Cowabunga! The ‘Barn Bash’ returns to Parkrose

Although it’s not the original ‘Bash’ formerly presented by the Rossi family, those who attended really had a great time, in outer East Portland …

As the sun sets, guests relax and take in the atmosphere of Rossi Farms, located in the Parkrose neighborhood.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Rossi Farms’ iconic barn and yard have been home to many celebrations over the years. But, in 2017, the venue was “discovered” by Portland Monthly magazine when they chose to hold their renowned “Country Brunch” on their grounds.

Then, in 2018, the Portland Monthly crew decided to up the ante with a three-day festival of food and drink, similar to one produced by their Seattle sister publication, COWABUNGA!

Helping put on this year’s new “Barn Bash” are student volunteers from Parkrose High SUN School, and the Broncos’ Cross Country and Soccer Teams, led by (standing far right) SUN School Coordinator Travis Richardson, and head Cross Country coach Steve Sexton.

Encouraged by their previous events, including a version of the revered Saturday night “Barn Bash” last year, the magazine held COWABUNGA! again this year, July 12-14, at the Rossi Farm. Again, it kicked off with the sold-out “Seared” event on Friday evening, continued on Saturday with “Farm Out”, a daytime tasting benefiting the Meals on Wheels People, and finally by the “Country Brunch” on Sunday.

Chef Brent Richard of Taqueria Nueve is preparing to serve one of his specialties, “Tacos de Lengua” – yup, cow tongue.

With this year’s “Barn Bash” underway, Portland Monthly Editor In Chief Kelly Clarke spends a moment with host Joe Rossi.

“We are again celebrating the best of the Pacific Northwest, when it comes to food and drink, at this year’s COWABUNGA!” said Portland Monthly Editor In Chief Kelly Clarke.

“Beyond that, we’re celebrating the ranchers, fishers, farmers, and orchardists – all the people who make Portland food special – including food in East Portland – because this is more than just being about food that’s being served at good restaurants,” Clarke told East Portland News. “It’s about having conversations about food; meeting one-of-a-kind people who want to share great food with you.”

Amanda Douglas and Kristin White serve brews from Von Ebert Brewing, from nearby at Glendoveer.

From inner SE Portland, serving sausage and brisket bites – “central Texas style” – is Kyle Rensmeyer of Holy Trinity Barbecue.

At the “Barn Bash” this year, they featured eight chefs, six breweries, and ten business partners. In addition to being a great adult party, the Saturday evening event also supported the Parkrose School District Youth Programs, “to help close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in the global society,” Clarke pointed out.

“We came back to Rossi Farms because we’re inspired by the space! We’ve held the ‘Country Brunch’ at locations over the city since we started it eight years ago – but when we first had it here, it was a whole different ballgame.”

Away from the hustle and bustle of the main event, folks relax under the shadow of the “Parkrose water tower”.

Getting ready to judge food entries we found well-known Portland “foodie” Missy Maki of “The Simple Kitchen.

These guests relax, enjoying the warmth of a Stahl Firepit.

“At COWABUNGA! we show the spirit of the family farm – mashed together with what we want to show people about food: Those who grow, catch, pick, brew, and distill, because all of these people are part of the equation,” Clark explained, adding that Portland Monthly highlights new discoveries and different things that show the best of the city.

“Not everyone has time to explore every nook of the city, so we try our best to be your guide, take your hand – probably with a glass of wine in your other hand – and show you special places in our city,” she quipped.

Musically entertaining are Giants in the Trees, playing songs from their album, “Volume 2”.

This is one of the many couples in attendance, having their photo taken with the giant COWABUNGA title sign.

Asked if they’ve thought ahead to next summer Clarke replied, “With the Rossi family’s support, we’ve been able to build and build. Our three-day food festival may grow even more– we don’t know what’s going to happen next!”

  • Find out more about Portland Monthly at their official website: CLICK HERE.
  • And, to learn more about the Rossi Farms event venue, CLICK HERE.

© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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