Attendance doubles a Second “International Festival”

What a great summertime festival! See why more folks are setting aside the second Saturday in July to attend this event …

Tyler Whitmire, president of the Portland International District Business Association strings up the welcoming banner.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The second annual International Festival on July 14 – a community program of the Portland International District Business Association – was again gifted with sunny weather and blue skies.

And, the event grew this year, with more than double the attendance of the first one.

The An Daire Academy of the Celtic Arts – based in Portland and now with a school in Corvallis – energetically performed “Riverdance”-style Irish Step Dancing to the delight of the audience.

Making a ‘culturally inclusive’ area
“We are creating a culturally inclusive zone in Portland,” Tyler Whitmire, the president of the district association explained. “It’s where people can come and learn to understand one another. When understanding increased, people can benefit from the enlightenment that comes from exchanging ideas and culture.”

This event, Whitmire continued, helps do that by bringing people together to explore and celebrate their cultures.

Portland City Commissioner and Mayor-elect Sam Adams visits the festival. Here, he’s checking in at the Lions Club Health Screening van with volunteer Jan Wilson.

Adams congratulates fest organizers
“This festival is important in terms of what we want for our neighborhoods and our city,” said Mayor-elect Sam Adams, speaking to folks at the event. “I’ve been here both years, and it is amazing at how much it’s grown this year.”

Adams thanked Whitmire, Dr. Thomas Wright, and Eileen Stoker, and other organizers of the event. “I see lots of volunteers here, doing a lot of work to help keep this neighborhood get safe and friendly. I thank everyone who helps put this on.”

Entertainment abounds
The main stage at the Festival was the focal point for the event, as act after act entertained attendees.

Among the musical acts: Sam Bamboo played with steel drums; Love Pyle played American classics, and featured a young lady who really could belt out the blues; Allen Mathews sat in to play a solo set of Brazilian classical guitar music; and Haldaman’s Ooompa Boys finished the day with rousing Germanic songs – including the famous “Chicken Dance”.

Our International Festival Photo Album

The streets along Roseway Park are lined with public service providers, community group representatives and lots of great food booths.

The Roseway Neighbors Players Chauntey Cruz, Terrie Quinteros, Kieu-Oanh Nguyen, and Morris McClellan are introduced by the play’s author and director, Jeannie LaFrance, before they present “This Place is Home”.

Ronda Johnson of Central Northeast Neighbors hands out literature.

Artist Carol Hamilton paints a fine likeness of Spongebob Squarepants on Jakob Smith’s leg.

Demonstrating dances of the Pacific Isles is Kanani O Ka Aina. Kanani is on the left.

Again this year, it was your reporter’s pleasure to serve as Master of Ceremonies for the event. Special thanks to our audio producer, Mo McClellan.

Find out more
Want to find out more about this association, that works with business and neighbors along NE Sandy Boulevard? “Find out more information by going to, to find other ways we bring businesses and neighbors together,” invited Whitmire.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland New

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