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Downtown Portland Gets Dressed for the Holidays

Ugly Sweaters and Yarn Bomb Art Leads Winter Promotion

For more information:
Valerie Cunningham | 503.552.6754, 
Liza Dossick | 503.552.6772,

November 13, 2014

Today, city and business leaders gathered in festive sweaters to kick off the holiday shopping season. This year’s holiday campaign, based on a creative “ugly sweater” theme, includes area sculptures dressed in colorful, knitted attire, also known as “yarn bombing.”
“During the holidays, downtown Portland is the place to be,” said Mayor Charlie Hales. “It’s our unique combination of cultural attractions, restaurants and mix of local and national stores that draws people to the city. A temporary art installation, featuring this year’s holiday sweater theme, will top off a truly memorable experience.”
This year, Pioneer District sculptures will be yarn bombed by local fiber artists. The program began today with the iconic “Allow Me” statue located in Pioneer Courthouse Square and several of the “Animals in Pools” along Yamhill and Morrison streets. More than a dozen statues will be yarn bombed in the weeks leading up to the holidays.
“There’s always something magical happening downtown during the holidays,” said Downtown Retail Council Chair Kraig Buesch. “Plus, with 30 new retailer and restaurants that opened this year, there are even more reasons to come downtown.”
Throughout the season, visitors are encouraged to don their holiday wear while shopping, sampling seasonal menu items and more.  Retail events and special offerings through  November and December will be updated regularly at
This year’s campaign includes:
Monumental Attire
Iconic Portland statues will be yarn bombed with handmade, holiday-inspired fashion. Upcoming installations will take place between Fifth Avenue and Broadway  and along Yamhill and Morrison Streets. Look for holiday attire on the following statues, Allow Me” (man with umbrella), Animals in Pools” (bears, seals, deer, otters, beavers and ducks) and Kvinneakt” (nude woman).  Look for wardrobe changes on Thursdays through the season.
Transition Projects Clothing Drive
Downtown businesses have partnered with Transition Projects, Inc., to collect warm clothing this year.  Transition Projects is a local, nonprofit organization that serves the community by addressing the needs of individuals transitioning from homelessness to housing. Each year, Transition Projects provides clothing, food and other services to more than 9,000 people. Between now and December 31, donate new or gently-used winter clothing at the following businesses:
  • Pioneer Place- customer Service Kiosk, lower level near the Gap
  • Boys Fort- 902 SW Morrison Street
  • PDX Pop Up Shops- 11 NW 5th Avenue
  • Travel Portland Visitor Information at Pioneer Courthouse Square
  • Gigi Salon- 803 SW Morrison Street
PDX Pop-Up Shops
PDX Pop-up shops are back this year.  They will appear in Old Town Chinatown, a hub for creative class industries. PDX Pop-Ups turn Portland’s vacant retail space into temporary destinations for local designers and artists to “set up shop” for the season. Open now through  Dec. 24, Tuesday through  Saturday from 11am  to 7pm, Sunday 12 to 5pm. at 11 NW 5th  Ave., the
2014 pop-up shops include:
  • Draplin Design Co. & Field Notes: notebooks and office items
  • North St. Bags: bicycle bags
  • Omiyage: Japanese gifts
The program has been a launch pad for permanent shops, such as Crafty Wonderland, Boys Fort, and Bridge and Burn. Project partners include Portland Business Alliance and the Clean & Safe District, Portland Development Commission, Downtown Retail Advocate, Downtown Marketing Initiative and Travel Portland, and Beardsley Building Management.
Free Parking Sundays
Shoppers receive a special gift this year: Free parking in Smart Park garages all day on Sundays, December 7, 14 and 21. Between noon and 5:00 p.m., show your parking ticket at the customer service kiosk in Pioneer Place (lower level near Gap) or at Boys Fort (902 SW Morrison St.). Eligible drivers will receive a $5 parking voucher to cover the day’s cost of parking.
Pioneer Courthouse Square Holiday Events
Celebrating 30 years, Portland’s Living Room is the place to be this holiday season to enjoy free family-friendly holiday events and activities.  The season begins with the Stimson Lumber Tree Arrival on November 14. The 30th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, featuring Thomas Lauderdale with members of Pink Martini, “Oregon’s Own” 234th Army Band and  the NW Community Gospel Choir, will be held the day after Thanksgiving - Friday, November 28th  at 5:30pm.
Other events include The Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition, a fun and festive event  that will bring caroling groups of all ages to the heart  of downtown  on Friday, December 12, 2014, from 5:30pm  – 7:30pm.  Prizes will be awarded to the top caroling groups. The 24th Annual Tuba Christmas Concert will be on Saturday, December 13th at 1:30pm.  Once again downtown  will pulse with the melodic sounds of big brass as over 250 tubas play a medley  of seasonal songs in unison during this free performance.
For more information on these campaigns and other downtown happenings, visit, Facebook: and
Instagram: DowntownPDX.  To participate in the conversation, or follow the campaign on social media, use  #UglySweaterPDX and #pdxpopupshops.