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PDX Winter Light Fest Comes to Hillsdale Feb. 2-3 & 9-10

[January 31, 2024]

"Pressure Buttons"

Hillsdale Food Park

Friday and Saturday, February 2-3; Friday and Saturday, February 9-10


"Jellyfish Adrift"

Ida B. Wells High School, Vermont St. entry

Friday and Saturday, February 2-3 and Friday and Saturday, February 9-10


Glow Dance

Ida. B. Wells Vermont St. entrance patio

Friday, February 9


All events are free.

The Portland Winter Light Festival provides a new perspective on the short, dark days

of winter by inviting people out to enjoy the city after the sun goes down. For the first

time, Hillsdale will be part of this city-wide event with two light installations, one at the Food Park and one at Wells High School.

The artistic team behind "Pressure Buttons" has combined their skills in choreography, videography, electrical construction, and music to design an interactive experience that all ages can enjoy. The team consists of Nick Le-Jurica, Skye Richter, Fred Cirillo, Jesse Harwin, and Richard Stein, all with strong ties to Hillsdale.

The carts at the Food Park will be open during the Festival, with hot chocolate and wine available for purchase. Other elements of the entertainment include a warming fire pit and poi fire dancers.

Students in the Wells Makerspace Club have created an installation they call "Jellyfish Adrift," representing their struggle to find calm in a chaotic world. In their artist statement about the piece they say, "Many of us wish that the world would slow down, even just for a little bit. This piece represents that idea of wishful thinking. The relaxed jellyfish goes with the flow of the current, moving at its own pace and in a beautiful manner."

Makerspace Club artists are Eli Yoshimura, Declan Keenan, Lenna Kiser, Matthew Dinh, Fraser Zahniser, Ansel Stanik, Harper Wicker-Lenseigne, and Stuart Rawnsley.

On February 9 from 6-7:30pm, Wells students will host a Glow Dance to welcome the community to their exhibit. The event includes a live DJ, glowing attractions, and handcrafted light displays.

For those who haven't yet experienced the Winter Light Festival, Food Park owner Richard Stein offers these tips: "Dress warmly, gather some friends. Start in Hillsdale and then head downtown to Pioneer Square. After that, migrate to the World Trade Center followed by a walk across the Hawthorne Bridge to the southeast hub of the festival. Don't miss the Silent Disco!"

Various planning tools are available at the Portland Winter Light Festival website.

—Valeurie Friedman


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