The Portland Saturday Market is a fantastic place to hang out in downtown Portland.
The Market is open every Friday and Saturday, from the last Saturday in February through Christmas Eve, and is located at Ankeny Plaza in Tom McCall Waterfront Park, just south of the Burnside Bridge. Hours are from 10am - 5pm on Saturdays and 11:00am - 4:30pm on Sundays.
It's the largest, continually running outdoor market in the nation, hosting over 350 merchants. You'll find people selling their hand-made crafts as far as the eye can see. Food and live entertainment round out this wonderful place.
A visit for me to the Portland Saturday Market usually consists of hitting up a specific Asian food booth that has the tastiest Spring Rolls I've ever had. Actually, it's not as much the Spring Roll as it is the dipping sauce for them. That sauce is sooooo good!
The only unfortunate thing about it is that it stays on my breath FOREVER. I can brush my teeth 50 times or swallow two packs of Tic Tacs and it's still going to be with me. Too much information? Glad you don't have to kiss me? Haha. Good thing it's so yummy. It's makes it worth it!
I then go over near the live entertainment stage and plop down in a chair. I love to listen to the local folk, jazz, and blues singers. The people who grace the stage are not big names, but just locals who love the chance to perform before a crowd and make people happy. It's a very grass-roots, down-to-earth feeling.
After sitting through a couple sets from a couple different performers, I'll start my trek down the streets, winding through the booths of arts and crafts laid out for all to see and buy. For one episode I was shooting for the Xfinity On-Demand TV show I'm on, VIDBLOGGER NATION, I got a Henna tattoo of the show's logo from Melanie Schwartz, the owner of Blue Lotus Henna, one of the merchant's here. It was a pretty cool experience.
You can find so many really wonderful things to decorate with and enjoy at Portland Saturday Market. It's also a lot of fun to talk with the people who run the booths as well as lounge around and people watch. The locals milling around downtown Portland are a good portion of the entertainment! Add the waterfront and Willamette River at the doorstep and you've got a great afternoon in the bag.
The Portland Saturday Market actually began in 1974, moved to the location beneath the Burnside Bridge in 1976 and has now made it's permanent home in the 13-million dollar Ankeny Plaza facility. I've heard that it grosses around eight million dollars annually from the over 1,000,000 visitors it's attracts each year. That's some big money from something so local and down-home. It doesn't surprise me a bit.
When you have a chance, come down on a lazy weekend and indulge yourself in all the fun! Maybe I can meet you at the live stage and we'll grab an Elephant Ear or Spring Roll together. ;)