Ramona Street Fair entices visitors to explore Lents

Look, and see why volunteers from this outer East Portland neighborhood put this unique fair …

Visitors to the 2012 Ramona Street Fair chat with vendors as they’re introduced to the richness of the Lents Neighborhood.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
If one weren’t familiar with the Lents Neighborhood, they might easily drive right by SE Ramona Street at SE 92nd Avenue, because it dead-ends into the Eastside MAX Light Rail Line.

But, volunteers say that this makes the roadway a perfect place for a street fair. So that’s what took place there on July 29, and it brought attention to their neighborhood.

Lents Neighborhood Association Chair Nick Christensen is on hand to welcome visitors to the Ramona Street Fair.

“We hold this fair every year, as a celebration of our community,” said Lents Neighborhood Association Chair Nick Christensen. “And, it’s also a great way to show the greater Portland community that we do have a vibrant business district.”

This colorful market by Patience Ward attracts the eye of many browsers.

This bounce attraction is a big hit with kids.

Business is, in fact improving there, Christensen told East Portland News – within the boundaries of the Lents Town Center Urban Renewal District.

“The Ramona Street Fair is also a way to show visitors what a wonderful community we have here in Lents,” Christensen added. “This event is located next to bike paths and right off the MAX Line; yet it’s still close-in to the City. Many people don’t travel east of 82nd Avenue, and don’t know what a great little downtown we have, and what a great place this is to live – including shopping at the Lents International Farmers Market on Sundays.”

Flory Wold of Funky flowers by Flory shows her handmade wearable artwork to visitors to the street fair.

Calling his musical act “For the Thirsty Kind”, Ben Baretich entertains at the street fair.

Lents is changing, Christensen insisted. “This is going to be one of the most dramatic years for transition in the Lents Town Center in a long time. The Portland Transportation Bureau’s streetscape project will be getting underway this autumn.”

Some of the old vacant buildings are being demolished, and new ones are coming in, he pointed out. “It’s exciting to think about what this is going to look like from a year from now – it will be totally different. This includes SE Ramona Street – it will be demolished, redesigned, and repaved – making it an even better space for a street festival.”

Rossan Gurunz from Momo Cart Himalaya serves up his unique and tasty steamed dumplings.

You can keep up on what’s happening in Lents by checking their website: CLICK HERE to open their homepage.

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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