‘Fun-O-Rama Parade’ returns to Gateway District

You’ll enjoy looking at some of the many parade entries – plus, see the fun they had at the Community Fair that followed the parade – all sponsored by Gateway Area Business Association folks …

GABA Fun-O-Rama Parade Chair Peter Diamond, of the Warren Allen Law Firm, marshals the parade entrants.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
A late spring event, on hiatus since 2009, returned this year – as the Gateway Area Business Association (GABA) revived its Fun-O-Rama Parade and Community Fair on May 19.

“We brought it back because it really helps bring the community together,” commented GABA’s President Fred Sanchez, of Realty Brokers.

Leading off the Fun-O-Rama Parade is the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Color Guard.

Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton greets the crowd.

Here comes the entire 2012 Portland Rose Festival Court.

“It shows off the vibrant nature of the Gateway area,” Sanchez added.

Highlights of the Community Fair included a flag ceremony, with the National Anthem beautifully sung by Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jonelle Olszewski. The big raffle drawing kept things lively, as attendees cheered when they won valuable prizes.

The entire 2012 Portland Rose Festival Court rode in the mid-County parade, and went on to greet folks at the Community Fair. Later in the afternoon, the Parkrose High Debonaires sang, and reminded folks to pick up a copy of the new music CD produced by GABA to help fund their music program.

Also on our front page: Graciela Shepard is decked out in her colorful best, as she rides her trike in the Fun-O-Rama parade.

Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, named “2011 Gateway Citizen of the Year”, walks in the parade.

The process of producing this year’s event, Sanchez commented, helped GABA form and strengthen partnerships with businesses, nonprofit organizations, and area neighborhoods.

“It was the best event ever,” commented Hazelwood Neighborhood Association Chair Arlene Kimura. “It was fun. I heard from many who were pleased.”

Sanchez responded, “The Hazelwood Neighborhood rallied behind the event and supported it. And, we had good community support from surrounding neighborhoods.”

Spectator Ann Fish gets “summonsed” to appear at the Fun-O-Rama Community fair by the GABA Keystone Kops.

Fun-O-Rama Community Fair Album

Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Commander Michael Lee, and Lt. Larry Graham, flank Fun-O-Rama Community Fair host Fred Sanchez.

Selling raffle tickets, and holding drawings, is GABA Treasurer Karen Montez, of Synergy Restoration & Construction LLC.

The Fun-O-Rama Community Fair’s midway swirls with activity.

During the stirring flag ceremony, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jonelle Olszewski sings an inspired rendition of the National Anthem.

Liliana Gutierrez has fun at the fair with her dad, Javier, who is manager of the Midway Branch Library.

Musically yours – yes it’s Portland City Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Randy Leonard – singing!

Hazelwood Neighborhood Association Chair Arlene Kimura, and East Portland Neighborhood Office Director Richard Bixby, relax between visits with neighbors.

Nothing makes an event as colorful as does an appearance by the 2012 Portland Rose Festival Court.

About next year, Sanchez said, “We’re already planning to make our 2013 Fun-O-Rama even bigger and better.”

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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