• 2016.04.19
  • Last Thursday
Last Thursday is a community grown and sponsored event which has become the iconic urban festival of Portland and it’s completely free to all artists, vendors, musicians, street performers and visitors. Anyone can play an active role in making this unique event a success and anyone can sell, perform, sing or dance here without any specific license or permit.
As the name gives away the festival takes place every last Thursday of every month.  Last Thursday happens year round but it’s during the peak summer months between May and September that the streets are closed to vehicle traffic and the festival really comes to life.   From May to September, street parades, concerts, acrobatic performances and just purely odd shows animate the Alberta street neighborhood in Eastern Portland.  

provised street performers on Alberta Street

Last Thursday is categorized as an Art Walk because art and creativity shape this event.  Visitors literally walk up and down on Alberta Street (where the festival takes place) searching for handmade novelties to purchase or looking at street performers.  Anything can happen at Last Thursday!  Over the years I’ve seen ‘fairies’ juggling fires, groups of Native Americans perform rain dances and even some teens jousting on unicycles. 

Anybody can become an artist for one day at Last Thursday

                                       Last Thursday is a business for some, especially for the restaurants and art galleries located on the street, which are open until late during this occasion, but its main goal is to be a gathering moment for Portlanders and a place to express the artistic side in every Portlander.
This event on Alberta is by far my favorite in Portland because I believe it truly expresses what the city is about: a community coming together to enjoy being outdoors together, while expressing personal style and artistic talent through attire, creative performances or the sale of homemade goods.
Alberta is a true model of a neighborhood succeeding in bringing people and businesses together to the street.  Last Thursday is considered a recurring Block Party and the feeling is certainly that of a family-friendly ‘rave’ but it’s also a lot more than that.  Some local artists have been “discovered” while exhibiting their works at Last Thursday and subsequently have been offered a spot in the Alberta art galleries scattered all along this artsy road.  Alberta Street’s renowned art galleries pride themselves to display only local art and are the proof that a person with talent and initiative can become popular overnight.

Local art on display at an Alberta Street gallery

Last Thursday represents Alberta’s cultural identity and hosts a large number of individuals from all backgrounds and ethnicities as it’s also a festival which celebrates diversity and open-mindedness.   The festival welcomes people of all ages and many are the impromptu activities for kids who may run into a ‘fairy’ or an improvised clown here.  

The event is good for children too
Wall Art on Alberta Street

    Many people with steady 9-to-5 jobs choose to express their creative flair once a month and come to the festival to sell homemade jewelry, origami, clothes or ornaments.  I’ve seen some unique objects for sale at the festival such as necklaces made with Scrabble pieces, skirts created with recycled jackets and ornaments composed of a variety of used things including fire extinguishers.  You can even purchase some homemade sweets and cakes at Last Thursday (at your own risk!).

Artworks made with used fire extinguishers


  • Patrizia Margherita
  • AgeMonkey( SARU )
  • GenderFemale
  • Jobtranslator, editor, teacher

Patrizia lives between the USA and Italy and has deep roots in both places.She has traveled extensively all over the world and she has also spent 4 months in Japan, where she fell in love with Sakura trees and Takoyaki.She’s has been collecting recipes from her international friends and she’s now compiling a cookbook. She works as a translator and in her free time she likes to dance, hike and play with her cat.

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