Thousands roll into Parkrose Festival and Cruise-in

It’s more than a car show; see why this expanded festival had folks coming from all over to enjoy a new community event …

A hundred specialty vehicles – classics, customs, hotrods, and antiques – are on display along NE Sandy Blvd. at the 2008 Parkrose Festival and Cruise-in. We thank PBA board member Terry Brier with Davey Organicare for the “lift”, allowing us to take aerial photos!

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Started years ago by members of the Parkrose Business Association (PBA), led by Gail Bash of Jackpot Corp. – the original Parkrose Cruise-in was a vehicle for the organization to raise money to fund graduating Parkrose High seniors’ scholarships.

Held on the Parkrose High School grounds, in conjunction with the Portland Rose Festival, these early-June events often suffered from Oregon’s changeable late-spring weather.

Welcoming people to the event – from atop a Portland Police Bureau SERT vehicle – is Mrs. Oregon, Taryn Stastny.

Expanded event changes location, date
Determined to breathe new life into this community event, the PBA board members this year decided to move it to the first Saturday in August, change its location to downtown Parkrose along NE Sandy Boulevard, and create a community festival to add to it and to round it out.

On August 2, eastbound NE Sandy Boulevard was shut down, and more than a hundred vehicles registered for the Cruise-in were parked along the street.

The Portland Police Bureau used the occasion to show off their new Parkrose Contact Office at NE 112th Avenue; and they brought in a display of police equipment and vehicles.

The Parkrose Farmer’s Market moved into the Festival, vendors sold food and goods, and the Parkrose Neighborhood Association blended its “National Night Out” program into the festivities as well.

“It was a huge success,” said Bash. “We had a big crowd, and everyone was happy. Everyone involved now is looking forward to next year.”

Marsha Lee of Copy Express, the organization’s treasurer, added, “The event exceeded our expectations; it sets the stage future festivals.”

Event spotted by an airline passenger
One of the most fascinating stories we heard about the event was told to us by an airline passenger, Eve Jacoby.

“We’re going from New York to Seattle today, and have long layover in Portland,” Jacoby related. “As we were landing at [Portland International] Airport, we saw your festival out the window. We asked where in Portland it is; they told us ‘Parkrose’. So, instead of waiting at the terminal, we hired a cab and came to visit your event. It’s wonderful!”

Uniform, badge and all, Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Officer Greg Baldwin gets dunked, to help raise money for Parkrose scholarships.

Civic figures dunked for dollars
In addition to raising funds through the association’s event sponsorships and cruise-in fees, Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Officer Greg Baldwin offered to take a seat on the Parkrose Lions Dunk Tank to raise more money for the PBA’s scholarship fund.

Police Bureau Cadets were standing by to take their own turn in the dunk tank, when the PBA got an unexpected “donation” from Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard. Leonard stepped up and offered to take a turn sitting on the break-away bench on the tank.

Rex Hollingsworth of Rex Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc – the title sponsor for the festival – steps up and offers, “I’ll donate $100 if I can pitch balls until I dunk you!” Commissioner Leonard agrees; PBA past president Wayne Stoll of Century Associates takes the money, and starts handing Hollingsworth baseballs.

Into the Parkrose Lions Dunk Tank goes Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard – street clothes and all. “I’m not sure how I’ll explain this to my wife, but it’s for a good cause,” he comments.

Parkrose Festival & Cruise-in Photo Album
Take a look at our photo album below and see how much fun we had at this great community event:

Portland City Commissioners Randy Leonard and Nick Fish visit the event and speak with PBA board member Gordon Boorst of Compaction & Recycling Equipment.

The Allen Family came from Camas, Washington, to enjoy the day. Here, they’re playing on the antique fire truck on display.

Shane Hollingsworth grills up hot dogs and cheeseburgers at the PBA Chuck-wagon – all day long!

Cheryl Doud, who is with Junk Away Hauling, displays a vintage event T-Shirt at the Official PBA Store.

Jan Ekberg helps serve genuine Swedish pancakes cooked up by grillmaster Eric Johansson on behalf of Harmoni Lodge.

Rex Hollingsworth is presented a medallion by Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Commander Michael Crebs to recognize his contributions to the community.

Crebs told Hollingsworth, “This medallion is used to honor officers who do good work, and to honor citizens who have been willing to help their police Bureau. You’ve done an amazing job by helping out with their new contact office in Parkrose. Thank you for helping make your community a better place to live.”

Hollingsworth responded, “Thank you. This just means the world to me.”

Gail Bash starts an old limousine, as the “Blow-Up Contest” gets underway. Participants guess how long a car – drained of oil – will run until it – well – blows up!

It didn’t take long till this old limo’s engine called it quits – among clouds of smoke.

A crowd starts forming near the Awards Stand as cruise-in participants await word of which vehicle was chosen the winner.

For the second year in a row, the “Best of Show” award goes to Richard Speakman for his Chevy Coupe.

Meet the members
To learn more about the Parkrose Business Association, attend their next meeting, September 18 at 11:30 a.m. and enjoy the best business lunch at town at Steamers Restaurant, 8303 NE Sandy Blvd. (east of NE 82nd Ave.); NO reservations required. For more information, check their website at

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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