Last Thursday On Alberta is an epic block party held every, you guessed it, last Thursday of the month! Last Thursday happens year round, but during the peak summer months the street is closed from 6:00-9:30 to all vehicle traffic (May-September) and runs from 15th to 30th Avenues.
What started out 19 years ago as an event to highlight the local galleries has morphed into a celebration of community and all forms of art. Many people have branded Last Thursday as the "fun sister" of the other monthly Thursday festival—First Thursday in The Pearl .
Last Thursday, compared to First Thursday, is full of shenanigans, unpredictable and never dull or boring. If you are a fan of First Thursday in The Pearl, chances are you will also enjoy Last Thursday on Alberta as well. Here's why...
The artists who set up booths to peddle their wares are driven by passion and their desire to create. The end result, one-of-a-kind statement pieces at bargain prices. Musicians are encountered on every corner and with just as much variety. Some belt out awesome cover songs, some play the accordion and make you feel like you're at a street festival in an obscure European village, African drums are played with verve, funk, punk—you name it,you'll hear it on Alberta Street.
Food, mmmmm, we all know Portland has a knack for gourmet street food. It's no different at last Thursday on Alberta. Enticing smells permeate the air, mingling neighborly with the variety of spices and and smells that have converged along this street. The restaurants are crowded, and honestly you can go to eat their any other night of the week, so why not enjoy slowly cruising the street and grabbing a bite from a vendor.
Those are some of the parallels to the "sweeter goody-goody sister," what you gain by hanging out with the more whimsical, fickle sister are experiences that leave vivid footprints across the landscape of your memories. Stilt walkers, fire performers, a girl with a bigillion hula hoops circling her body, adults and children dancing for no other reason than to please themselves, light-hearted humorous folks; a guy was giving away Free Shrugs, another had a sign that read: 'You tell me your story and I'll give you a dollar'.
The scene on Last Thursday on Alberta is definitely a Portland experience. Some of the best hours of people watching you'll ever encounter.
Cash is preferred but most vendors take credit. It's kid friendly but I will warn that the street gets very crowded, so unless you stay on the perimeter or your kid is an admirer of knee caps and shoes, it's better to go early stroll the street before the bulk of Portlanders converge.The summer months are always much busier.
Savor the art, the people, the food and the music! Let loose a little, dance in the street, tell a stranger your story-pet a pig! Have fun, take pictures and enjoy the experience of Last Thursday on Alberta!