Category Archives: Fun Stuff

2015 Holiday Events Guide

Who doesn’t love November? Sure, the brisk weather and short days can catch us off guard. But once we get past that, our holiday spirit begins to surface as we come together for food, family and festivals.

Here are 10 upcoming celebrations to get you started:

Macy’s Holiday Parade

Friday, Nov. 27 at 9 a.m.
Downtown Portland

Shake off your post-stuffing stupor with a morning of grand floats, costumed characters (nearly 500 of them!) and local marching bands parading through Downtown.

Tree Lighting Ceremony

Friday, Nov. 27 at 5:30 p.m.
Pioneer Courthouse Square

There’s a 75-foot tree in the middle of Pioneer Courthouse Square — you may have seen it — waiting to be lit for the holidays. As part of the ceremony, Thomas Lauderdale will lead members of Pink Martini, the Pacific Youth Choir, The von Trapps, and thousands of onlookers in a holiday sing-a-long. Come prepared: Download a copy of the songbook here.



Friday, Nov. 27 through Sunday, Jan. 3
5–9 p.m.
5–8 p.m. on Value Nights
Oregon Zoo

There are 1.5 million lights on display at the Oregon Zoo’s annual winter festival, but that’s only one reason it’s so popular. This year, think “train” when you go to ZooLights — there’s a special Zoo Railway loop you won’t want to miss, plus big savings for anyone who takes MAX to the event.

Tip: The Sunset Transit Center Park & Ride often fills up on Blazers game nights — consider using a different lot if you’re planning to visit those evenings.

Holiday Ale Festival

Wednesday, Dec. 2–Sunday, Dec. 6
11 a.m.–10 p.m. most nights
Pioneer Courthouse Square

What would an events guide be without a beer festival? Keep warm by sampling more than 50 exclusive and rare brews, from Belgians to barleywines to porters and stouts. Keep your phone handy when you’re there, because the mobile version of the festival’s site will have up-to-the-second updates on beer tappings and locations.

Christmas Ships

Christmas Ships

Friday, Dec. 4–Sunday, Dec. 20
Parade on the Willamette and Columbia rivers, starting most nights at RiverPlace Marina

The first Christmas Ship sailed solo from the Portland Yacht Club back in 1954; now, nearly 60 boats light up the Willamette and Columbia rivers in what’s become a grand Portland tradition. If you’re taking in the spectacle this year, be sure to track the fleet on Twitter. And if you’re looking for a new vantage point, may we suggest Tilikum Crossing?

First Night at Director Park

Sunday, Dec. 6 at 4 p.m.
Director Park

This year’s celebration of the first night of Chanukah features a special ice menorah (ice menorah!), music, latkes and activities for kids. It’s a community collaboration between Chabad of Oregon, the American Red Cross and Portland Fire & Rescue — pitch in by bringing travel-size toiletries to be given to VA Hospitals and Stand Downs, events providing supplies and services to homeless veterans.

Super Colossal Holiday Sale

Saturday, Dec. 12–Sunday, Dec. 13
11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Oregon Convention Center

Need to get gifts for your sister, grandfather, boss, best friend, neighbor, et cetera?

Try Crafty Wonderland’s Super Colossal Holiday Sale — you won’t be disappointed. With 60,000 square feet of handmade gifts, goodies, art and crafts from Northwest artisans (and beyond!), this is your one-stop holiday shop.

Portland Posada & Holiday Bazaar

Posada: Saturday, Dec. 12 at 10 a.m.
Holiday Bazaar: Saturday Dec. 12–Sunday, Dec. 20
Portland Mercado

Looking for something a little smaller than the Super Colossal sale, and with great food? Head to the Portland Mercado for the inaugural Portland Posada, an all-day craft fair with specialty food and drinks, a gift drive and musical performances.

What makes Posada even more special is that it’s tied to Latin American holiday traditions, and that it celebrates philanthropy and creative entrepreneurship. Plus, it marks the kickoff of the Holiday Bazaar, a nine-day pop-up gift shop in the heart of the Mercado.

Winter Village

Friday, Dec. 18–Sunday, Jan. 3
10 a.m.–10 p.m.
Orenco Station Plaza

Be the first to take the ice at the Winter Village, an open-air ice skating experience making its debut at the Orenco Station Plaza. Hop on MAX and you’ll be at the rink in no time — this one’s right across from the Orenco/NW 231st Ave Station!

