starting at 6:30 p.m.:

Sellwood Riverfront — The Quick and Easy Boys, July 7; Pilon D’Azucar, July 14; Love Gigantic, July 21; Robert Moore & The Wildcats, July 28; The Wanderlust Orchestra, Aug. 4

Mt. Tabor — Chervona, July 8; The Strange Tones, July 15; Water Tower, July 22; Toque

Libre, July 29

Columbia Annex — Jujuba, July 8; Morning Ritual, July 15; Ducky Pig, July 22

Kenton — The Supraphonics, July 29; Norman Sylvester Band, Aug. 5; The Flight, Aug. 12

McCoy — Obo Addy Legacy Project: Okropong, Aug. 19; Melao de Cuba, Aug. 26

Willamette — Aaron Meyer, July 9; Linda Hornbuckle Band, July 16; The Stolen Sweets, July 23; Malea & The Tourists, July 30

Dawson — Karen Lovely, July 9; Ocean 503 (as part of Dawson dedication), July 16; Pa’Lante, July 23; Brownish Black, July 30

Ventura — The Dusu Mali Band, Aug. 6; Vagabond Opera, Aug. 13

Parklane — The David Gerald Band, Aug. 20; Copper and Coal, Aug. 27

Wallace — The Midnight Serenaders, July 10; Will West & The Friendly Strangers, July 17; Brothers of the Baladi, July 24; Swan Sovereign, July 31

Glenhaven — Left Coast Country, July 10; Tony Starlight, July 17; The Sentiments, July 24

Couch — Pete Krebs & His Portland Playboys, Aug. 7; Bear Water, Aug. 14

Berrydale — Sneakin’ Out, Aug. 14; The Barn Door Slammers, Aug. 21; Woodbrain, Aug. 28

Fernhill — Trixy and the Nasties, July 11; Devin Phillips, July 18; StruEendo Norteno Banda, July 25; The Shanghai Woolies, Aug. 1; Malcolm Noble’s Cool Breeze, Aug. 5

Lovejoy Fountain — Thara Memory and Marilyn Keller, Aug. 15; Cana Son, Aug. 22

Denorval Unthank — Tony Ozier & The Doodoo Funk All Stars, July 13; Dina y los Rumberos, July 20

Elizabeth Caruthers — Chata Addy, 3 p.m. Aug. 17; The Machete Men, 3 p.m. Aug. 24

Note: Providence Festival Symphony will perform at 6 p.m. July 26 (Cathedral), Aug. 2 (Laurelhurst), Aug. 3 (Peninsula) and Aug. 9 (Grant); The Providence Stage Band will perofrm at 6 p.m. Aug. 17 (Laurelhurst)

• The Washington Park Summer Festival at the Rose Garden Amphitheater, Aug. 8 to 15 (beginning at 6 p.m. each night), will feature Portland Summerfest Opera in the Park (Aug. 8), Portland Taiko (Aug. 9), Portland Festival Symphony (Aug. 10), Ural Thomas and the Pain (Aug. 11), Jerry Joseph & The Jackmorons and Ashleigh Flynn (Aug. 12), “The Wizard of Oz” movie (Aug. 13), Little Boxes: The Songs of Malvina Reynolds and Pete Seeger (Aug. 14) and PDX Jazz Presents Nancy King: Just Friends (Aug. 15). For info: www.PortlandParks.org.

— Jason Vondersmith