Thanksgiving Day in Portland

Surrounded by the sea and the most beautiful natural scenery in the world, Portland is a place visited by a thousand of tourists from all around the world. Portland has a diverse culture and celebrates every festival with all joy. Thanksgiving is one such festival that is marked with all pomp and show in Portland. The residents of Portland come together to decorate the entire city and make it look like an angle. The rows of glittering lights along the harbor make the city worth a visit during Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you are visiting Portland on Thanksgiving and want to be part of the festivities, you are going to love your time in the city. From parades to food and fun, there is everything here that you could imagine. Thanksgiving Day in Portland is a special occasion, and people celebrate it in the best way possible. This article will lead you through all the Thanksgiving activities in Portland and how you can participate in them.

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What to do on Thanksgiving Day in Portland? 

When in Portland, you will not fall short of the activities and events on the Thanksgiving Day. From parades to lavish dinners and much more, there is something to suit everyone’s taste. From the children to the adults, all can have much fun on Thanksgiving Day in Portland. Here are some activities that take place in Portland on Thanksgiving.

1. The Thanksgiving Parade

The first event that you should attend when in Portland for Thanksgiving is the Thanksgiving parade. This is one of the biggest parades in the city and one of the leading attractions of the festival. Although the parade was initially held by Macy’s. However, after their store closed, other organizations put up a Thanksgiving parade that has everything from marching bands to floats and much more, there is everything that is expected from an amazing Thanksgiving Day parade.

2. Tree Lightings at Different Places

Tree Lightning is another ceremony that takes place all over the world on the occasion of Thanksgiving. The ritual is to light the Christmas tree and decorate the entire area with twinkly lights to mark the beginning of the festive season. People have a feast during the Tree lighting ceremonies. Different places all across the city celebrate Tree Lightning, and you can attend it at the nearest center to you.

3. Wine Tastings

Another annual event that takes place in Portland is the wine tasting. Wine tasting is one of the activities that interest many people. Some of the best vineyards in Portland or around Portland have special wine tasting events where you can go and enjoy a glass or two of their finest red and white wined that have been aged for a long time. Some restaurants also have these ceremonies on the Thanksgiving along with the Thanksgiving dinner or brunch. 

4. Zoo Lights at Oregon Zoo

Oregon Zoo is the most beautiful place for the children to visit. The Zoo Lights is the event that takes place at the Oregon Zoo every   Thanksgiving, and the tree lighting ceremony is a treat to watch for every child and their families. Apart from this, you will also see lots of games that are specially designed for children. These are mostly interactive games that are both knowledgeable and fun. 

5. Christmas in The Garden

This is an event that starts on the Thanksgiving Day and goes on till the end of the year. You will see over 600,000 lights decorated all around the Garden. There is also a Christmas market, and you can visit Santa with your kids so that they can give him their Christmas wish list.

6. Drive-Through Light Show

One of the biggest light events in the Northwest happens at the Portland International Raceway. You can catch 250 beautiful displays of lights spread all throughout the raceway. This is one of the most mesmerizing scenes you have ever witnessed in your lives.

7. The Disney Pops Concert

Another event that your kids will love is the Disney Pop Concert. It takes place on Thanksgiving where the singers sing famous songs from the Disney movies at the Arlene Schnitzler Concert Hall. You will also find characters dressed as the Disney characters playing out their parts during the show.

8. Lit Crawl Portland

The amazing concept of Lit Crawl was also put forth by the people of Portland. In the lit crawl, you will find authors reading some of their greatest works in front of people at bars, bookstores, cafes and much more. You can visit one of these places and hear your favorite author discussing their books and their stories in person.

9. Wild Arts Festival

If you are a fan of art and want to see some of the greatest art pieces by 70 artists and 30 authors that have been greatly inspired by nature, visit the Audubon Society at the Montgomery Park and be amazed by the masterpieces created by these artists. This is the best place for the kids to visit with their families.

10. Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt

Do something creative and participate in the Thanksgiving Scavenger hunt where you can take your bicycle and find out the Thanksgiving food throughout the hunt. The food is found and donated to the food bank, and the one to find it first will win amazing prizes. The entry ticket is $10, and all the children can participate in the event.

11. Turkey Trot at The Raceway

Turkey Trot at the Raceway is a great way to get some exercise during the festive season. This is a 5 K race that takes place every year where you can either run or walk to the finish line. The winner receives back home some amazing prizes. You can either choose to participate in the race or stand on the sidelines and cheer for the runners.

12. Portland Singing Christmas Tree

The Portland Singing Christmas tree is a holiday concert that takes place every Thanksgiving Day in Portland.  Over 300 voice choir are joined by dancers and actors at the Keller Auditorium to sing holiday song and celebrate the upcoming festive season with all the joy and triumph.

13. The Christmas Bazaar

The Christmas Bazaar is a tradition on every Thanksgiving where people from all over the city come and buy things like handicraft and other items. There are over 400 stalls every year, and you will surely find some fantastic Christmas gifts for your loved ones at the Bazaar. 

What to Eat on Thanksgiving Day in Portland?

Finding a place to eat is not an issue because Portland has many places where you can go for your Thanksgiving brunch, lunch or dinner. Make sure to book the tables in advance, or you might have to wait in huge lines for your chance to come. Here are some of the best places for Dinner in Portland:

1. Virtuous Pie

Most of the people have quit meat and have turned vegan. If you are amongst these people, you should know that Virtuous Pie serves the best vegan food in Portland.  They have a special Autumn Harvest Dinner which is four-course meals. The event also benefits charity and help the Native Americans who are trying to get back on their foot after staying in jail or prison. 

2. Prost!

If you are looking to grab a mug of beer and some great food, Prost is the place for you to be. They have an annual Post giving event where you will see a 100pounds turkey being served to the guests. This is like a potluck where the guests are encouraged to bring their family recipe side dishes to go with the turkey and eat them at the dinner.

3. Andina

Go all traditional at Andina where you will find traditional Thanksgiving dinner dishes such as carved turkey, bread and much more. They have a special three-course menu, especially for the Thanksgiving night. This is a Peruvian themed restaurant that has many options for Thanksgiving dinner. Along with your food, you can also enjoy some live music played by some of the best Latin artists which makes the dining even more fun.

4. Altabira City Tavern

Another amazing restaurant you can visit for the Thanksgiving Dinner in Portland is the Altabira City Tavern. This is a place that has great food with a mesmerizing view. They especially open on the Thanksgiving Day and serve special dinner to all the guests. You can enjoy the best seafood at this restaurant along with some wine.

To Sum Up

Celebrating Thanksgiving Day in Portland can be a once in a lifetime experience for you and your family to make the most of it. Participate in as many events as possible and indulge in some of the best foods that you can. Most of the eateries have their special Thanksgiving menus turning this time, so make sure you taste the local dishes. If you are not someone who likes to indulge in many activities, you can use event book a movie in the local theaters and watch your favorite flicks. In addition to this, you can also catch a few concerts taking place in the city. There are comedy shows and plays specially designed for Thanksgiving. Additionally, if you want, you can do all the other tourist activities in Portland and can see the special celebrations at these places. So, make your Thanksgiving Day in Portland memorable and have the time of your life.


Happy-go-lucky gourmand met boho femme met snoozy miss, proud of her playlist and closet; very particular about her chai, sleep and movies ...