Portland Saturday Market under the bridge — Photo courtesy of Portland Saturday Market
Portland locals are rejoicing this month because March marks the kickoff of the Portland Saturday Market, a shopping staple in Old Town for more than 40 years now. Portland Saturday Market has even been nationally recognized as the largest continuously operating open-air arts and crafts market in the U.S. This family-friendly market is the place to find the perfect souvenir to take back home.
After being closed since Christmas Eve, Portland Saturday Market has opened up for the 2014 season. Located on the stunning Portland waterfront, it will be open the rest of the year every Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and again on Sundays from 11 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Admission is always free.
All the items found at the market are handmade by the person selling them. This offers art lovers an exceptional opportunity to meet the actual artists who make the paintings, photos, glass vases, wood carvings, stoneware, jewelry, clothing, bags, stationary, other home décor, kitchen utensils and leather goods available.
The market also has food items on offer. For hungry market shoppers, there is plenty of food to choose from like elephant ears, bubble tea, Himalayan food and fruit cups. There are vendors selling food items for you to take home, too - like homemade jams and local honey.
Each weekend will feature at least 258 booths full of crafts or food. No two days are the same at the market, because there are so many vendors that participate in the market and the live music is always changing.
Kid's spray park at the Portland Saturday Market — Photo courtesy of Portland Saturday Market
During the warmer months of July through October, kids' activities are offered for free on the first Sunday of the month. These include juggling, science activities, puppet shows and art projects. There are always a few vendors catering to kids at the market, too. Some offer face painting, and there is a fountain for kids to play in.
Portland Saturday Market always has live music. The main stage is by the Bill Naito Legacy Fountain. Music varies from acoustic folk to alternative rock to blues or even swing. All the performers are local and play their original music. The market always has at least one musical act, and many times there are two musical acts. For beer lovers, there is a Rogue Brewery booth near the stage.
Before you go to Portland Saturday Market, you should know a few other things. There is plenty of parking available near the market and along Tom McCall Waterfront Park. The Max does have a stop near the market. Voodoo Doughnuts is nearby; it's a good place to grab breakfast before heading to the market.