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Downtown Portland Gets Dressed for the Holidays: 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Downtown Portland Gets Dressed for the Holidays: 

Ugly Sweaters and Yarn Bomb Arts Campaign Knit Together Winter Promotion

PORTLAND, Ore. (November 14, 2013) – Today, city and business leaders donned festive holiday sweaters and came together to kick off the holiday shopping season and unveil this year’s holiday campaign — a whimsical “ugly sweater” theme that includes dressing up downtown sculptures with knitted festive attire, also called “yarn bombing.”

“During the holidays, downtown Portland is the place to be,” said Mayor Charlie Hales. “It’s our unique combination of cultural attractions, restaurants and the mix of local and national stores that draws people downtown. Top it off with a temporary art installation and social media contest that ties into this year’s holiday sweater theme, and it knits together a truly memorable experience.”

During this year’s holiday campaign, Pioneer District sculptures will be yarn bombed by local fiber artists, bringing some additional festive fun to downtown’s shopping core. The program began today with the iconic “Allow Me” statue located in Pioneer Courthouse Square and several of the “Animals in Pools” along Yamhill and Morrison streets. More than a dozen total statues will be yarn bombed in the weeks leading up to a family-friendly Ugly Sweater Decorating Party at the new Punch Bowl Social on Dec. 7.

“There’s always something magical happening downtown during the holidays,” said Downtown Retail Council Chair Emily Flint. “Plus, with 40 new retailers this year, there are even more reasons to come downtown for the holidays.”

Throughout the season, downtown retailers will host sweater and knit-themed events, encouraging customers to don their holiday-wear while shopping holiday sales, sampling seasonal menu items and more. Retail events and special offerings through November and December will be updated regularly at

This year’s campaign components:

Monumental Attire
Iconic Portland statues will be “yarn bombed” with handmade, holiday-inspired fashion. Upcoming installations will all take place between Fifth Avenue and Broadway along Yamhill and Morrison streets:

• Nov. 14-17: “Allow Me” (man with umbrella) and “Animals in Pools” (deer and otters) statues
• Nov. 18-27: “Animals in Pools” (ducks and beavers) and “Kvinneakt” (nude woman) statues
• Nov. 30-Dec. 6: “Animals in Pools” (bears and seals) statues

For more information about the campaign and artists, click here.

Ugly Sweater Photo Contest
Beginning Dec. 2, a social media campaign will encourage people to post photos of themselves in ugly sweaters to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #uglysweaterpdx and fill out an entry form online. Weekly winners receive a $50 gift card to Pioneer Place to buy a new, non-ugly sweater. At the end of the contest, a grand prize winner will be chosen by a panel of judges to receive a downtown holiday getaway that includes hotel, dinner, breakfast, a show and shopping spree.

Ugly Sweater Decorating Party – Saturday, Dec, 7, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Get decked out at the Ugly Sweater Decorating Party at Punch Bowl Social in Pioneer Place. Sweatshirts and glitzy holiday material will be available to decorate, or bring your own to add on some extra holiday spirit. Attendees are encouraged to bring warm clothing donations for Transition Projects, Inc., a Portland organization that helps people transition from homeless to housing. SmartPark will provide free parking for party-goers.

Magic Moments
Stop by the Magic Moments booth in Boys Fort (902 SW Morrison St.) and show a receipt from a Downtown retailer to receive free giveaways, including free SmartPark parking vouchers. The Magic Moments booth is open from 3-7 p.m. on Dec. 5, 12 and 19.

For more information on these campaigns and other downtown happenings, visit To participate in the conversation, or follow the campaign on social media, use #UglySweaterPDX.

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The Downtown Marketing Initiative
The Downtown Marketing Initiative is a public-private partnership created and funded by the City of Portland and its partners that is dedicated to promoting the long-term vitality of downtown Portland. Since its inception in 2006, the Downtown Marketing Initiative has successfully supported downtown during a period of intense redevelopment and has become a critical economic stimulus tool in the current financial climate. For more information please visit Like on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

Downtown Clean & Safe District
Downtown’s Clean & Safe District was created more than 20 years ago to support additional cleaning and security in the central city. The district, funded by downtown property owners, includes 213 blocks in the central city, and also supports market research and retail recruitment and retention efforts. The district is managed by the Portland Business Alliance under the direction of the district’s board of directors.

The Portland Business Alliance
The Portland Business Alliance is Greater Portland’s Chamber of Commerce. With about 1,600 members, we strive to promote and foster an environment in the Portland region that attracts, supports and retains private sector jobs, spurs economic vitality and enables quality educational opportunities for the region’s residents. Learn more at

The Regional Arts & Culture Council
The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) receives funding from a variety of public and private partners to serve artists, arts organizations, schools and residents throughout Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties. Learn more at