|Portland Winter Light Festival|
A display at the 2016 festival
The Portland Winter Light Festival is an annual winter light festival in Portland, Oregon, in the United States. Each year has been presented by the local nonprofit Willamette Light Brigade and powered by Portland General Electric. The festival is always open to the public and free to attend.
The event, first held in 2016, featured over 40 light-based art installations, performances by the Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers, Circus Luminescence and Flamebuoyant and took place around OMSI, The Oregon Rail Heritage Museum and the Portland Spirit. Over 33,000 people were in attendance.
Between the river and the stars.
The 2017 festival was held primarily along the waterfront by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, The Oregon Rail Heritage Museum and the Portland Spirit and across the Willamette River at Zidell Yards, and had smaller installations throughout the city. This year had the official theme of "Between the River and the Stars". Over 48,000 people attended in its second year and over 70 artists, performers, and creators participated. Zidell Yards was the site of the Fire Art Garden, and the Art Lantern Parade made its way along Southeast Water Avenue and the Eastbank Esplanade. Educational speakers held panels every night as part of the Light Science Talks showcase. Entertainment along the 1.5-mile route included the Flash Bang Band and Misty Krewe of Nimbus. 2017 also marked a collaboration with the Portland Streetcar transit system which offered free rides to everyone during the event.
The Light of progress.
The 2018 festival was held in February 1-3, 2018. Art installations were held along the Willamette River and various locations throughout Portland. Artists included the Portland Opera, Ivan McLean and BodyVox. There were over 100 public art installations, 73 performers, and 12 educational speakers and workshops. Over 142,000 people visited the festival in 2018.
Into the Dreamscape.
Stephanie Yao Long of The Oregonian called the event "playful and wondrous". Martin Cizmar of the Willamette Week wrote, "This new event makes good use of the new Tilikum Crossing Bridge, not to mention the long, dark winter nights our latitude ensures."
In May 2017, the festival was featured on OPB's Oregon Art Beat television show, which stated "An easy walk along the East side Esplanade allows a visitor to take in everything from elaborate interactive LED sculptures to large-scale projection mapping to post-apocalyptic, fire-powered spaceships."
A feature in Amex Essentials highlighted the Portland Winter Light Festival. The event was the sole American festival to be included.