1. Indulge your inner bier geek (21 +)
Where: Novare Res Bier Cafe, 4 Canal Plaza
When: Friday, 4 pm onwards
Cost: Pay as you drink
Novare Res commences their Bier Geek XMAS this Friday. Boasting “rare and special goodies,” this event gets its name because the tap lineup is so good that it’s like Christmas. The lineup will be announced on their site Friday, and I’d guess that if you spell beer like ‘bier,’ you’re probably safely in the ‘bier geek’ zone. If you’re not a so-called ‘bier geek,’ don’t fret! It can be fun to spend an evening pointing to random menu offerings and experimenting with new brews. Chiers.
2. Be a beauty in an ugly sweater (21+)
Where: Binga’s Stadium Smokehouse & Sports Bar, 77 Free Street
When: Saturday, 9:00 pm
Cost: Free entrance
Saturday, Binga’s Stadium celebrates one of modern history’s most beloved Christmas pastimes: the ugly sweater party. Teaming up with Sam Adams and Twenty 2 Vodka, there will be plenty of drink specials to help you see the beauty in even the ugliest of sweaters. Live music will be provided by the Kilcollins Band and DJ Asia, and there’s even a cash prize for the ugliest sweater coming your way if you’re bold enough.
3. Continue the holiday craft fair goodness with the 5th annual Picnic Holiday Sale
Where: Portland Company Complex, 58 Fore Street
When: Sunday, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Cost: Free entrance
This season seems so packed with Buy Local events, we’re nearly spoiled for choice here in downtown Portland. The Picnic Holiday Sale is no exception. Local indie crafters and artists will be selling their wares, with a vendors list too long to mention here. Bumping it up a notch, this holiday fair will have treats from Coffee by Design, Verbena Cafe, and Rosemont Market & Bakery. Perhaps even better, you can get your picture taken with a Yeti, so get weird and get local and come on down to the Picnic Holiday Sale this Sunday.
4. Get bang for your buck at the Holiday Movie Extravaganza
Where: State Theatre, 609 Congress Street
When: Sunday, 4:00 PM
Cost: $5 for both movies
There’s some quip about how expensive movies are these days that could go here, but the bottom line is this is a great deal. The State Theatre is truly having mercy on our over-spending holiday wallets and providing a fun evening that’s affordable and unique. This Sunday at 4 pm, they’re showing a double feature of two classic holiday films in their own rights. The first: The Nightmare Before Christmas, a less traditional classic, but one none the less. Stay for the 6 pm showing of It’s a Wonderful Life and really get your $5 worth. While very different films, they both bring back memories of Christmas past to those who’ve loved them for years. There will be an encore presentation of The Nightmare Before Christmas at 9 pm, so you can even pinch in some more value for your dollar and watch all three showings if you’re an intrepid saver.
5. Take a moment to reflect with Dispatch Classic Album Sunday at Empire
Where: Empire, 575 Congress Street (18 +)
When: Sunday, 5:00 pm
Cost: $5 at the door or online
It’s every vinyl purist’s favorite time of the month: Classic Album Sunday at Empire. Once a month, Empire plays a vinyl album from cover to cover and people turn off their phones, minimize their talking, and tune in to the music. This months’ album is Led Zeppelin’s House of the Holy. Celebrating the 40th anniversary of its release, this album marked a maturation for Zeppelin, finding influence from acts like James Brown and infusing Reggae into songs like “D’yer Mak’er”. Come early to listen to the acts that inspired this album, as well as other House of the Holy contemporaries. It’s events like this that truly make Portland a varied and diverse town.