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.




Elegantly Eleven

Five of Heart’s turned eleven yesterday, but chose to celebrate her birthday today. This year she decided she wanted to get dressed up and visit one of the many wonderful restaurants in Portland. The first part of her birthday present came earlier last week when we paid a special visit to our local thrift store to search through the eclectic collection of clothes, shoes, and accessories for a fabulous new outfit. She ended up leaving the store with enough clothes for several outfits (thrift store prices are the best!) plus one extra fancy ensemble for her special day.

Five of Hearts then spent several hours doing research online to select the perfect birthday restaurant. With so many vegan friendly restaurants in the area it was a daunting task (they all sound so good). However, after reading hundreds of reviews and perusing several menus Five of Hearts selected KaTi Portland.

It turns out that all that research paid off big time as we had a fabulous lunch at KaTi Portland. The atmosphere was perfect and the food was amazing. Five of Hearts ordered her first curry and handled the spicy flavor like a champ.

After enjoying some of the best Thai food that we have had in years we headed to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) to check out the Gingerbread Adventures exhibit. Like seasoned food judges we had a blast viewing the five gigantic gingerbread sculptures with a critical eye and then voting on our favorite.

After a delicious outing it was time to return home for our turn at making food magic. We watched Vegan Cupcake Wars and then made vegan coconut raspberry cupcakes with coconut whipped frosting. Five of Hearts paired the cupcakes with one of her favorite movies, Trolls, and we ended the day dancing and feeling like “the world is all cupcakes and rainbows”.

Blast Off to Seven

High Five turned seven years old today and what better way to celebrate then with an outer space themed party. Since he was a toddler High Five has been fascinated by stars, planets, and the general unknown of our universe. He always has a book on outer space checked out from the library and he has a special love for Pluto.

After starting the day out with homemade planet pancakes and a space movie we headed to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry to take advantage of their wonderful planetarium. High Five chose tickets for the show Perfect Little Planet, which he first saw when he was two and is a family favorite.

Following the planetarium show we headed over to the OMSI Motion Simulator to try out the simulated ride experience Space Chase. The simulator is akin to a ride that you would experience at Disney and had us feeling like we were flying through outer space. It was twisty and turny and the perfect fun for a seven year old would be space explorer.

Before heading home for homemade Pluto pizza and astronaut ice cream cake we stopped by the museum gift shop to pick the birthday boy out his gift. He wisely chose a Lego 3-in-1 Space Shuttle creator set. All in all it was a truly amazing, out of this world birthday!