Illustration by: Laura Estrada

Bring on the Summer

Launch into warmer weather with a diverse to-do list that will get you locally cultured in no time

By Zibby Pillote /// Editor-in-Chief
Katrina Staaf /// Arts Editor
Guadalupe Triana /// Arts Editor

It’s almost summertime, and life will soon be easy—unless you’re a brokeass college kid working to pay rent and support an array of unsavory habits. Regardless of your potential hard-knock circumstances, you need not worry: there are countless affordable and accessible ways to occupy your four-month hiatus from textbooks. This is especially true if you’re staying in Portland, which is conveniently at its best when school isn’t in session. With a massive and thriving arts community, the City of Roses boasts its own unique breed of cultural fervor. From exciting events to endearing organizations, you can surely find a reason to get excited about the lazy days ahead.


Rontoms­—a dark little bar with one of the best patios in Portland, nestled on lower east Burnside—offers a steady stream of quality music all summer long. Each Sunday, grab a seat on one of their many couches and take in local acts like the Tiburones, AU and Modern Kin. Before the show, order happy hour drinks and food and enjoy the sunny patio. Though reserved for those who are 21 and older, the music is free.


To get your fill of Portland-inspired bluegrass, make your way to the Doug Fir’s Pickin’ on Sundays. The eight-week stretch of country music­—lasting through July and August— is a breath of fresh air amid the glittering guitar rock and lo-fi drone that you’ll seem to find everywhere else. This series is free and reserved for the 21+ crowd.


Seize the opportunity to volunteer for an organization that empowers young girls with a fierce combination of musical prowess and leadership skills. Volunteers need not be formally trained in the playing of an instrument, but should be passionate about upholding the organization’s values. If you identify as female or trans, you can work directly with camp attendees. Otherwise, you are still welcome to get involved as an indirect mentor. Camp sessions will take place during the weeks of July 7-11, July 21-25 and August 4-8.


For the past ten years, a small group of avid Portland music fans have put on the most local, all-ages extravaganza of them all. This three-day festival—lasting from July 18-20— is a testament to city’s unique and vibrant music scene, featuring artists across genres. Last year’s highlights included Natasha Kmeto, Y La Bamba, Cassow and more. It’s the perfect equation: a hot parking lot, loud bands, Sizzle Pie food truck and a beer beach are all here. Best of all, the music is totally free.


The Blues. It’s generally not the first music genre that comes to mind when thinking of Portland, but the annual Blues Festival is now in its 27th consecutive year and has managed to stay relevant throughout the year. Although tickets for this event might range anywhere from $25 to $300, we recommend that you at least stand and check it out from the Hawthorne Bridge. The Portland summer draws in thousands of blues musicians, fanatics and lovers out to the waterfront for several performances from artists from around the world. However, if you do happen to have about $35 in your pocket, get on one of the night cruises and please tell us all about it.


Sometimes Vancouver, WA does not get enough love. If you have never been to Vancouver, this is the perfect time to ride your bike to the Evergreen State. The Vancouver Recycled Arts Festival is a perfect event for all LC students. The festival’s sole purpose is to “encourage waste reduction, reuse, recycling and a cleaner place to live in.”


This place is a palace of creativity, stacked from wall to wall with dirt-cheap arts and crafts supplies. The affordability is due to the fact that these supplies are used and have been donated for the purpose of creative reuse. Volunteer in-store to spend your days surrounded by pipe cleaners and aging copies of National Geographic. You can also assist with S.C.R.A.P.’s educational programs or become part of its community engagement team.

Zibby Pillote is the editor-in-chief of the Pioneer Log. Her work has also appeared in The Portland Mercury and the Lewis & Clark College webpage. She likes to write about music and culture. Follow her @ZibbyPillote

Katrina Staaf is arts editor of the Pioneer Log. She enjoys engaging in and writing about various forms of artistic expression. Katrina is editor-in-chief of The Umbrella and contributes diverse content to the website of Lewis & Clark College, with one of her pieces having been featured in the college’s Chronicle Magazine.

Guadalupe Triana is arts editor of the Pioneer Log. She loves to discuss, write and retweet ridiculous things regarding music and politics. Be sure to follow her on Twitter @localbbyall

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