Big fun abounds at Montavilla Street Fair

Take a look at an outer East Portland festival that has grown and flourished over the years …

Thousands of people, from all over the greater metropolitan area, arrive to enjoy the 2019 edition of the Montavilla Street Fair.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The 2019 edition of the Montavilla Street Fair, held on July 28, was a success by every measure. But this hasn’t always been so.

Members of the Montavilla East Tabor Business Association (METBA) came up with the idea of a festival to attract people to the area back in 2011. It was held primarily on side streets, and this signature event bumped along for a couple of years.

> To read about their very first
“Montavilla Street Fair”, CLICK HERE.

Offering this year’s T-shirt is METBA Past President Tina Granzo, with City Beautiful Design.

Then, in 2015, the METBA folks decided to “go big or go home”—and held the first of their grand celebrations where, from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., SE Stark Street, all the way between 76th and 82nd Avenues, was closed to vehicle traffic to welcome hundreds of vendors and thousands of visitors from all over the greater Portland area.

Volunteers used their three years’ prior experience to put on this huge free event, expanding it further west on SE Stark Street, while maintaining a great community vibe.

This year, the street closure extended even further west on SE Stark Street, to 76th Avenue

Serving up “Pud Thai” is Pearl Buapoen with Injai Thai.

-4 Happy to see this year’s street fair going well is METBA President Peter Dills.

When asked how METBA accounts for the growing success of the fair, the organization’s President, Peter Dills of Therapeutic Associates East Portland Physical Therapy, thought for a moment before answering.

“A lot of it is consistency. Holding our street fair for several years on the last Sunday of July has helped,” Dills told East Portland News. “And, putting on a consistently fun, active, family-friendly event each year has helped too, because many who come then let others know about it through word-of-mouth and social media.”

Hannah Al-Baiaty and her husband, Hussein Al-Baiaty – he was named 2018 Portland “Immigrant of the Year” – shows shirt styles designed and produced by their own company, Refutees.

Providing a musical soundtrack for the fair is Jumblehead.

Kids enjoy crafts provided by Paper Moon Playschool.

“We’re enjoying having our local community come out to the street fair and enjoy this sunny summer day,” Dills said. “And even more, it’s good that the fair brings people from all over the greater Portland area here, exposing them – some of them, for the first time –the renaissance of our business district including our restaurants, shops, and neighborhood!”

Twisting up fun is Balloon Man Steve Spicer.

In one way or another, dozens of volunteers worked to put on the fair, starting as early as last January, Dills remarked. And, about 25 volunteers pitched in on the day of the fair itself to help coordinate the logistics, and keep it clean.

Learn more about the Montavilla East Tabor Business Association by visiting their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

 

 

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