IT'S FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND, Y'ALL! (So what are YOU doing?)

Wm. Steven Humphrey: "As mentioned in Busy Week, it's my Fourth of July tradition to go to the St. Paul Rodeo—in beautiful, non-bustling St. Paul, Oregon... a mere 45 minute drive from Portland. And for me, the rodeo isn't even the highlight! My fave part is the super quaint and charming Fourth of July parade (starting at 10 am) which features all the things I love about small town parades: Lots of tractors and farm implements, old-timey fire trucks, pageant winners riding in the back of convertibles, and bedazzled cowgirls trotting along on horses. PLUS! It's got an awesome carnival (featuring my favorite thing in the world: a mechanical bull), AND a surprisingly great food court featuring BBQ and some of the best Mexican food you'll have anywhere. And if you like people watching, it doesn't get much more interesting than this. THE ST. PAUL RODEO, PEOPLE! Learn it, know it, live it! (Oh, also don't miss Ian Karmel's headlining act at Helium!)"


Courtney Ferguson: “Happy finger-maiming weekend, guys! I'm sad I won't be able to make it to the Ferguson Family Olympics, an annual spine-cruncher that puts the Kennedys to shame with such events as Competitive Watermelon Eating and the Water Slide Interpretive Dance, but I'm going to make the most of it by attending a BBQ and drinking too much. After the crapulence wears off, I'll catch Snowpiercer at the Hollywood, and finish up local author Mary Robinette Kowal's Valour and Vanity book about magical glamourists in the Regency Period. Wha? It's good. Oh, and World Cup! I'll be rooting for Costa Rica on Saturday at the Moon and Sixpence. Go Ticos!”

Erik Henriksen: For next week's Mercury, I'm writing about the NW Film Center's upcoming Wes Anderson series—which means this weekend I've got to re-watch a ton of Wes Anderson movies and movies that influenced Wes Anderson. O, WOE IS ME. I'm also looking forward to finally getting started on James S.A. Corey's Cibola Burn, which I picked up a few weeks ago when the authors did a reading out at Powell's Cedar Hills. It was one of the best readings I've been to, probably because (A) it was all Q&A, with none of the always-terrible "reading" parts that are usually parts of readings, and (B) there was a guy dressed up as Chewbacca in attendance, listening intently to the whole thing.

Ned Lannamann: "I've got some friends in from out of town so we'll be doing some Independence Day celebrating tomorrow, in a form yet to be determined. Beer, grilling, music, yes, but probably no firecrackers, because they're dumb. Meanwhile, tonight I'll be checking out Sharon Van Etten at the Dog Fur, and Saturday I have my fingers crossed that I can get into the Nick Cave show at the Schnitz, before popping over to see the fantastic Messrs. & Ms. Phox. Otherwise, I'll keeping things free and easy, and hopefully checking out some of the Fourth of July festivities happening in inner Southeast at East End, Dig a Pony, and Bunk Bar."

Marjorie Skinner: “Tonight I’m going to take advantage of Star Bar’s kickass happy hour (which goes longer and later than most) before heading to Ian Karmel’s show at Helium. Tomorrow is gonna be about river times until it becomes about grillin’ and backyard band times. Saturday I want to check out the East End block party, and on Sunday I’m thinking an Oregon City day trip might be in order, especially since my thrifter brother-in-law is in town and there are a ton of spots to ferret through on the way. When we arrive, two orders of business: Pizza at Mi Famiglia and a scotch at The Highland Stillhouse.”