Fourth of July & Waterfront Blues Festival: Let the good times roll with TriMet


Take TriMet to the Waterfront Blues Festival and Fourth of July festivities and avoid the hassles of driving and parking downtown

Here in Portland, something special happens this time of year. The city comes alive. Music fills the air. People dance. And for one fabulous night, we get together to experience one of the most spectacular fireworks shows in all of Oregon. It’s all part of the Waterfront Blues Festival, and TriMet is here to help you celebrate.

The Waterfront Blues Festival kicks off Friday, June 30 and runs through Tuesday, July 4. If past attendance is any indication, crowds will be huge. The annual festival is considered the largest of its kind west of the Mississippi, and it does a lot of good for our community. Last year, the event raised more than $1 million for the Oregon Food Bank.

Take TriMet

TriMet offers plenty of options to get to the downtown core and to Tom McCall Waterfront Park for the Blues Fest. Some bus lines let riders off steps from the gates. MAX isn’t far away, with a number of stops within blocks of the venue.

Plan ahead

Whether you go by bus, by train or a combination, TriMet makes it easy. Use our interactive Trip Planner for step-by-step directions. Transit Tracker shows you when the next bus or train will arrive.  You can also securely purchase fare and store your ticket on your smartphone when you download the TriMet Tickets AppFare is required for all riders seven years and older.

Celebrate the Fourth

The Blues Festival culminates with a spectacular fireworks display. It’s scheduled just after 10 p.m. on Tuesday, July 4. Ticket-holders can watch from Waterfront Park, but for those who just want to see the show, the Tilikum Crossing will be a popular spot.  Stay alert around buses and trains, and respect the marked pedestrian and bike lanes on the bridge. Pedestrians should not block cyclists. We want everyone to have a good time.

Be patient

The Fourth of July is a federal holiday. TriMet buses will be running on Sunday schedules; MAX trains will follow Saturday schedules. Starting around 9 p.m., additional buses and trains will be on hand to help riders get to the fireworks celebration. Vehicles may be crowded. You may want to plan some extra time.

Don’t drink and drive

Oregon’s Department of Transportation calls the 4th of July the state’s “deadliest holiday period” for impaired driving. If you’ve had too much, take TriMet.  It will be safer for you and everyone else on the road.

 Make it one to remember

TriMet wants the Blues Festival and the Fourth of July celebration to be memorable for all of the right reasons. Be visible and keep your children close so that you aren’t separated. Look up from your smartphone or device and look both ways before crossing streets or tracks. Obey signals. Once you’ve paid fare and boarded TriMet, be courteous. Remember to give up priority seating for those with disabilities or special needs. Finally, if you see something suspicious, say something. Notify your operator or call 9-1-1.