The Portland Saturday Market was founded by Sheri Teasdale and Andrea Scharf in 1974. The market was actually modeled after the Saturday Market located in Eugene, Oregon. The market was created as a mutual benefit corporation, which means that all members of the market share the cost of the market but keep all of the profit they make from the sale of their items. It is required that all items sold at the market be handmade by the individual selling the item. A committee judges each new item to ensure that it meets a minimum standard of quality.
The Portland Saturday Market is the largest outdoor arts and crafts market that has been continually operated in the United States. It is centered in the historic Old Town section of Portland.
There are several artisans present at the market. There are a variety of items for sale in the following categories: baby gifts, body products, candles, clothing, garden, games, glass, home furnishings, jewelry, musical instruments, metal sculpture, paper, pet products, photography, portraits, pottery and ceramics, sports, toys, visual arts, and wood arts.
For paper products alone, the market offers hand-dyed rice paper cards, handmade watercolor greeting cards, photo albums, hand-bound journals with non-adhesive bindings, and handmade watercolor drawings.
There are several artisans that specialize in metal works at the market. There are recycled steel garden sculptures, forged iron furnishings, tin lanterns, copper and brass leaves, wire sculptures, wind chimes, masks, flatware, jewelry, copper vases, and home d,cor.
The woodworking vendors offer wooden vases, furniture, cribbage boards, boxes, wooden cars, bookends, carved wooden frames, wooden clocks and weather stations, signs, cutting boards, and folk art.
A multitude of clothing items and accessories are for sale, including tie-dyed clothing, fleece clothing, organic clothing, velvet hats, travel vests, cat purses, handbags, baby buntings, scarves, and hobo style bags that are made with upholstery fabrics and handmade clay buttons.
The market also offers henna body painting and a complete line of henna products. Also available are handcrafted glycerin soaps, all natural bath and body products, shea butter creams and lotions, aromatherapy products, bath salts, pure essential oil blends, soy candles, beeswax candles, vegan soaps, and sachets.
In addition, the Portland Saturday Market offers a variety of food booths. Options include Greek cuisine, Lebanese cuisine, pizza, natural Mexican cuisine, vegetarian foods from Nepal, ice cream, barbeque Creole cuisine, Thai food, Polish cuisine, Guatemalan food, fajitas, burgers, Hawaiian food, East African cuisine, and Asian cuisine. There are many other options for snacks, like funnel cake, desserts, handmade confections, pastries, and other baked goods.
The market is dog friendly and welcomes patrons to bring their dogs, provided they clean up after their pets.
The market is open from 10:00am to 5:00pm on Saturday and from 11:00am to 4:30pm on Sunday. The market is located at 108 West Burnside in Portland, Oregon. There is no fee for admission to the market. The administrative offices are open Tuesday through Friday from 9:00am to 4:00pm and can be reached by calling 503-222-6072.