Midway throngs enjoy ‘Prosperity District’ Fall Festival

Especially for a first-time event – held on a day forecast for rain. See how well this outer East Portland community-building project actually worked out …

Hundreds of folks come out to enjoy the first ever Midway Alliance for Community Improvement Fall Festival.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
After experiencing two weekends of heavy rain and winds, the organizer of the Division Midway Alliance for Community Improvement (DMA) “Fall Festival” were questioning their selection of event dates.

But, October 13 dawned a beautiful, sunny Sunday – with moderate temperatures just right for a family-oriented outdoor event.

Emily Tippery takes in the interior of Portland Fire & Rescue Engine 7, while Elizabeth Molinari checks out the equipment, under the watchful eye of Firefighter Kerry Kilner.

Numerous community, non-profit, and business booths lined the parking shared by Dukes Bar and Grill, located at 14601 SE Division Street and at a Key Bank branch.

Throughout the day, the Kalabharathl Dance Company, the great show-band Chervona, the entertaining Monkey King Playhouse, and face-painters, entertained the crowd. And, outer East Portland’s own Cha Cha the Clown engaged visitors throughout the venue.

David Edwards of David Edwards Insurance sells more tickets to the Fall Festival’s raffle.

Pastor Dawn Faihtinger from Christ over our Lives takes the “Les Schwab Tire Rolling Challenge” under the watchful eye of David Douglas High School volunteer Ethan Archer.

DMA’s Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative District Manager Lori Boisen was busy helping guests through the “fitness challenge” – another facet of the event when she spoke with East Portland News.

“It’s been absolutely fantastic,” Boisen reported. “We’ve had as many as 700 people here throughout the day, doing activities, enjoying entertainment, having an absolutely wonderful time. It is been a great community event.”

In the “Fitness Challenge” area, Lori Boisen counts the number of times Andrew Isaac steps up on the riser.

Cha Cha the Clown entertains with plate spinning.

This celebration was the result of the effort of dozens of volunteers from several organizations, Boysen said. “The effort is well worth it. This event brings the community out, and it gives them an opportunity to know each other as neighbors. And for visitors outside our area, it shows them that there are a bunch of really good people out here.”

The purpose of the DMA, Boisen added, is to “revitalize this community. Part of that is bringing people together in a positive way.”

It appears that they were successful in meeting their goal.

Multi-ethnic, Russian and Eastern European-inspired band show band, Chervona, plays old-world-inspired music during their highly energetic live show.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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