What’s popping in February?

It’s a brand new year, and we’re already halfway through the first month, so here’s some big events that might catch your eye. 

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)

To start off, we have a rare space event occurring. During Feb. 1-2, the first Green Comet in 50,000 years has been confirmed by NASA to be reaching its closest point to earth. Oregonians may be lucky enough to see it with our bare eyes if conditions are right. You might be able to get a better view of it on the coast, but even that is not guaranteed. 

If you have a telescope or really good binoculars, keep in check with Nasa.gov though as the information on where you can view it shall change.

Portland Winter Light Festival

Want to see more bright and beautiful things? Check out the Portland Winter Light Festival from Feb. 3-11, featuring all sorts of beautiful forms of light arts ranging from pop-up light-art installations in storefronts and backyards to large-scale interactive art innovations that can be checked out all throughout the city. 

There will be multiple locations, but the concentrated areas can be seen in downtown Portland. Check out their website for a map and more at pdxwlf.com.

FAN Expo Portland

Interested in some geeky things? Visit the FAN Expo Portland event. It’s gonna have anything you’d expect as an aficionado with vendors and exhibitors with games, comics and on. 

It’s a great time to meet people like fans cosplaying characters to actual celebrities from movies and shows like Hellboy, Back to the Future, Star Trek, and even The Office actors. It’ll take place Feb. 17-19 with varying times at the Oregon Convention Center, but not without cost. Check out fanexpohq.com for more.

Lunar New Year at Chinese Lan Su Garden

If you missed some Lunar New Year events in January, then don’t worry, there will be another event in February! As the Lunar New Year is celebrated at the Lan Su Garden, one of Portland’s treasures. They will be having Lunar New Year events from Jan. 21 to Feb. 5. 

They will host multiple events throughout the time span with one of the important ones being the Lantern Viewing. Tickets will be available during Jan. 26-29. 

For information on where to buy tickets and more about the event, you can visit their website.

Cascade Festival of African Films

Another cultural activity is the Cascade Festival of African Films. These films describe what Africa is like from the eyes of African directors. These films all have great meanings such as #BlackJoyBoyGone, a documentary on black men on mental health; Father’s Day which “tackles the themes of paternity and its power, and its effect on women, children  and society”; and more that hold deep meaning.

They’re free to view at PCC Cascade from Feb. 3 to March 4. You can also check out the films online through their website 2023.africanfilmfestival.org, which also includes more information on the event.

Portland Mardi Gras Parade

The French holiday, the Mardi Gras Parade, which falls on Feb. 21, will be celebrated  on N. Mississippi Avenue, from 7:30-11:00 PM. You may dress up as anything and go there to dance with loved ones, friends and family. 

It is the last Mardi Gras parade inon the country, as other states have theirs earlier,  and there’ll be Louisianian food and more fun events you can attend. 

More information is available at portlandmardigras.com.

Portland Jazz Festival

Interested in Jazz? Then the Portland Jazz festival will be perfect for you. At Cathedral park from Feb. 16-25, artists will be performing for the festival’s 20th anniversary. Expect to see artists from various parts of the world performing, and you can even talk to some and learn about them through their celebrations of music.

For those not already interested in jazz, this can also be an  educational experience. 

You can check out the tickets and times of each concert at pdxjazz.org, as there are more than 150 concerts coming up. 

NW Black Comedy Festival

The NW Black Comedy Festival is perfect if you need a good laugh and will be happening Feb. 16-19. It’s the 7th annual comedy event: hosting 11 showcases, 2 live podcasts, and over 60 Black comedians from all over the world.

 You’ll be seeing what Dirty Angel Entertainment has to offer so check it out, and you might even be able to meet the founder and organizer of it all, comedian Hyjinx.

Each show costs $20 at 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard. There is an all-access festival pass for a hefty price of $250, that lets you see every show whenever you want. 

For more information on tickets, times and more, go to nwblackcomedyfest.com. The shows are all ages, and the website also gives descriptions of each show so you have an idea of what the content will be before you attend. 

That pretty much covers the most important events occuring in February. That being said, who knows what’ll be in store once the winter season comes to a close this March.