Category Archives: Fun Stuff

2015 Summer Events Guide: Keeping cool along (and in) the Willamette

Summer might be the Northwest’s best-kept secret. In this series, we’ll share our top recommendations for events and activities that you won’t need a car to enjoy.

Oregon Brewers Festival

July 22–26 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park

obf
Photo: Oregon Brewer’s Festival

For five days in July, revelers on the waterfront will soak up the sun — and some of the world’s best craft beer. This festival is the biggest and oldest celebration of our “Brewvana” heritage, with 90 brewers pouring their award-winning wares. And with live music, on-site restaurants and a root beer soda garden, there’s more to do than sample suds.

With an expected crowd of 85,000 over the long weekend, parking will be scarce. Add to that an afternoon of drinking, and leaving the keys at home is the way to go. We’ve got plenty of bus service and MAX stations just a token’s toss away from the festival grounds.

Fun fact: When the festival started in 1988, only four microbreweries existed in Portland (BridgePort, McMenamins, Portland and Widmer); now you might find that many in your neighborhood.

Head out (and don’t forget sunscreen) »

The Big Float

July 26 between Poet’s Beach and Tom McCall Waterfront Park

Do you really need encouragement to hop in the river on a Sunday in July?

Start at the Tom McCall Bowl (the waterfront just south of the Hawthorne Bridge) and join the parade marching a half mile down to Poet’s Beach, floatation device in hand. Hop in and float back to the park, where the beach party will be in full swing, including a band barge, two giant slip-n-slides, food carts, a beer garden and kids’ activity area.

But there’s more to this one than a giant party on the river. It’s about awareness: the Willamette River, once the site of dozens of sewage overflows each year, has been deemed safe for summer recreation — including swimming — since 2011, when the Big Pipe project was completed. Now, even sensitive groups like children and pregnant women can enjoy the river without risking their health.

Grab your floaties and hop aboard »

Red Bull Flugtag

August 1 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park

flugtag
Photo: Red Bull Flugtag

It’s a bit of a stretch to call this event on the river flugtag, which means “flying day” in German. Maybe it’s that “plummeting day” doesn’t have the same ring to it.

This celebration of human-powered flight will see 20 local teams launch themselves off a flight deck 28 feet above the Willamette. Will they plunge or will they soar? With team names like Soarin’ Sasquatch, PDX Flying Carpets and Flutter Punks, the answer is probably something in between.

In case you missed it, this is what happened last time Flugtag came to town:

Grab a good seat early »

Our 2015 Summer Events Guide continues soon with Street Fairs and more!
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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Do unto others: Selfless bus operator wins TriMet honor

It’s easy to see why TriMet bus operator Catherine McLendon is a customer-service pro. Her mantra: “How would I want to be treated?”

“It’s like that girl with the coffee who just got on the bus thanking me with her eyes for waiting for her,” says McLendon, who recently won our 2015 Operator of the Year award among part-time drivers.

CatherineMcLendon-MiniRun

McLendon, raised in Portland and now a Beaverton resident, today is on Line 56—a loop that runs from downtown Portland to Washington Square Mall. She greets riders with a friendly hello.

Before signing up for her current route, she had driven Lines 45 and 92. She especially connected with folks on the 92, which originates in Southwest Portland and heads toward Murray Road and Scholls Ferry Road in Beaverton.

“They’re fun, they joke around. It just feels like family to me,” McLendon says. “The last day I said goodbye, I started crying. I had bad allergies that day, so I blamed it on that. But literally my sunglasses were all steamed up.”

Family affair

Early in her career, McLendon worked in the food-brokerage industry and didn’t want to spend her career in a desk job. Her stepdad, Wayne Reynolds, also operated a TriMet bus for 21 years and knew she was a good driver. In 1994, he encouraged her to apply. She soon began driving a bus. She appreciates how TriMet has offered her stability, the choice to stay part-time, great benefits and the chance to expand her career.

Her husband, Martin, also is a TriMet bus operator. They had already known each other at work when one day he graciously cleaned her bus mirrors during a break. That good deed has led to a lifelong partnership.

Familiar territory

McLendon enjoys seeing the same faces on her Beaverton routes.

