2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the Portland Adult Soap Box Derby. Each year, a group of adult Portlanders make their way to the hills of Mount Tabor, Portland’s own volcano, with intricate, hand-built soapbox cars to tear down the side of the volcano in an epic race of insanity and near-death craziness much to the great amusement of the huge crowds that assemble there.
It’s a ton of fun, but how did it get started and why?
Portland is weird. This is nothing new.
We’re both anti-consumerist and one of the most trend-setting (and trend-adopting) cities in the country, if not the world.
We have an attention-seeking population the size of a small country, willing to perform the most inane human party tricks just to have someone look at them (ever seen our unicycle-riding Star Wars-loving bagpipe player?).
So, when American Idol announced its surprisingly-early return this fall (the gods rewarded us with its cancellation a season ago, but, what the gods giveth, they also taketh away), we suppose we shouldn’t be surprised that Portland is the kickoff audition city on Thursday, August 17, 2017.
In 2004, a bunch of comic creators (writers, artists, pencilers, colorists) got together to make a comic book show that focused on the creators instead of the publishers and distributors. Don’t get us wrong – we’re fans of the major Comicons all over the country, but this would be a show by the creators, for the creators. Naturally, since it would be based in Portland, the show’s name would have to do something with Portland, and, thus, Stumptown Comics Fest was born.
Every city has its sights and landmarks that visitors truly must see. New York City has the Statue of Liberty and politico-filled prostitution rings, Los Angeles has Disneyland and impenetrable smog as far as the eye can see – Portland has the Portland Saturday Market.