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Here's what to know about the Portland Winter Light Festival

The free event runs Feb. 3-11. Colorful and interactive art installations will be on display throughout the city.
Credit: James A.M. Crawford
A light display located at Pioneer Courthouse Square that was on display during the 2021 Portland Winter Lights Festival. (Photo courtesy James A.M. Crawford)

PORTLAND, Ore. — It's no secret that winter in Portland can feel like a dreary time for some people, thanks to continuous months of gray skies and rain. But the organizers of an annual event this weekend are encouraging people to get outside and celebrate winter.

The Portland Winter Light Festival runs Feb. 3-11. The festival is free and kicks off Friday with a fire performance from 7-7:30 p.m. at Pioneer Courthouse Square.

Colorful art displays and sculptures will be on display throughout the city during the nine-day festival, and much of the artwork is interactive for people of all ages. This year's theme is "The Light of Stars." 

Art installations will be set up at Pioneer Courthouse Square, the World Trade Center and the Electric Blocks in Portland's central eastside. There will also be a number of pop-up locations around town. The festival's website hints at art installations in storefronts, in backyards, at historic amusement park and even at an urban goat farm.

Attendees can explore on their own by using an interactive map. There are also bike route maps and a downtown walking map.

Nonprofit arts organization the Willamette Light Brigade has put on the event since 2016. The nonprofit was founded back in 1986 and is responsible for lighting many of Portland's bridges.

The organizers encourage attendees to get festive themselves with solar or battery-charged LED lights and accessories.

A total of 189,000 people attended the festival in 2022. There were 135 art installations made by 270 artists.

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