Story by Sarah Wigginton and Sonia Schmanski
As the weather begins to warm up, Portland families are emerging from their homes, shedding their raincoats, and looking for fun. Portland Parks & Recreation’s Summer Free for All program will provide just that.
The Summer Parks Program was officially introduced to Council in a presentation today by Jeff Milkes, SE Zone Manager, and Sherry Manning, Development Director at the Portland Parks Foundation. Summer Free for All provides free, enjoyable recreation activities to everyone, regardless of income or age. These activities include the Playground Program, Movies in the Park, the Washington Park Summer Festival, and Concerts in the Park.
The Playground Program offers fun drop-in activities like field games, sports, arts and crafts, and free lunches at designated locations. Parks has worked hard to expand the free lunch program during the Summer Free for All in order to combat hunger in the city of Portland. With events taking place in 30 different parks around the city, there is bound to be a Playground Program near you!
Concerts in the Park give Portlanders access to lots of free concerts throughout the summer. A wide range of musical genres are represented, from swingin’ blues, country western, and soul, to good old fashioned rock. The concerts kick off on July 6 and wrap up August 25 with a tropical dance party in Ventura Park.
Movies in the Park is another popular Portland tradition offered as part of the Summer Free for All. Nearly 50 movies will be shown in parks all around Portland, beginning with “This Is It” on June 25 at Peninsula Park. Pre-movie entertainment begins at 6:30 pm and the films start as soon as it’s dark. The lineup includes movies which are sure to please every age group, ranging from silent films to big blockbuster hits.
The Washington Park Summer Festival, presented with the generous sponsorship of Daimler, features nine evening concerts at one of Portland's best venues. The lineup features local favorites like Portland Taiko and the Portland Festival Symphony as well as up-and-comers like Ty Curtis and Carrie Cunningham. The Festival begins Thursday, August 5, and closes Saturday, August 14.
Check for updates on Twitter at “summerfree4all,” on Facebook at “Summer Free For All – Portland,” and on Parks' website. We hope to see you there!