Hippy to Hip at the Portland Saturday Market
Stepping off the Max train at Skidmore Fountain on a Saturday
or Sunday morning, you'll notice a colorful commotion. White tents
line the cobblestone streets and brick buildings of the historical
Skidmore district. In them, Portland artists and artisans arrange
their hand-crafted wares as shoppers and street performers meander
about. Music filters through the streets while people sip their fresh
coffee and eye the goods. It's impossible to take it in at once, you
have to slow down to see it all and let the smells of spicy chicken
or frying cinnamon sugary elephant ears tease you. At Portland Saturday
Market, you might want to give in and taste one of the international
home cooked treats or pick up a hand-crafted gift for someone back
home. To come here is to experience authentic Portland, for all things
Portland seem to converge on the very spot.
Under the Burnside Bridge
between SW Naito Parkway
and SW 1st Ave
Portland Saturday Market: In 1974, a group of artists
and artisans from Eugene, Oregon, traveled north to Portland
to establish the Portland Saturday Market. Since then,
it has been the prime spot in town for locals and tourists
alike to find hand made crafts and fine art, buying them
directly from the artist. Today the Portland Saturday
Market (open on Sundays, too) is the largest and longest
running market of its kind in the country and when you
go you'll see why it's still a major Portland attraction.
Tips: Portland Saturday Market is a great place
to find gifts for friends and family. Make sure to bring
cash with you to pay the artists directly. You won't need
to eat before you go, because the international food court
is packed with home-made food. Plan to spend a few hours,
there are plenty of things to see and do. Remember to
bring your parking ticket to have it validated at the
information booth - two hours free parking for $25 dollars
spent at the market.
What to Bring: The kids! You'll keep them entertained
with balloon artists, games, face painting, and free childrens'
activities on the first Sunday of every month. Grab the
camera for snapshots of balloon hats or painted faces.
Remember, it's Portland and much of the market is outside,
so pack an extra layer of clothing just in case.
Open every weekend from March through December 24th.
Getting there: Portland Saturday Market is located
under the Burnside Bridge, between SW Naito Parkway and
SW 1st Ave. The easiest way by car is to park in Old Town/China
Town and walk toward the Burnside Bridge, where staircases
down to the market will be marked "Portland Saturday
Market." You can also take the Max train to the Skidmore
Fountain stop in Fairless Square. You'll get off right
in the market.
For more information about the Portland Saturday
Market, contact them at 503-222-6072.
artist, artisan, musician, and restaurant is chosen by a jury for
the market and can be found on the East side of the Max light rail
tracks. On the other side is an international import market, offering
jewelry, art, clothing, and other interesting objects from afar.
with unique artwork and crafts, the market is also a place for constant
Music saturates the air from all directions, whether from the scheduled
stage performances every Saturday and Sunday or the talented and
sometimes quite colorful street performers. Here, you'll come face
to face with the likes of Jimi Hendrix in a purple velvet suit as
he and others collect around the Skidmore Fountain, guitars in hand.
Nimble fingered balloon artists twist together quick versions of
your kids' favorite cartoon characters, flowers, animals, and crazy
hats. Wherever you look in Portland Saturday Market, there's something
fun going on, and it all takes place in the center of Portland's
Historic Skidmore District, with its original cobblestone streets,
iron-frame brick buildings, and a vintage trolley rattling by.
of the '70's, Saturday Market was long known in Portland as a place
to find racks of brightly tie-dyed clothes and patchouli oil. While
the market still offers these rainbow-colored relics of its past,
it has remained popular by keeping with the times. The products
on display are as fashionable as any you'll find in boutiques and
department stores in town. "It's not hippy, it's hip,"
says Saturday Market's PR director, Reid Decker, adding that "People
come here who are looking to buy local, rather than go to Marshalls
or Pottery Barn." And though you may also find things of beauty
and quality on the shelves of those stores, at Saturday Market,
what you get is unique, original, and made by the person who hands
it to you.
Kelley, better known as Spoonman, has been with the market
since it opened in 1974.
to smile and always willing to tell a story about their wares, the
artists and artisans at Portland Saturday Market are reason enough
to visit. Mike Kelley, better known as Spoonman, has been with the
market since it opened in 1974. You'll hear where he is before you
see him by the chiming of his spoon and fork mobiles. When you do
get to his stand, you'll know him by his brightly tie-dyed spiral
t-shirt and a pair of salad tongs that appear to be going through
behind a table, he creates pieces of art out of spoons, knives,
forks, and other kitchen items. The walls around him shimmer with
fashionable spoon and fork bracelets, rings, candle holders, prank
knife-through-head headbands, and other things made from re-used
is the word Suzanne Keolker, of Mugwump, chooses to describe the
materials she uses to make her playfully hip handbags and wallets.
As she used to be a grade school teacher, she found inspiration
in the things around her and makes her creations from classroom
wall maps, board games, and children's book covers. While her accessories
may speak to the child in you, they also have a very cutting-edge
design look about them.
you're looking for fine art and photography, you'll find it here.
Many, though not all, of the artists and photographers have a Portland
or Northwest theme to their work, and each adds their own twist.
chatting with local artists and feasting your eyes on trendy accessories,
you may want to feast on something else. Luckily, the Portland Saturday
Market not only chooses talented local artists and artisans, but
fills its international food court with 23 booths of home made cooking.
Portland on a rainy day? Not to worry! Saturday Market is covered
and accessible by Max train, which stops right in the middle of
photos provided by Bonnie Caton