Division Midway ‘Festival of Nations’ entertains

See how the Division Midway Alliance continues to showcase the diversity of the neighborhoods it serves in outer East Portland …

On the boundary between the Centennial and Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhoods, visitors meet diverse vendors – at the 2018 Festival of Nations.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

For the sixth year, the Division Midway Alliance (DMA), a Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative region sponsored by Venture Portland, hosted a late-summer outdoor celebration, on September 16.

Trying out different formats, they started with a “Fall Festival”, followed with “Night Market”, before hitting their stride with an event entitled, “Festival of Nations”.

This is the Portland festival that highlights the diversity of this service area, says DMA Board President Dawn Luethe.

“So, this is our fourth Festival of Nations, and perhaps the last one we’ll hold at this location – the parking lot of the now-closed Duke’s Country Bar and Grill and Key Bank, property now slated for redevelopment by the Planned Parenthood organization,” said DMA Board President Dawn Luethe.

“We believe it’s important for DMA to continue hosting this, though, because we serve several neighborhoods that are home to so many different cultures from all around the world,” Luethe told East Portland News.

The lively Reggae music of the Aaron Nigal Smith One World Chorus gets visitors smiling and dancing at this year’s festival.

Outer East Portland based, but internationally-famous Cha Cha the Clown again colorfully entertains at the celebration.

“Our Festival of Nations provides a fun, family-friendly opportunity for people who work and live here to introduce themselves to one another, to express their values, to show what they do, and to share their cultural heritage,” Luethe explained.

The event featured dozens of vendors and exhibitors of all different kinds, including commercial booths, city and county bureaus and offices, and from several nonprofit organizations and associations.

-5 Blanette Blankenship and Philippine Market owner and chef Maggie Armstrong tempt folks with savory food.

Kweki Ward shows and sells her colorful goods from Ghana.

“Add to this the food, music, and entertainment, and it’s truly a festival with lots to enjoy!” she enthused.

The festival is put on with the help of logistical support by the Treadway Events production company, Luethe said – aided by 32 dedicated volunteers who set up, operate, and take down the day-long festival.

Midway Business Association President Marcia Zimmerman of MLK Property Management promotes the business group, along with its President Emeritus, Dr. David Day DC.

Portland Fire & Rescue Fire Inspectors Bricheard and Laws give safety tips to festival-goers.

“For me, the best part of this festival is getting to meet and interact with so many different people, from so many places, and learn about their cultures and what’s important to them now,” Luethe said.

Find out more about the Division Midway Alliance by visiting their website: CLICK HERE.

>> On our Front Page: Wambui Machua of Taste of Africa shows a delicious dish being served at this event.

© 2018 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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