Centennial neighbors hold ‘Party in the Park’

Take a look, and you’ll see families having fun while learning about emergency preparedness – at this ‘Party On, Portland!’ event …

Under the shade of trees in Parklane Park, Centennial neighbors gather for a fun afternoon of food, sharing, and learning about community resilience.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The Centennial Community Association (CCA) was one of the neighborhoods that signed up with the Portland Office of Community & Civic Life’s new “Party On, Portland!” program, holding a “Picnic in the Park” on Sun day afternoon, August 14.

Just one of several such celebrations across the city August 1 and August 14, it was held at Parklane Park on a lovely summer Sunday afternoon.

Helping out by running the door prize table is neighbor and volunteer Jordan Lund.

In the background, construction equipment sat quiet in a new area that will greatly expand Parklane Park. Under the shade of trees at the south end, some 35 people had gathered.

Organizers supplied an Hispanic lunch and dinner featuring two meat dishes, as well as rice, beans, tortillas, chips, and soft drinks. The spread includes an unconventional “cakewalk” – numbered food bags were laid out in a circle; the winner of each round took home a plant start from a local neighborhood nursery.

Organizer Karen Wolfgang keeps this ‘party’ energized throughout the afternoon.

“This is ‘Party on, Portland!’ Centennial Party is hosted by the CCA, and importantly, also by the Centennial Neighborhood NET [Neighborhood Emergency Team], referred to as “C-NET for short,” said organizer Karen Wolfgang.

“Our groups came together because the CCA and C-NET collaborate a lot,” explained Wolfgang . “We’d been talking about doing a Neighborhood Night Out; but when we saw the city’s offer of support for ‘parties’ during the August window time, we signed on to hold this party.”

Centennial Neighborhood NET volunteer Mary Strickland provides a brief but informative presentation on creating community resilience through emergency preparedness.

“Our amazing Mary Strickland is doing a presentation on ‘Emergency Preparedness for Households’,” remarked Wolfgang. “We do our best to present this topic at any occasion we can, to help take neighbors to be prepared in their homes – and to help residents know how to help others in the community.”

The party was organized by four volunteers, Wolfgang said, “But obviously, it takes our whole neighborhood to put something like this together.”

There’s time for games and fun at this Centennial event.

A rig from the shared Portland Fire & Rescue and Gresham Fire Department came by for a few minutes before being dispatched to a call.

“We hope that this is the first of many such gatherings; I hope that we can come together as a community and create positive connections and support each other,” Wolfgang told East Portland News. “One of our main goals is to create community resilience; and being connected to each other as neighbors helps us be more resilient!”

To learn more about the Centennial Community Association, as well as C-NET, CLICK HERE.

© 2022 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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