“You get to know how they’re doing, where they’re going, what their dog’s name is,” she says.

She makes a point to wave at cars when she’s leaving a stop, thank people and drive courteously. And if there’s an accident, she knows the back roads.

It’s no surprise she’s won 16 Safe Driving Awards and four Ace awards for helping Honored Citizen riders. McLendon even remains pen pals with several honored-citizen riders she’s met over the years.

Giving back

McLendon prefers the 30-hour per week part-time position because she’s able to volunteer with organizations like the SMART reading program and the American Red Cross Pillowcase Project. An incident from a few years ago also has motivated her to get her First Aid and CPR certifications.

So, what happened? She was operating Line 92 and stopped to wait for a man running toward her. He then collided with a pillar and collapsed in front of the bus. McLendon jumped out of her seat and realized he was having a heart attack. One of the passengers knew CPR and kept him breathing until an ambulance arrived.

A few months later, she saw the man at the same stop.

“I got on the microphone and said, ‘Don’t look now, but you won’t believe who’s at the bus stop.’ Once he gets on, everyone starts clapping. Tears are just popping out of my eyes because I’m so joyful he’s vertical.”

In bloom

Outside of TriMet, she gardens, spends time with her three college-aged children and cruises around with Martin on his Vespa. Her part-time status also allows her to run a flower business, Flowers by Cat. A florist since 1987, she used to have a booth at Portland Saturday Market. She now spends many summer weekends on the wedding circuit and says “peonies are the hot flower right now.”

Whether selling flowers, volunteering, or safely driving a bus, it’s a sure bet she’ll treat people well.

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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2015 Summer Events Guide: Outside Portland

Summer might be the Northwest’s best-kept secret. In this series, we’ll share our top recommendations for events and activities that you won’t need a car to enjoy.

Oregon International Air Show

July 17–19 at Hillsboro Airport

For the first time in eight years, the Blue Angels will grace the West Coast’s biggest air show. Which means you’ll see something like this:

Video from the Slot position during the Diamond Half Squirrel Cage maneuver on take-off. Like the video??? Please share and like the page!

Posted by U.S. Navy Blue Angels on Saturday, June 6, 2015

(but from a more comfortable distance)

One Blue Angels member that isn’t an F/A-18 Hornet will get its own show, as “Fat Albert,” the team’s support C-130T Hercules, demonstrates surprising agility in a solo performance. Plenty of other aircraft will be on static display, in addition to 20 aerial exhibitions scheduled across the weekend. Be sure to check the schedule before you go!

Get there on transit »

(Bringing your bike? Free parking is available on-site!)

First City Celebration

July 25 in Downtown Oregon City

beer-garden
Photo: Downtown Oregon City

As its name implies, Oregon City was the first city in the Oregon Territory, established in the mid-1800s. This year’s First City Celebration is centered around Marketplace Oregon City, which features more than 80 local artists and merchants, but there’s a lot more to it:

  • Seven live music acts throughout the day
  • Craft beer and wine garden featuring local brews, wine and spirits
  • Kids’ Activity Zone
  • History actors and period music in the Heritage Village
  • Food carts
  • And, most awesomely: an Oregon Trail Game-themed 5K fun run — yes, it’s based on the classic 1980s computer game — in which participants make decisions like whether to ford a river or go hunting, all to avoid a terrible fate like death by dysentery.

Take the bus »

Washington County Fair

July 30–Aug. 2 at the Washington County Fair Complex

Photo: Washington County Fair
Photo: Washington County Fair

County fairs exemplify summer, and this one’s been around over 150 years. And while you can still buy livestock at auction or get tips from a master gardener, these days you can also try 30 different midway rides and catch a Flo-Rida concert. So it’s safe to say there’s something for everyone.

It’s already convenient to get to the fair grounds on transit, but a free shuttle from the Fairplex MAX Station to the gates makes hopping on the Blue Line an easy choice — unlike whether to ride The Zillerator or The Freak Out first, or which food you’d like deep-fried from the concession stand.

