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8 things to do around Portland for Labor Day weekend

Whether you want to go to the virtual Oregon State Fair, drink wine outside while painting or start Halloween early, there's a way to have fun.
Credit: KGW

PORTLAND, Oregon — Somehow it's September already - school is starting, pumpkin spice lattes are back (yes, really) and it's Labor Day weekend!

Most years, this holiday weekend would be full of big parties, BBQs and unofficial-end-of-summer celebrations.

I have good news and bad news for you.

The good news: it's not the end of summer! Summer doesn't officially end until September 22. Which means you have plenty of time to enjoy the weather and do fun things.

The bad news: we're still in the middle of a global pandemic. So big parties are a no-no.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown called the upcoming Labor Day weekend a "critical moment" for Oregon in the COVID-19 pandemic. Health officials are begging us all to tone down our Labor Day plans to stay safe. They're worried the weekend could lead to a spike in COVID-19 cases, like the 40% increase seen in Multnomah County after both Memorial Day and the Fourth of of July.

So let's not do that!

But here's more good news: there are a lot of ways to still have fun this weekend and stay safe. Whether you want to go to the virtual Oregon State Fair, drink wine outside while you paint a masterpiece or start Halloween early, there's something for you to do this weekend.

So here are 8 things to do around Portland for Labor Day weekend:

Go to the All Oregon E-Fair

Credit: Oregon State Fair

Just like most other events, the Oregon State Fair has gone virtual this year, with the All Oregon E-Fair! It's an online celebration of everything Oregon, with sneak peeks at what's coming up at the fair in 2021. Many of the musical guests for next year's fair are doing live streamed performances from the fairgrounds that you can watch on the Oregon State Fair's Facebook page.

The fair is also running a limited time presale for tickets to the 2021 fair, running through Monday, September 7.

And if your favorite part of the fair is the food - great news! On weekends, head to the fairgrounds and drive-through the Taste of a Fair, featuring elephant ears, corndogs, cotton candy and more.

When: Fridays 4-8 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays 12-8 p.m., 

Where: Oregon State Fairgrounds - on the corner of Silverton & 17th

Paint outside while sipping wine

Bottle & Bottega, which normally hosts wine and paint events in its studio in downtown Portland, has come up with new ways to host classes during the pandemic.

This weekend, you can head to Yamhill County to follow a step by step painting class, while enjoying a tasting flight of wine from Chris James Cellars. Sign up here.

When: Saturday, September 5, 3:30-6 p.m.

Where: Hawk Lake Venue - 17417 NW Panther Creek Rd, Carlton, Oregon

Shop and support BIPOC in Southeast Portland

Businesses on Southeast Division and Clinton are hosting a weekend of socially distanced events and sales, focused on supporting BIPOC artists and front-line retail workers.

Events announced so far include a pop-up outside of Imperial Bottleshop, local BIPOC artists tabling outside of Citizen Ruth and 50% off sale items at Collage PDX.

When: All weekend

Where: Southeast Division/Clinton

Watch the extended premiere of a short film shot in Oregon

A writer and director from the Pacific Northwest just premiered a new short film shot entirely in the Pacific Northwest. "In France Michelle is a Man's name" premiered at Outfest last week, and it won the Grand Jury Prize - which means you have more time to see it!

The Outfest Now app is hosting an "Encore Week," so viewers can stream a selection of this year's films through Monday, September 7, including "In France Michelle is a Man’s Name."

When: Through Monday, September 7

Where: Online

RELATED: Short film shot entirely in the Pacific Northwest wins Grand Jury Prize at LGBTQ film festival

Shop for local art at an online festival

Art in the Pearl is a fine arts and crafts festival that normally takes place in Portland's Pearl District, but this year the festival is taking place online.

The event will feature 120 artists, including images of their artwork and links to purchase their work. There will also be videos of artist demonstrations from their studios and stay-at-home art projects for the whole family to try.

When: Saturday through Monday

Where: Online

Get a head start on Halloween

Yes, Halloween is officially on October 31. But since nothing about 2020 has been normal so far, why force Halloween to be normal? The Lakewood Center for the Arts is hosting a haunted drive-in movie experience.

At "Too Reel," you can watch 1968's "Night of the Living Dead" from your car, while spooky undead creatures sneak around in the shadows.

It's a one night only event - get your tickets here.

When: Friday, September 4, 8:45 p.m.

Where: Lakewood Center for the Arts - 368 S State Street, Lake Oswego

Roller skate outdoors at Oaks Park

For the rest of the summer, the Rose City Rollers are hosting outdoor, socially distanced, open air skating at Oaks Amusement Park! You can rent gear or bring your own, and then enjoy skating around all 43 acres of Oaks property.

Get your tickets here.

When: Weekdays 5:30-8 p.m., weekends 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 5:30-8 p.m.

Where: Oaks Amusement Park - 7805 Oaks Park Way 

Go to a drive-in movie

In Oregon, we're lucky to have a few permanent drive-in movie theaters in the state. But this summer, because the pandemic has forced regular movie theaters to remain closed, other venues have transformed their parking lots into temporary drive-ins.

You can head to the Expo Center, Oaks Park, or make a day trip and go to Lincoln City or The Dalles - to drive up and see a movie! Click the link below to see the full list of venues and dates.

RELATED: 8 places to see drive-in movies this summer in Oregon

Cassidy Quinn is the host of Tonight With Cassidy on KGW. But right now, like many of you, she is working from home, trying to focus on the happier things going on in the world. Tonight With Cassidy is currently on hiatus, but you can watch previous segments from the show here, and follow Cassidy on Twitter @CassidyQuinn.

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