Take a look, and see why it doesn’t take some ‘Official’ to get a community celebration like the ‘Mid-Way Fun Fair’ going …
“Mid-Way Fun Fair” promoter Gary Gleason, of Gary’s Barber Shop, gives customer Gil Cedbaca a trim in his shop, during the celebration.
Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Some neighborhood and community events are started and backed by corporation presidents or government officials. But not all of them. At least, not in outer East Portland.
“Originally, this was just to be a little sidewalk sale for our little mall,” explained Gary Gleason of Gary’s Barber Shop, at 16100 SE Division Street.
“I got the bright idea of going over and talking to Burgerville, kitty-corner from our mall, and the manager jumped on the idea,” Gleason told East Portland News, while giving a customer a trim in his shop.
Outside Gary’s Barber Shop, people stop by to look at the unique vehicles on display.
Band members of “Last Call” – and some of their musical friends – rock out the cruise-in.
But, the barber-turned-community-promoter didn’t stop there.
“Then I went out and talked to Fred Meyer [at SE 148th Avenue and Division Street] – the general manager down there said our community could really use a ‘feel-good day’. So this is what we put together.”
What started out being a sidewalk sale, turned into a cruise-in, a band concert, and a community fair at several locations.
A Community Fair springs up in the parking lot of the SE 148th Avenue Division Street Fred Meyer Store.
“You are here” says Division Midway Alliance District Manager Lori Boisen, as she points out the location on the district’s map.
In the east parking lot of the Fred Meyer store, Division Midway Alliance District Manager, and also secretary of the Midway Business Association Lori Boisen, said the organizations she represented were pleased to be invited to participate.
“We are celebrating the small businesses in the Midway District,” Boisen said. “For example, we have coupons from businesses who are members of the Midway Business Association. And, we’re taking surveys to find out what community members would like to see happen on SE Division Street.”
“Mid-Way Fun Fair” guest Anthony Guerra-Johnson gets a look inside Portland Fire Rescue Truck 7, with Firefighter Dan Watson.
Centennial Community Association Chair Tom Lewis tells folks about the effort to get the neighborhood’s Parklane Park fully developed.
Several businesses had their own booths at which they greeted visitors at this location, as did the Centennial Community Association. The crew of Portland Fire & Rescue Truck 7 from Mill Park showed kids – of all ages – around their rig.
It’s important to hold events like this, because it builds community identity, Boisen added. “This helps create a stronger neighborhood, and gets more people involved. I commend Gary [Gleason] for ‘starting the ball rolling’, to create this event that builds a sense of community pride in the area.”
© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News