Winter Light Festival

    Winter can be a dark time. I mean, literally, the days are shorter, the sky is darker, the weather is crappier. Rain and the occasional snow storm blanket the streets, prompting many of us to hibernate like bears until the first blooms of Spring make an appearance. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing, caused, in part, by darkness. And, while sucking down B12 can help alleviate some of this stuff, nothing helps like light. So, if there was a way to get much needed light during the winter months without planning a trip to Florida or Hawaii, most of us would be down for that.

    Fortunately, here Portland, Oregon we have the Portland Winter Light Festival. Not only is this a fun and beatific event, it also can serve to help some of those struggling with the prolonged nocturne of Portland, Oregon in the winter time.

    The third annual Portland Winter Light Festival, always free to attend, will take place this year, in Downtown Portland from February 7th through ninth from six PM until 11 PM. It’s sure to be cold, so bundle up, but the lights will certainly brighten your day, as they do mine every time I take in this event.

    This city-wide event, family friendly and all inclusive, showcases irradiated artistic displays from local artisans, lively musical performances, and spectacular kinetic fire sculptures throughout the amazing City of Roses. Even if you don’t want to get our of your car or debark the MAX, the Portland Winter Light Festival is sure to brighten your day. The 2018 edition (built around the theme of “the Light of Progress”) offered more than one hundred artists and organizations from all across the Cascadian region. 2019’s event should be even bigger and brighter. The event, first held in 2016, had forty artists, so the growth and popularity of this event is evident.

    And, it’s a really good event. My own opinion aside, I can’t find anyone that has a bad thing to say about it.

    Stephanie Yao Long of The Oregonian calls the Portland Winter Light Festival “playful and wondrous”. Martin Cizmar of the Willamette Week says that, “This new event makes good use of the new Tilikum Crossing Bridge, not to mention the long, dark winter nights our latitude ensures.”

    A feature in Amex Essentials highlighted the Portland Winter Light Festival. The event was the sole American festival to be included.

    Get out of your winter doldrums and make your way out to the Portland Winter Light Festival. For more information on this years’ event, please visit

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