Division Street festival flourishes

Discover how diverse diversions delighted folks coming to the Division Midway Alliance Harvest Festival …

Gentle Biff twists balloons into colorful sculptures  in the “midway”, during the second DMA Harvest Festival.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The theme was “Midway Fun” at the second annual Division Midway Alliance for Community Improvement (DMA) Harvest Festival, this year held on October 12.

Weather forecasters predicted a rain-out for the outer East Portland community event, held on SE Division Street at the Duke’s Country Bar and Grill and Key Bank, just west of SE 148th Avenue, in the Centennial neighborhood. But, Mother Nature surprised everyone, when the sun burned away storm clouds and warmed those at the festival.

As the weather clears, attendance picks up at the vendor and information booths at the DMA Harvest Festival.

Helping guests learn more about the organization, at their booth, is DMA District Manager Lori Boisen.

“This festival is a way for us to bring our community’s neighbors and businesspeople together,” smiled DMA District Manager Lori Boisen.

“In turn, this helps improve the livability of our area, by helping people get to know one another,” Boisen told East Portland News.

Celebrating diversity is important to the DMA area, Boisen opined. “To honor this, we have music and entertainment that is culturally representative of our community.”

Popular Portland acoustic guitar blues artist Ian Shickle entertains.

Volunteer Steven Kung, with nonprofit Bikes for Humanity PDX, gives a bicycle a tune-up.

Juggling on his high stilts is “Loopie” – also known as Floyd Light Middle School student Dre’ Wollrabe.

And, throughout the “midway”, colorful street entertainers, clowns, face painters and balloon artists entertained families.

“We have vendors from people who are retailers here in the community – and home-based businesses as well,” Boisen pointed out. “To round out our exhibitors, there are also nonprofit and government organizations, talking about their work in the community, and offering our guests the opportunity to become involved.”

Burmese Karen people immigrant Baby Win shows one of her colorful woven tapestries.

At this informational booth, Lyle Boisen, whose business is Advertise in the Bag, talks with PBOT Active Transportation Division Manager Timo Forsberg, and Hazelwood Neighborhood Association Chair Arlene Kimura.

To complete the “Midway Fun” theme, there were games of skill and chance, at which participants could win prizes – such as gift certificates from local participating businesses.

The DMA partnered with the Midway Business Association, East Portland Chamber of Commerce, and East Portland Action Plan, to connect with vendors and organizations in the area. “Also, we’re delighted to see the Karen craftspeople, one of the businesses here that has been helped by our hosting the Portland State University Business Outreach Program, as a vendor today,” Boisen said.

Colorfully-costumed dancers with the Ballet Papalotl shows off their Baile Folklorico skills.

As the Fall Festival got into full swing, more neighbors stopped by and participated. By the event’s end, about 1,000 people had come to be entertained, to learn – and in many cases, to win great prizes.

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

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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