Fourth of July is just around the corner! Just like many events this year, the holiday will look a little different this year. But that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate! And if this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that Portlanders are resilient and creative when it comes to celebrating birthdays, holidays and other events — “social distance” style.
To make the most of the holiday this year, we put together this guide for Fourth of July in Portland 2020, which includes a few events and ideas for celebrating from the comfort and safety of your home!
Attend an Event
While all of our city’s most anticipated large Fourth of July events have been cancelled this year, including the Vancouver Fireworks Spectacular at Fort Vancouver, the Portland Fireworks Show and Waterfront Blues Festival, there are a few events happening this year — with guidelines in place, of course.
June 1–July 5, 2020
Pedalpalooza is all about individuals finding ways to celebrate the joy of cycling — and a pandemic won’t keep participants from doing just that! This year, they are not encouraging people to gather, as they have in previous years. From June 1 through July 5, Portlanders are encouraged to ride separately, but together, in honor of each theme. Themes include Halloween in June, Idols on Wheels, Music Fest and more — and on July 4th, the theme is Stars & Stripes.
If you participate in Pedalpalooza, tag your photos on Instagram with #pedalpaloozapdx to be featured or post on bikeportland.org‘s forum!
July 3 | 7–9:30 p.m.
Hop on board the Portland Spirit for a 2.5-hour upscale BBQ cruise. Enjoy a savory menu designed by their head chef, Armin Pinto, while cruising along the Willamette at sunset. This is the perfect way to ring in the Fourth of July the evening before! The Portland Spirit staff has strict procedures to follow guidelines set by the Oregon Health Authority, including health hygiene practices, social distancing, PPE, and cleaning and disinfecting routines.
July 4 | 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Savor delicious Northwest cuisine with a side of incredible views on the Portland Spirit Lunch Cruise, a 2-hour cruise along the Willamette River. This is an excellent way to take in mid-day city and natural views while enjoying fabulous food and drinks. Get your tickets for the Lunch Cruise here!
July 4 | 7:30–10:30 p.m.
Watch the sunset on board the Portland Spirit, complemented by dazzling city sights and city lights. This 3-hour cruise includes incredible cuisine, all locally sourced and prepared fresh on board, plus entertainment and live performances. Get your tickets for the Dinner Cruise here!
Light Your Own (Approved, Legal) Fireworks
While our city’s major fireworks shows may be cancelled, we can still have tiny neighborhood fireworks shows — as long as all the necessary precautions are in place (and this time, we’re not talking about social distancing or mask wearing). Before heading to the nearest fireworks stand, take a look at the legal and illegal fireworks as outlined by the City of Portland. Also keep in mind that legal fireworks may only be purchased from Oregon permitted fireworks retailers and stands.
Go to the Farmers’ Market
Since the Fourth of July falls on a Saturday, there are plenty of farmers’ markets you can go to! In fact, more than a dozen farmers’ markets meet on Saturdays in the Portland area, and you can see all of them here. Keep in mind that each has protocol and safety measures in place to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all. Consult the website for each market before you go!
Order Burgers from a Local Restaurant
While Oregon and the city of Portland have begun the process of reopening bars and restaurants, we aren’t quite back to where we once were — and might not be for quite some time! To keep up with the latest information about takeout and delivery options in the city, check out this comprehensive guide from The Eater. And if you’re specifically looking for burgers, try Bar Bar, Bantam Tavern, The Automatic Bar, Union Burger or Grain & Gristle.
One of our favorite to-go burger options comes from Division Street Grocers, operated by Submarine Hospitality. They have a Family Burger Kit, which comes with a six-pack of Martin’s rolls, secret sauce, sliced cheddar, bread and butter pickles, and six 4-ounce Laney Family Farms ground beef patties. Throw in a Caesar Kit, Pasta Salad, a Salad Mix or Chicken Wings, for no-stress sides to complete the meal!
Order Drink Mixers To-Go
Although alcohol is not offered to-go due to Oregon law, you can still get house-made cocktail mixers from some of your favorite restaurants and bars in Portland. The Eater put together a list of options, from margaritas to Old Fashioned mixes, and wine-based spritzers to mimosas. And if you’d rather someone else do the mixing, you can head to one of these restaurants in Vancouver, many of which are offering to-go alcoholic beverages!
Get Ice Cream To-Go
Another Fourth of July must is: ice cream. Make sure your freezer is stocked with a pint or two from your favorite local ice cream shop — or pick up some cones to-go! Need some direction? Check out some of our favorite ice cream shops in the city, many of which are offering takeout and delivery options.
Make a Recipe From Minimalist Baker
Cooking and meal prep can be an overwhelming feat — especially during a pandemic. Portland-based Minimalist Baker celebrates simple cooking by sharing recipes that require 10 ingredients or less, one bowl, or 30 minutes or less to prepare. Dana, the recipe developer, content creator, and food photographer behind the brand, has been blogging in some form since 2010. She has several recipes perfect for an at-home BBQ. Not only are the photos on Minimalist Baker beautiful, the recipes are incredible!
Host a Small BBQ
Speaking of a BBQ, if you feel comfortable, consider hosting a BBQ in your backyard with family or a small group of friends. Hosting outdoors is a great way to still abide by safety guidelines, while giving you a chance to spend time with some of your favorite people. If you’re looking for some creative ideas, Country Living put together a collection of 4th of July party ideas you can DIY, from crafty decor ideas and games to snack and drink recipes — all with a patriotic flair!
Happy Fourth of July!
While the holiday may look a little different this year, we hope you have a fun and safe Fourth of July.