Portland “Winter” Light Festival


Flamethrower Chandelier by Ryan Ramage

This past weekend was the third annual Portland Winter Light Festival, a Willamette Light Brigade event. While it hasn’t felt much like winter in several weeks (flowers are out and trees are budding) the event definitely lit up the city of Portland.

Gatto della Verita by Sarah Brice

The Portland Winter Light Festival spans three days and includes talks, performances, and art installations. We took in the festival on the final night since we were already in the city for Five of Heart’s costume design class.

Actias Luna by Hacker Architects & GuildWorks

We decided to explore Hub A of the festival which was centered around the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (OMSI) and the Oregon Rail Heritage Center. We really enjoyed walking around and viewing the fabulous sculptures and art pieces that were on display. At times the crowd around some areas was just way too large, but because the event was outside there were always quieter spaces that you could walk to and enjoy the lights from afar.

Light Gardening/A Robot At Play Richard Miner and Tom Barnes

Somehow we timed things just right and were able to secure front row seats to the fire dancing performance by Flamebuoyant Productions. The performance was both amazing and terrifying as we watched the performers juggle, hula hoop, and dance with fire. The entire audience was captivated by their daring and elegant moves.

The festival was originally started in the winter as a way to get people outdoors and away from the tendency to hibernate during the cold, dark season. As mentioned the weather in Portland has been very mild as of late. So much so that many in the crowd were wearing shorts and sandals. However, even though it didn’t really feel like winter it was great to see so many people outside enjoying art, performances, and just being together under some really spectacular lights.