Last Saturday, a hazy orange day turned into a dazzling orange night.
The line of picnic-goers waiting to get in to Zidell Yards, a former shipbuilding site nestled between Tilikum Crossing and the Ross Island Bridge, popped with orange: shirts, hats, sundresses, blankets. At 5 p.m., picnickers began streaming in to the festival site, where they were greeted with games, food carts, a beer garden and a set by the Student Loan Stringband.
Kids chased bubbles and ate ice cream (Salt & Straw debuted their honorary Orange Line flavor: Olive Oil and Burnt Orange Marmalade) and curious onlookers chatted with the Portland Picnic Society about their picture-perfect spread.
Families and friends claimed tables and tucked into their orange picnics as Bearwater took the stage, and the deep orange sun dipped out of sight.
Thousands more spectators flooded in and lined the riverbank, buzzing with anticipation for the fireworks (and maybe a glass of BridgePort’s Orange Line IPA, too). And then it was time.
All eyes were on Tilikum Crossing as the show began with a magnificent cascade of white light pouring off the bridge’s deck. The crowd gasped as the sky lit up: red, purple, yellow, blue — and, of course, orange.
And to prove how well-planned the display was, even the soundtrack sparked joy. The Decemberists’ “On the Bus Mall” played our heartstrings and Washed Out’s “Feel It All Around” proved undeniable, despite its renown as the Portlandia theme song.
The grand finale was an incredible sight, as glittering bursts spanned the entire sky above the bridge.
For those 12 minutes it became clear that we were celebrating more than a bridge or a light rail line. I’m an optimist, but I’d say we were cheering for each other. Community — that’s what gets us out of the house wearing blaze orange and sits us down with thousands of neighbors we’ve never met. So to everyone who shared this special night with us: Thank you.
Orange Picnic + Fireworks Spectacular (music: “Good Times” by …Last Saturday’s all-orange party was one for the ages: bit.ly/1NQi0EvTo everyone who helped make the night special: Thank you!
Posted by TriMet on Monday, August 24, 2015