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Portland is the largest city in the state of Oregon. Portland straddles the Willamette River immediately south of its confluence with the Columbia River. Portland is the third largest city in the Pacific Northwest, after Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia.

The population of Portland is estimated to be 556,370 as of July 1, 2005, and that of the surrounding metropolitan area (MSA) is approximately 2 million (the 24th largest in the United States).

Portland is known as "The City of Roses" or "Rose City". This nickname quickly grew in popularity after the Lewis and Clark centennial exposition where Mayor Harry Lane suggested that the city needed a "festival of roses." The first Portland Rose Festival was held two years later in 1907. Its climate is ideal for growing roses, and the city has many rose gardens, including the International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park. Other nicknames for the city of Portland include "Stumptown", "Bridgetown" (due to its numerous bridges), "Puddletown" (due to the weather), and "River City" (due to its proximity to the Willamette and Columbia Rivers), "PDX" (after the city's airport code), "P-town".

Portland and certain other Oregon cities (such as Hood River and Bend) are well-known for their beer. It is often said that Portland is the home of the microbrew revolution in the United States. Some illustrate Portlanders' interest in the beverage by an offer made in 1888, when local brewer Henry Weinhard volunteered to pump beer from his brewery into the newly dedicated Skidmore Fountain. However, the renown for quality beer dates to the 1980s, when state law was changed to allow consumption of beer on brewery premises. In short order, microbreweries and brewpubs began to pop up all over the city. Their growth was supported by the abundance of local ingredients, including two-row barley, over a dozen varieties of hops, and the pure water from Bull Run and other drainage basins of nearby Mount Hood.

Today, with 33 breweries within the city limits, Portland is home to more breweries than any other city in the world. The McMenamin brothers alone have over thirty brewpubs, distilleries and wineries scattered throughout the metropolitan area, several in renovated theaters and other old buildings otherwise destined for demolition. Other notable Portland brewers include Widmer Brothers, Bridgeport Brewing Company and the MacTarnahan's Brewing Company. In 1999, author Michael "Beerhunter" Jackson called Portland a candidate for the beer capital of the world because the city boasted more breweries than Cologne, Germany. A popular nickname for the city in beer appreciation circles is "Beervana."

Portland hosts a number of festivals throughout the year in celebration of beer, including the Oregon Brewers Festival. Held each July, it is the largest gathering of independent craft brewers in North America. Other major beer festivals throughout the calendar year are: in April Spring Beer and Wine Festival, in July Portland International Beerfest and in December Holiday Ale Festival.

An unusual feature of Portland entertainment is the large number of movie theaters that serve beer, often with second-run or revival films. Examples include the Laurelhurst Theater, Clinton Street Theater, Baghdad Theater, Mission Theater, the Kennedy School, and Edgefield Manor.


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