The Portland Winter Light Festival is going as I write this. Last year we chickened out due to rain. This year we did not. The Max line is not far from here and there is a stop right in the center of the activity. The Portland Opera was singing on the Portland Spirit boat. Light displays were setup between the Portland Opera building , OMSI and east to the Oregon Rail Heritage Center. The festival is all about messing with light. It has it coming after all. The first thing we saw were counter rotating circles of steel, lit from behind with various symmetric patterns plasma cut into them. Variations in the patterns caused some surprising moiré patterns to occur. Glass globes that hummed deeply when stroked were being happily caressed. At the rail museum 25 or so circular fluorescents bonged at various tones when one passed underneath. People were crashing into each other there. A large tesla coil was throwing 15 inch bolts, (1,140,000 volts to do that), also at the rail museum. There the locomotives were lit beautifully. Nothing like a steam locomotive lit from within to generate a sense of romantic awe. There were at least two places where people could play with large amounts of sudden flame.
Remember that scene in the Wizard of Oz where the wizard is on the screen and huge flames suddenly roar? You could do that for yourself. There was a line.