Coronavirus Update: we’re shifting the festival out to August 1-8. Read more here.
Take a twilight journey down Portland’s oldest streets to see the city’s most imaginative, historic neon gems. Steeped in architectural significance and a playful, pioneering spirit, these glowing beauties create a magical nightscape, connecting us to Portland’s sordid past, the richness of urban life, and a humble yet other-worldly, hand-made craft. On this tour, you’ll learn some local history, how neon signs work, and see beautiful vintage designs in the form of colorful, gas-filled glass tubes. Photography and lively Q & A are encouraged. Be prepared to walk 2 miles for approximately 2 hours, with a rest stop. The tour starts just before twilight, rain or shine, as neon looks great on a rainy night.
**PLEASE NOTE: Tour starting location will be disclosed to ticketholders, via email, a couple days before the event. Also please BRING I.D., because the tour ends at a bar.***
This tour includes stairs, sidewalks, streets crossings, and inclines. Terrain is rough urban streetscape, generally accessible for wheels of various sizes.
Your host is Kate Widdows, a local graphic designer who specializes in lettering, typefaces, branding, and neon. Kate is also co-producer of the Neon Speaks Festival & Symposium in San Francisco; creator of the Electric Letterland project, which is home to Portland’s neon walking tours, printed neon maps, and neon GIF classes; and co-founder of PDX Neon, a small group of neon preservationists.