Stephanie’s Portland Picks for May

Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day and then Memorial Day are all happening in May and there’s a corresponding slew of events. And Sunday Parkways return with better weather!

Cinco de Mayo

First up, the Cinco de Mayo Festival at Tom McCall Waterfront Park (May 5-7) is always a good, all-purpose choice. Listen to authentic music, see handicrafts from Mexican artists, stuff your face, watch some dancing or boxing – there’s something for everyone.
11:00 am – 11:00 pm. Admission is $6-$10, kids under 6 are free.

For those wanting to run off the extra margarita calories, there’s the annual Walk/Run For The Animals to benefit the Humane Society of Southwest Washington (HSSW) at Esther Short Park on Saturday, May 6th. Tons of vendors. Run begins at 9:00 am. Don’t miss viral star, iAmMOshow, the Cat Rapper. $40-$50 registration includes two beers from Ghost Runners Brewery.

There’s also a Cinco de Mayo Half Marathon and 10k/5k fun run on Friday, May 5th. It’s beginning and ending at OMSI.

Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 14th is Mother’s Day, and if it’s her kind of day, Tony Starlight Showroom is having a brunch with Liberace, Tom Jones, Neil Diamond, and of course, Liza. Brunch at 12:45, show begins at 2:00pm.

There will be a big brunch at the Zoo and it does not require zoo admission.

Portland Spirit will be offering brunch and dinner cruises.

For a bit more of a traditional Mother’s Day, Pix Pâtisserie, is having a fancy tea.

For the active mom, there’s Run Mama Run! There will be a 10k, 5k and kids’ run at Mt. Tabor Park.

Memorial Day

Wow, it will be the 111th annual Multnomah County Fair over Memorial Day! I’ve never been to Art in the Park, but it will be May 27-29 at Oaks Park, and it is a part of the county fair. There will be homemade crafts and a beer and wine garden. Noon to 7:00pm. Parking and gate admission are FREE.

That weekend will also be CityFair at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. It’s actually May 26-29, June 2-4 and June 9-11.

Head out of town proper for a bit for Memorial Weekend in Wine Country. Willamette Valley, May 27-29.

City Stuff

Sunday Parkways returns on May 21st in the Southeast quadrant. From 11:00am to 4:00pm, enjoy reduced or no traffic on specified routes and activities and food vendors at different points. I’m volunteering, I always love these events and I want to give back.

Shows You Don’t Want to Miss

Surprisingly, after checking out the calendars at my standard places this month, I didn’t see as much going on that catches my eye as I normally do. It’s a good indication to get out and explore some bands this month. But for some shows I know I can count on:

Tezeta Band will be playing their Ethiopian-inspired jazz at The Goodfoot on Thursday, May 4th. Always a great show.

If you need to dance, you need to catch Pomo at Holocene on Wednesday, May 10th.

Hard to define, but mesmerizing, There Is No Mountain will play at Al’s Den on Wednesday, April 17th.

Red Bull’s 3 Days in Portland is happening Thursday, May 18th through Saturday, May 20th. I recognize none of the bands, but the Red Bull shows I’ve been in the past were on point, so it might be worth checking out.


It’s the Bridgetown Comedy Festival, May 4-7.


Imago Theatre Presents Medea, May 4-6.


The $2 Perfect World Pizza Pop Up is still going strong on Mondays at The Liquor Store.


The City of Goses Beer Festival will be at LABrewatory from May 27-28.

You Haven’t Been There Yet?

I walked by Bangkok Palace at the corner of Taylor and 3rd downtown for nearly 12 years before finally trying it out last week. Fast, fresh, spicy – it’s now my go-to Thai spot downtown.

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