Portland Winter Light Festival

Portland Winter Light Festival

Wednesday, Feb. 3–Sunday, Feb. 7
5–11 p.m.

In the bleak midwinter, a light! Or, actually, large-scale light sculptures, projections, performances, installations, from a dozen world-class artists. Taking cues from light festivals around the globe, the inaugural Portland Winter Light Festival aims to bring people together during a time of year typically reserved for the indoors.

Who couldn’t use an inspiring spectacle to celebrate light, life and warmth in February? Bundle up!

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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“Santa Bob” steps down from his sleigh

Our very own “Santa Bob” has delighted riders for nearly 30 years as he maneuvered his sleigh—er—bus through the streets of Hillsboro, Beaverton and Portland. But before this holiday season begins, Santa Bob, aka Bob Foster, will be turning in the reins of his Line 88 bus.

“Santa Bob” retires

After 34 years of operating a TriMet bus, Bob is retiring. A few years into his job behind the wheel, Bob, who resembles the jolly old elf, began moonlighting as Santa for TriMet employees and families across the Portland metro area. TriMet riders also enjoyed their brush with Santa!

“Sometimes kids will say to their parents, ‘Look it’s Santa!’” says Bob. “That’s a tremendous responsibility, because you’re a walking billboard.”

With Bob retiring, will this be the year without a TriMet Santa?!? Kids of all ages: never fear, it’s a TriMet “Santa Exchange”!

Santa Mark takes the reins!

Santa Bob is handing the reins of his 40-foot diesel powered “sleigh” to Santa Mark. Mark Larson has been a TriMet bus operator for 25 years. For the last two to three years, some riders on the lines 54 and 56 that travel through Beaverton, Tigard and Portland, have been doing a double-take due to Mark’s resemblance to St. Nick.

“I get quite a few comments ranging from, ‘You look like Santa,’ ‘Have you ever thought about playing Santa?’ ‘Mom, he looks like Santa! I told you he was real!'” says Mark.

Santa Mark (left) is ready to take the reins from Santa Bob (right), whose last day on the job is November 20.

What does it take to be a TriMet Santa?

Being a TriMet Santa takes driving skill, great customer service, a Santa-like appearance and a degree in SantaClausology. Both men have attended the International University of Santa Claus.  Santa Mark has his Bachelor of SantaClausology; Santa Bob has his Master of SantaClausology and is working on a Doctorate.

Santa Mark knows he has some big boots to fill.

“I never wanted to replace Santa Bob—in fact, you can’t replace him!” says Mark.  “As to taking over as TriMet’s Santa? All I can say is HO, HO. HO. Who needs a ride?”

Follow Santa Bob on Facebook, and check out Santa Mark’s website.

Roberta Altstadt

Roberta Altstadt

I’m TriMet’s public information officer. I communicate with the news media on all TriMet-related topics. When I’m not busy working, I like learning new skills, gardening, and going for walks with my sweet three-legged dog, Ernie.

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Catch the Orange Art!

Hopefully you’ve had a chance to ride the new MAX Orange Line, but have you checked out the Orange Line public art? With 25 artworks, including over 200 individual elements, there’s plenty to explore! While most of the artwork is easily spotted, some of the pieces may take a little more effort to discover.  All of the artwork was created by 26 artists specifically for the 7.3-mile Orange Line.

For those of you who are interested in learning more, we’ve created a comprehensive MAX Orange Line Public Art Guide.

You must have heard about the colorful aesthetic lighting at night on Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People, which corresponds to the conditions of the Willamette River. Did you also know that Kerf, the massive earth-cast sculptures at the SE Tacoma St/Johnson Creek MAX Station, were created right in the ground near where they currently stand? Or that the poems stamped in new concrete sidewalks adjacent to all of the stations could have been written by your neighbor?

Do you know how many sculptures along the Trolley Trail, near the SE Park Ave Station, are made from the trees that were removed to build that portion of the trail? What do you think might have inspired the artist to create movement in her glass painting of Crystal Springs at the SE Bybee Station?

(Courtesy: Todd Trigsted)

These and lots of other fun facts can be found in the Art Guide. We’ve also created a MAX Orange Line Art Brochure that provides a quick reference. Print copies of both are available at the Pioneer Square Ticket office or by request to

Of course, there’s no substitute for experiencing art in person! We hope you will ride the MAX Orange Line to catch the incredible variety of artwork firsthand and learn more about our community along the way.

