Downtown Portland Clean & Safe News

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November/December 2018

Holiday Shopping Season Kicks Off in Downtown Portland


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It's beginning to look like a wonderland in Downtown Portland

By Eric Murfitt, Chair of Downtown Portland Clean & Safe

If you have ventured through Downtown Portland lately, you’ve noticed it is beginning to look like a winter wonderland. That’s right – the holiday season has officially begun in the Rose City! From festive lights and wonderful new retail offerings, to free parking on Sundays and holiday events, there is a lot of fun to be had in downtown during the holidays.


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Muji opens in historic Meier & Frank Building

Japanese lifestyle brand MUJI will open its first store in the Pacific Northwest in the historic Meier & Frank building at 5th Avenue and Morrison. This is the brand’s second largest store in the U.S., spanning 11,000 square feet. The MUJI name derives from the company’s original name in Japanese: Mujirushi Ryohin, meaning No Brand, Quality Goods. The brand’s main product line includes: Apparel, kitchenware, tableware, furniture, interior and storage accessories, stationery, skincare, bags and suitcases. MUJI started in 1980 and now has more than 400 stores in Japan.

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Pioneer Place welcomes fast-fashion giant Zara

Fast-fashion giant ZARA is now open at Pioneer Place. The 38,400 square foot store spans two levels of the complex at 3rd Avenue and Morrison, and features women’s, men’s and children’s collections. The store opened Nov. 1 and is touted as an eco-efficient store, using 20 percent less energy and 40 percent less water than traditional retail stores. ZARA is one of the biggest international fashion companies, owned by Inditex and based in Spain. The company, founded in 1963, owns more than 7,000 stores in 96 markets around the world. Over the years, ZARA has remained faithful to its core values, expressed simply in the same four keywords that define all stores: Beauty, clarity, functionality and sustainability.

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PDX Pop Up Shops are back for the ninth year

PDX Pop-Up Shops are back this year for the ninth year, turning Portland’s vacant retail space into temporary destinations for local designers and artists to “set up shop” for the season.

2018 PDX Pop-Up Shops include:
  • dfrntpigeon is a social enterprise lifestyle and apparel brand run by Portland’s marginalized youth, with the support of nonprofit New Avenues for Youth. dfrntpigeon’s unique designs are featured on unisex apparel, artist prints and a range of locally produced goods.
  • City Pop features handcrafted items, small goods and original art by Portland-based female artists. The thoughtfully crafted items are sure to put a smile on your face- vibrant colors, cute characters and quality materials combine to 'pop' a bit of fun into your daily life.
  • BlackSheepMade is a collection of hand-knit, locally made goods, fiber art and accessories for you, your pets and your home including scarves, hats, pet beds and wall hangings. Shop small batch, ready-made pieces, create your own on site or take a workshop and learn more.
  • Cloth & Ore showcases female designers, and their love and passion for all things beautiful. The shop features High Sparrow clothing and jewelry, in addition to all-natural, and handwoven home and clothing textiles.   
The shops are open through Dec. 24, dfrntpigeon is located at Pioneer Place mall on the second floor, City Pop is located at Director Park, and BlackSheepMade and Cloth & Ore are located at 803 SW Morrison.
The program has served as a launch pad for permanent shops, such as Crafty Wonderland, Boys Fort, and Bridge and Burn. Program partners include the Portland Business Alliance, Clean & Safe District, Prosper Portland, Innovative Housing, Inc., Travel Portland and Pioneer Place.

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Don't miss free parking Sundays at SmartPark

The gift that keeps on giving is back! Once again, shoppers can park for free in SmartPark garages all day on Sunday, Dec. 2, 9, 16 and 23. Between noon and 5 p.m., just show your SmarkPark ticket at the PDX Pop-Up Shop in Pioneer Place or at Boys Fort’s new location at 1001 SW Morrison to receive a $5 parking voucher to cover the cost of parking for the day.

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More than 750 trees flocked with festive lights in downtown

Every year, the Clean & Safe District lights more than 750 trees in a 63-block area in the retail core to provide a festive atmosphere. Holiday lighting flipped the “on” switch Nov. 1 and continues in the retail core though early March. Tree trunks on Yamhill and Morrison have enhanced lighting in November and December, bringing an even more festive feel to our signature retail streets. This year, it will be snowing all season long around Pioneer Courthouse. On Yamhill and Morrison, between Fifth and Sixth Avenue, look for a special installation of snowflakes lighting up the night sky.

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Make sure to share your list with Santa...or Hipster Santa

This year, Santa is traveling from the North Pole to make several stops in downtown Portland. Santa welcomes your pet to visit each Monday from Nov. 19 to Dec. 17, 5 to 8 p.m. Santa dons his hipster threads on Thursdays, and Dec. 1 and 2, and also welcomes pets on Nov. 26. Santa stops by Nordstrom Nov. 23 for the Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Square, and visits the store Nov. 24 and 25, Nov. 30 to Dec. 2, Dec. 7 to 9, and Dec. 14 to 24.

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Join the Festival of Lights to celebrate Chanukah

Chabad of Oregon hosts a Chanukah Menorah Lighting at Director Park. Join the Festival of Lights celebration on the first night of Chanukah with music, traditional foods, children's crafts and a Menorah Lighting with dignitaries on Sunday, Dec. 2 from 4 to 6 p.m. Menorah Lightings occur each night through Sunday, Dec. 9. Sunday through Thursday, lightings are held at 5:30 p.m. On Friday, Dec. 7, lighting occurs at 3 p.m. and on Saturday, Dec. 8, lighting occurs at 6 p.m. This will be the 35th year that Chabad of Oregon is lighting Portland's Public Menorah.

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So much holiday fun happening at Portland's Living Room

One of the best ways to feel the holiday spirit this season is to head to the heart of downtown for free family-friendly holiday events, activities, performances and Rose City traditions. If you couldn’t make it to the 34th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony last Friday, don’t worry! There is still plenty of holiday-fun to be had. Make sure you check out upcoming events including:
  • The Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition, presented by Portland Mall Management, Inc., is a fun and festive event that brings caroling groups of all ages to Portland’s Living Room – Pioneer Square – on Friday, Dec. 7 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Prizes are awarded to the top caroling groups along with a grand prize of $1,000. 
  • The 28th Annual Tuba Christmas Concert, presented by SmartPark, is on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 1:30 p.m. in the Square. Once again, downtown will pulse with the melodic sounds of big brass as nearly 300 tubas players perform a medley of seasonal songs during this free performance. 
For a complete list of holiday events and performances taking place at the Square, visit

For more information on these campaigns and other downtown happenings, visit or follow us on Facebook at Visit Downtown Portland, Instagram at @downtownpdx and Twitter at @inDowntownPDX. To participate in the conversation and follow the campaign, use #downtownpdx and #PDXPopUpShops.

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