Take the MAX Blue Line »

Flicks by the Fountain

Every Friday in August at Beaverton City Park

flicks (1 of 1)

This year’s movie lineup is flawless — and that includes the foreign film you may not have heard about, Song of the Sea, which received a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

  • Aug. 7 – Big Hero 6
  • Aug. 14 – Song of the Sea
  • Aug. 21 – Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Aug. 28 – Jurassic Park

Each movie begins at dusk, so check this handy page and get there early, just in case.

Get there on transit »

Our 2015 Summer Events Guide continues soon with Waterfront Activities, Street Fairs and more!
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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2015 Summer Events Guide: 4th of July

Summer might be the Northwest’s best-kept secret. In this series, we’ll share our top recommendations for events and activities that you won’t need a car to enjoy.

Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival

blues2 (1 of 1)

It’s fitting to spend the 4th of July listening to blues by the river, and even more so to end the day witnessing the biggest fireworks display in the state.

The Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival, now in its 28th year, is a marquee event for the Portland region, featuring 100 artists over four days. Looking at this year’s lineup, you’ll see that the festival also spans generations: among the acts are flat-out legends like Buddy Guy and Gregg Allman, along with rising stars like YouTube sensation Christone “Kingfish” Ingram and Oregon native Ty Curtis.

To get your fill of blues (and Zydeco, and R&B, and jazz…) and to secure the best seats around for the fireworks show, the Oregon Food Bank suggests a minimum donation of $10 for entry. Or, get a pass to cover the entire festival, including re-entry, for $40.

Get there easily on bus or MAX »

Portland Craft Beer Festival

PCB

At last count, there were 58 breweries in Portland. If you think that’s something to celebrate, you’re not alone. Nearly every one of those brewers will be on hand at PCBF to showcase a beer, with styles ranging from lagers to sours to stouts and, of course, IPAs.

More of a cider fan? Or maybe you’re the wine & cheese type? There will be something for you, too, along with food carts, coffee and ice cream vendors.

This three-day festival (open only to the over-21 crowd) goes down in The Fields Neighborhood Park; get there by bus or streetcar.

Plan your trip »

Beaverton Freedomthon

Watercolorheader

Starting your day with a little exercise isn’t a bad idea (especially if you’re thinking of drinking all the beers at PCBF). It’s worth getting up early to beat the heat at Freedomthon, a 5K run/walk starting outside Beaverton City Library — every participant gets a medal, a flag to wave as they cross the finish line and a spot at the Pancake Bar. It’s a fast and flat course, and it runs along closed streets. Is a personal record within reach?

Take the bus or MAX to the starting line (or to the Pancake Bar) »

Hillsboro 4th of July Parade

The Oregonian Photo: Benjamin Brink
The Oregonian Photo: Benjamin Brink

The Grand Marshal at this year’s event is retired Hillsboro Police officer Steve Vuylsteke, who’s been attending since long before he earned his stripes. It’s clear that the parade is a product of a close-knit community, but this is much more than a small-town affair.

According to the presenters at the Hillsboro Rotary Club, the parade is one of the largest this side of the Mississippi. It’s accompanied by a pancake breakfast and a fun run. If that sounds like a great way to start your Independence Day, just hop on MAX »

Oaks Park 4th of July Spectacular

The Oregonian Photo
The Oregonian Photo

Rides are open until midnight at Oaks Amusement Park’s annual 4th of July event; time it right, and you might catch the fireworks from the ferris wheel. (Or the Scream’n Eagle — but that’s a very different experience). Picnic spaces are first come, first served, so be sure to snag a spot to relax in after a round of mini golf and a spin through the roller rink. Entry to the “Coney Island of the Northwest” ranges from $2–$5 per person at the gates.

A note on getting there by transit: Oaks Amusement Park is on the Willamette, nestled within acres of parkland. If you’re going car-free, it’s best to get there on the Springwater Trail, a major pedestrian and bike path that happens to offer some incredible views. Service to this section of the Springwater will improve drastically when the MAX Orange Line opens later this year. Then, stations at OMSI/SE Water Ave and SE Tacoma St/Johnson Creek will put riders right on the path to the park!

