Portland Winter Light Festival 2024

I’ve lived in North Portland for 16 years and hadn’t yet attended the Portland Winter Light Festival at Portland International Raceway. 2023 was the year to check it out.

While most nights are reserved for cars driving through, they do provide at least one bike and one pedestrian night. They are always on weeknights, and always early in the season, which is one reason for my absence of this Portland Christmas (“Holiday”) tradition. I like to do my Christmasing in December, not November.

I chose a night for bikes, and biked the mile to the raceway, showed my ticket and headed off to the track.

There were a million lights, such as this Santa that was surfing the waves. Families and friends often had their bikes decorated and some were playing music as they rode. Early on, I glommed on to a couple with a fun selection of music and rode behind them for an entire loop, so that was festive.

While navigating bike situations with a lot of bikes and a lot of kids riding bikes can be fraught (I’m looking at you, Bridge Pedal) the racetrack is wide, and the fact that it was a weeknight in November made riding easy. I liked being on a bike more than driving a car. As a solo attendee, I would have had to do the driving and missed the nuances of the lights. I’m pretty sure you can’t just stop in the middle of the track on car nights like you can on bike nights.

The racetrack was big enough that we got visions of all the 12 days of Christmas. Here you can see that three of the six geese a-laying have been busy.

After my first round following the couple with fun music, I took another loop to take pictures and have another look. Then I rode home.

I’m glad to have experienced this fun tradition.

The Bayard Box in Kenton

My walk today included a discovery of this fun public art project: the Bayard Box.

From the website, I see that this is the ninth edition.

Despite the usual setup where you need to put money in to open the box, this one is set to open whether or not you put in money.

It includes a QR code so you can read more about the box.

Walks are that much more fun when there are finds like this.

New Sign for the Kenton Rose Garden

Look how pretty it is! It’s metal and it faces in a different direction than the previous one and that direction is better for people to read the sign.

For comparison: here is the old sign. It has been touched up several times over the years, but has a design flaw in that the top part can easily be knocked off (and it has been several times).