Michelle Traver

Michelle Traver

As TriMet’s Public Art Project Manager, I commission original artwork for our transit system to create connections to the communities we serve and celebrate our shared humanity. I’ve been a TriMetian for over 10 years!

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Light Parade Group Bike Ride [VIDEO]

Last night, the Light Parade Group Bike Ride lit up Pioneer Courthouse Square and Base Camp Brewing. We saw lots of smiles, plenty of cool bikes and all kinds of lights and reflectors. As we proceeded over Tilikum Crossing, through the cold and dark, we showed that riding safely and comfortably isn’t a chore. It can actually be fun!

Thanks to everyone who joined us — it was great to see you. (Get it?)

We lit up Pioneer Courthouse Square and Base Camp Brewing Company last night! 󾟫✨Thank you to everyone that came out—It was great to SEE you!For tips on dressing bright morning and night check out

Posted by TriMet on Thursday, November 12, 2015


Also, thanks to our friends from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance for helping us out and leading the ride, and to North St Bags, REI, Portland Juice Co. and A Better Cycle for bringing the party.

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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Commemorating Back to the Future Day

TriMet to the Future

Marty McFly and Doc Brown traveled through time to October 21, 2015 in Back to the Future Part II. When they arrived they were greeted by flying cars, hoverboards and sneakers that tied themselves. And, stretching the limits of the imagination, the Cubs won the World Series.

“Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” – Emmett Lathrop “Doc” Brown, Ph.D

While we still have a ways to go before living up to 1989’s dream of the future, it’s fun to think about the progress we have made. So when the opportunity arose to commemorate #backtothefutureday, we had to do it — thanks to PDX-DMC and the Pacific Northwest DeLorean Club for the assist!

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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Now streaming: All Classical Portland’s Tili-Cam

Prepare to be mesmerized.

Our friends at All Classical Portland set up a 24/7 live video stream of Tilikum Crossing from the rooftop of their eastside digs.

So dramatic!

Some things you might see when you tune in:

  • MAX, buses and Portland Streetcars (bonus points if you spot combos)
  • Cyclists
  • Pedestrians (bonus points if you spot a selfie)
  • The bridge’s pioneering aesthetic lighting program
  • Tilly the Tili-Cam spider

Plus, you can listen to the live audio stream of All Classical Portland while you watch!

Watch live: All Classical Portland’s Tili-Cam

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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Dedicated to Driving: Operator of the Year grows roots in Oregon


Driving a 40-foot-long TriMet bus has its challenges. But it’s nothing like the school bus Lyn Simons drove in Grants Pass, Ore.

“I like this better. It’s not as loud — kids can get really loud,” says Simons, chosen by her co-workers as 2015 Bus Operator of the Year.

Simons also appreciates the variety of routes.

“There’s some kind of run for everybody,” she says. “There are the busy runs and there are the laid-back runs.”

Today she’s driving a busy run, Line 6, which begins near Providence Park and ends at Jantzen Beach before returning downtown.

Simons simply loves driving. In addition to her school bus gig, she’s also worked for a charter company in Tigard before joining TriMet in 2002.

Simons, who lives in Milwaukie, seems to have grown roots in this area. It’s understandable, as her hometown, Eagle Mountain, Calif., is a bona fide ghost town. The desert community shuttered in the early 1980s after the demise of the Kaiser Steel iron mine, where her dad had worked for many years. (Eagle Mountain also was the origin of another Henry Kaiser endeavor, Kaiser Permanente.)

“A lot of the kids I grew up with still pine for Eagle Mountain,” says Simons. “Everyone knew each other. It was safe.”

Despite her preference as a homebody, one thing gets Simons out of the house — her six grandkids. She and her husband, Jay (also a TriMet bus driver), go to Texas and California twice per year for visits. Even with her desire to be behind the wheel, she flies to those destinations.

Above all, the affable Simons aims to please her riders. She says one of the most stressful parts of her job is when one of her passengers tries to make a connection and traffic is at a standstill.

Simons likes the people she works with, the pay and benefits and, of course, being home every night.

“This is the best job I’ve ever had, and I’m grateful for it.”

Congratulations to the 2015 Operators of the Year: Lyn Simons, James Hilliard and Catherine McLendon.

Interested in a career with TriMet? We’re hiring bus operators!

Andrew Longeteig

Andrew Longeteig

I’m TriMet’s Communications Coordinator. I share what’s happening at the agency with the media and general public. When I’m not working, I’ll either be watching the Blazers or at a rock concert.

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