Our 2015 Summer Events Guide continues soon with Waterfront Activities, Street Fairs and more!
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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Who rides TriMet? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Each year, we partner with DHM Research to find out more about our riders’ needs and how they’re using the system. The results are presented in our annual Attitude & Awareness Survey.

This past year, we asked y’all how, where and why you ride, and the results are pretty interesting!

Take a look and share—What kind of rider of you?

infographic

 

Jessica Ridgway

Jessica Ridgway

I'm TriMet's Web and Social Media Coordinator. I develop content for our website and social media channels. I'm a daily MAX rider and an adopted Oregonian.

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Join in and Catch the Orange!

This September, we’re welcoming our fifth MAX line—the Orange Line—to our transportation system, along with a chunk of additional bus service, and we couldn’t be more excited! In the meantime, we’re hosting a series of fun events all around town.

Only 100 days until Grand Opening—Will you be catching an Orange Line event?

transit on tap logoBuses, and trains, and brews! Oh my!

For those who love transit and beer, combine your passions at our Transit on Tap talks. The talks occur monthly and, through August, have an Orange Line-centric topic of discussion. (Our upcoming event is all about what crews unearthed during the construction of the Orange Line—intrigued?)

Bike over the bridge

Be one of the first to bike or walk across Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People, before it opens! On August 9, the 20th Annual Providence Bridge Pedal will send bicyclists across the bridge starting at 6:30 a.m., followed by an afternoon preview for all bicyclists and pedestrians from 1:30 p.m. through 4:30 p.m.

firework_lgBright lights

On August 22, the MAX Orange Line Fireworks Spectacular will light up the night. This one-of-a-kind fireworks display kicks off near Tilikum Crossing at 9 p.m.

We’ll be “flipping the switch” to turn on the Tilikum Crossing lights during First Light on September 10 at 9 p.m. (Learn more about how the light display program works.)

The big day

On September 12, it’s time to catch the Orange! Celebrate the grand opening of the MAX Orange Line and Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People, with a day of adventure and fun!

View the entire Catch the Orange event calendar »

Jessica Ridgway

Jessica Ridgway

I'm TriMet's Web and Social Media Coordinator. I develop content for our website and social media channels. I'm a daily MAX rider and an adopted Oregonian.

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Combining biking and transit: One rider’s story

As Bike Month continues, we’d like to introduce Brian, a daily TriMet rider who combines biking with transit trips:

Brian combines biking with transit on his commute.
Brian combines biking with transit on his commute.

Brian recently told us about his commute options from southwest Beaverton to Downtown Portland, where he works as an architect. All of them combine biking with some form of transit, whether bus, MAX or WES.

At the start of his daily commute, Brian chooses between walking to a stop along Line 92 or Line 62, biking to WES or driving to Sunset Transit Center to park and hop on MAX to get into Downtown Portland.

Bike & Ride facility at Sunset Transit Center
Bike & Ride facility at Beaverton Transit Center

Brian says he benefits in many ways from his typical commute:

“Here’s the obvious great thing about my bike-WES-MAX commute: exercise, riding through Fanno Creek Greenway and not having to bring a bike on MAX,” he says. “Instead, I lock it up dry and safe for the day.”

He takes advantage of secure enclosed bike parking at Sunset TC, accessible with a BikeLink card.

Bike & Ride facilities can be accessed with a BikeLink card.
Bike & Ride facilities can be accessed with a BikeLink card.

Although many riders choose to bring their bike on transit so they can ride to their destination, Brian points out that it can be nice to leave your bike behind, knowing it’s safe and secure.

Safe, secure and dry!
Safe, secure and dry!

We want riding to transit to be an option for anyone who’s interested. We’ll continue to add bike parking when we can, and we always appreciate riders like Brian who share their stories encouraging others to saddle up.

It’s great to hear from riders who combine biking and transit trips, whether for commuting or for recreation. If you’d like to share your ride with us, email bikes@trimet.org.

Jeff Owen

Jeff Owen

I’m TriMet’s active transportation planner. I work with our regional partners to improve conditions for combining transit trips with walking and biking, including sidewalks, crossings, trails, bikeways, and bike parking. Away from work, I can be found walking, riding my bike, hiking or cheering in the Timbers Army.

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