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Electric Letterland: A Walking Tour of Portland's Historic Neon Signs

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.***

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Festival Event registration opens on June 1, 2020.


This organizer is still confirming dates + details. You will get updates no later than June 1!


downtown Portland


This tour includes stairs, sidewalks, streets crossings, and inclines. Terrain is rough urban streetscape, generally accessible for wheels of various sizes.


Kate Widdows

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.