‘Community Fair’ celebrates springtime in outer East Portland

Discover what happens when a carnival, community displays, entertainment, and music are combined – and why the organizers of all this work, so that many can have a fun day …

At the event’s massive Cruise-in, this ’33 Ford Roadster is clearly the apple of owner Brian Ooten’s eye.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
After the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade, folks had good reason to head for the parade’s starting point, Eastport Plaza: A Community Fair got underway just after the last entry rolled out, on April 30.

“We all had a great time,” exclaimed the event’s hostess, Dianne Gill, Manager of Eastport Plaza. “This year was the largest, with 67 vendors and community service groups putting up displays and demonstrations for the public.”

Each car owner hopes for one of the gleaming trophies at the East Portland Community Fair Cruise-in at Eastport Plaza – put on by the Pharaoh’s Street Rodders Club, to benefit various charities.

Giving BIG greetings to folks at the Community Fair was stilt-walker, juggler, and circus arts instructor Heather Pearl.

After riding in his “Purple Heart Nova” during the parade, retired Clackamas County Sgt. Damon Coates – the law enforcement officer who was shot in the face while on duty several years ago – steps out to chat with fair-goers.

Also seen on our front page: Alicity Bittman enjoys a free pony ride at the Community Fair.

Fortunately, there was lots of parking on the sides and rear of Eastport Plaza; the front parking lots were filled with exhibitor tents, the entertainment stage, and FunTastic Carnival rides.

“173 classic and specialty vehicles came to the Cruise-in,” Gill beamed. “The proceeds from the car show registration went to the ‘Missing in America’ project coordinated with the Pharaohs Street Rodders. And, a 50/50 raffle earned $300 for the David Douglas Celtic Heart program.”

The River City Band – just one of several musical acts at the fair – rock out.

Visitors flock to the many exhibitor booths set up at this year’s fair.

The excitement of the FunTastic Carnival midway attracts both young and old.

BJ the Clown squeeks together another of his famous balloon hats for kids.

“To be able to give back to the community makes it rewarding,” Gill said. “Seeing the smiling faces of kids on the free pony rides, and enjoying the clowns, makes the Community Fair a great way to cap off the parade.”

Community Fair coordinator Dianne Gill says the group is already looking forward to hosting another fun family event on April 28, 2012.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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