Downtown gets more “lit” as BEAM 2023 events illuminate Eugene

A participant at a workshop at MECCA getting ready for the BEAM BRiGHT Parade shows off his hat. Photo by Jenette Kime.

Eugene’s downtown will light up this weekend while BEAM 2023 shines a light on local artists, schools, nonprofits and businesses. For two days, BEAM 2023 explores an immersive experience bringing the community together with three events. The weekend’s festivities begin with the BEAM Showcase Oct. 13, highlighting 18 illuminated art installations. While enjoying the creative expressions, walk among live performances of aerial art, ballet, hip hop, glass blowing and new media as part of the Eugene Cultural Services’ Visual Arts Week, presented by the city of Eugene, ArtCity and the Eugene SLUG Queens. The next event is the BEAM BRiGHT Parade, combining the theme ART iN MOTiON with diversity, creativity and vibrant spirit. As the day fades into night, watch illuminated human and electric powered art entries such as marching, animals, musicals and more. The route travels 1.5 miles through downtown Eugene. Come dressed in custom or handmade illuminated costumes. “We would love to have all of Eugene ‘lit,’” says Jerril Nilson, old SLUG queen and one of the parade’s coordinators. Nilson and a cornucopia of SLUG queens will act as non-traditional grand marshals following towards the back of the parade. But the fun doesn’t stop there. End the night with the AfterParty. Listen for DJ TexCaliente and capture the night with photo booth artist Kenji Shimitzu. Grab a snack from Nothing Bundt Cakes, TikiTiki and Paper Plate BBQ. “We’re really excited to have all sorts of folks come out and support the event,” Nilson says. “We’re just looking to bring back Eugene’s quirk and make us all smile.”

BEAM Showcase is 7 pm Oct. 13 at the Park Blocks, 8th Ave. & Oak St. BEAM BRiGHT Parade starts at 7 pm Oct. 14 at 5th Ave. & Pearl St. and ends in the same location. BEAM AfterParty is 8:30 pm at Farmers’ Market Pavilion, 8th Ave. All events are free. For more info and ways to volunteer go to

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