Since opening its gates in 1946, Portland Meadows has hosted exhilarating thoroughbred and quarter-horse races on its 1-mile oval every year from July to December. As racehorses burst forth from the track's 12-stall starting gate every thirty minutes during nine daily races, crowds of up to 4,400 shout their favorite ponies' names from indoor and outdoor seats and cheer on jockeys in a secret language known only to horse whisperers. Adults may place wagers on the races, test their luck at video lottery terminals, or take a closer look at the horses at the saddling enclosure; meanwhile, kids can blow off steam at the HorsePlay Kids Zones, which welcomes guests every weekend. Admission is always free at Portland Meadows, as is parking in its 300,000-square-foot lot.
Four Horsemen Haunted Attractions spooks its guests twice over with two connected haunted houses spanning more than 18,000 square feet. The gut-wrenching walkthroughs kick off with Primus, where scientists have uncovered strange organisms that showcase advances in science and medicine. But what they uncovered is not at benign as it seemed, causing horrific mutations of the most ancient kind. Four Horsemen's actors elicit screams through dialogue and shocking reveals, elevating the genre beyond cheap-and-dirty scare tactics that usually include dressing up like each guest’s high-school gym teacher. In the connected Hellhouse, guests follow in the footsteps of a film crew hoping to find the mysterious place where a band of serial killers kept their victims. Scripted live-action sequences and seamlessly integrated video back up roving monsters, creating a uniquely immersive haunted experience.
In a courageous crusade to reverse of the advance of gloomery and doldrumage, the Curious Comedy Theater puts up hilarious sketch and improv comedy shows in an intimate, bistro-style performance space with a full bar. This non-profit theater was the first of its kind in Portland devoted exclusively to comedy, and the second of its kind to incorporate a 4-D ride experience. Though the schedule frequently rotates, recent main-stage offerings included Playback Theater, a form of improv that takes stories from the audience and acts them out on the spot, and Sock It to Me, a '60s-themed sketch comedy with an ensemble cast of some of Portland's best performers.
Since 1977, the Historic Motor Sports Association has sped classic racecars toward the limelight, exhibiting their still-speedy maneuvering and encouraging their preservation. Annual races put the steel and chrome beasts through their paces once more, and guests chat with drivers and crew members and slip get-well cards into the upholstery of hundreds of other vintage vehicles no longer in racing condition.
Portland Playhouse is dedicated to producing quality, intimate, live performances in which the interaction between artists and audience is paramount. We hold theatre to be a space in which people of all social, economic, racial, and political backgrounds can come together to celebrate the complexities of human life.
This season, a brand-new bar has materialized alongside the established music venue for a true multisensory evening out. Recently released into the wild on July 10 of this year, Bar Bar's grand opening springboards an outdoor-patio concert series, smoking and non-smoking patios, and a creative cocktail menu. A succinct lineup will be available, with more options added with each massing moonset. Hang a fang on a 3/8 lb. classic burger ($5.50, $6 with cheese) before cooling off with a refreshing cocktail at the new space fashioned by renowned Portland entrepreneurs Alicia J. Rose, Jim Brunberg, Peter Bro (Aalto Lounge, Broder Cafe, Savoy Bistro), Tali Ovadia (The Whole Bowl), and Kevin Cradock.