Thursday, July 8, 2010

Portland Festival - Zydeco and Blues

First visit to the Portland Blues (and Zydeco) festival in downtown Portland. What a great event and place to play for a fourth of July weekend retreat!

This video clip has Curley Taylor pumping out the Zydeco tunes while Lilli Ann and her daughter dance on stage. It was very cool that Curley had many dancers up there while he was playing during his set.

There were pleanty of dancers from most of the west coast as well as some good Cajun/Zydeco bands to dance to.

Here is a little video clip of a little zydeco dance demonstration we did at the festival:

If you can go in a day or two before the festival starts I would recommend it as there is plenty of stuff to keep you busy around downtown.

Portland has a great cheap transportation system to get you to and from the airport at just about any time. It cost $3.00 each way for the 40 minute direct ride that drops you right downtown. Free trams in the downtown area can take you all over downtown for free.

Here are a few of the things I checked out and would recommend if you get a chance to do the festival.

Portland Walking Tours - There are many tours to choose from and the one I did was very good.

Washington Park - Great walking park with a huge garden and tons of areas to explore. Take the tram to the park and back for very cheap.
Portland Saturday and Sunday Market - Great market with tons of stalls and food vendors to keep you busy for several hours.

Powell's City of Books store - Largest book store that I have ever been in ... amazing...

Portland Food Carts - There are over 500 around the entire city and downtown has a ton as well. Don't discount food carts as bad fast food... several great restaraunts started as food carts in Portland.

Bar and Food - The Veritable Quandary was a great little bar and restaraunt right next to the festival to catch a beer or bite for a little break from the festival or after as a few of us enjoyed the place.

Marriot Downtown Waterfront which is where many people stayed... or you can go the el-cheapo way that I did at the Downtown Value Inn.

Downtown Value Inn - AAE
The hotel I stayed at was $55/night which is half the price of any standard hotel. The reviews were very mixed so I was a little worried. For those who need a pampered room with expectations of the Marriot or other hotels you need to not stay here, but if you compare it to any well used Motel 6 I would say it is about the same. There was free internet, a great little pizza place and bar next door and a TV, microwave and phone in each room. Yes it was older but the area of downtown was the college area which was nice and it was about 5 blocks walk to the Blues festival which was great. One block from the free downtown tram. I would stay there again.

Great festival and looking forward to possibly checking it out next year..

Here is a little video clip of the dance floor pumping...

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