‘International Festival’ hosted by new business group on NE Sandy

See how people who stopped by NE Sandy Blvd were entertained, fed, and enlightened, at this first-ever event‚

Adding color, rhythm and movement to the International Festival are the Kanani O Ka Aina Polynesian dancers

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The newest business district located in Northeast Portland is the “Portland International District”.

Formerly the NE Central Sandy Business Association, this nonprofit serves businesses in the Roseway Neighborhood area along NE Sandy Blvd, from NE 50th Avenue east to Parkrose.

Although less than a year old, this association successfully mounted a public event, The International Festival on July 14 at the park blocks in the Roseway neighborhood on NE 72nd Ave. and NE Sandy Blvd.

Kicking off the event, Multnomah County Commissioner Jeff Cogen and Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams welcome the new business district to the city.

Getting things underway, Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams addressed the crowd, saying that Portland’s Business Districts help promote healthy communities. Multnomah County Commissioner Jeff Cogen talked about the importance of multicultural relations, and about how a greater awareness of diversity can help us become a stronger community.

Tyler Whitmire, president of the new district, blows helium balloons for guests in his cool, white tent.

“We’re celebrating diversity in our community here, at the first International Day Festival,” explained Tyler Whitmire, president of the Portland International District. “It is important to understand and enjoy differences among our cultures. We’re really not all that different! There is much we can learn from one another.”

Whitmire went on to say that the main thrust of the group is to help businesses to develop a safe, helpful, and harmonious environment for the community.

Without a river in sight, the An Daire Academy of Irish Dance vigorously performs classic dances to lively music.

At the Steamers Restaurant & Lounge booth are Eileen and Chef Edgar Stocker, Portland Mayor Tom Potter, Karin Hansen, and Dr. Thomas Wright.

The entertainment was truly international, featuring Irish (An Daire Academy of Irish Dance), Polynesian (Kanani O Ka Aina Productions), and Pilipino (Aguman Campampangan) dance troops, a strolling group of mariachi players and a Haldeman’s Oom-pa Boys German band.

Enjoying have craft fun at the Central Northeast Neighbors booth are Amelia and Julia Stout with a little help from Anna Stufano.

Meet with the International District members
“If you want to get involved, please join us at the Nazarene Church (entrance on West side of building) across from Safeway on Sandy Blvd. on the 4th Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m.,” requested Whitmire.

For more information, see www.pdxid.com or call Whitmire at (503) 572-8532.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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