Holiday festivities brighten Foster Road

Here’s why so many people came to a very small, outer East Portland park on a dark and stormy evening, and left filled with Holiday cheer …

Holiday spirits run high at this year’s “Winter Tree Lighting”, presented by the Foster Area Business Association in Laurelwood Park.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Many who drove by tiny Laurelwood Park, nestled next to the intersection of SE Holgate Boulevard and Foster Road, slowed to look at festivities taking place there on the evening of November 28.

Canopies ringed the parameter of the diminutive park, illuminated with strings of lights – inviting people to gather for the third annual “Winter Tree Lighting” festival hosted by the Foster Area Business Association (FABA).

Angela Morris and Isabella Morris get cups of steaming hot cocoa, donated by Pieper Cafe, and served by Venture Portland Executive Director Heather Hoell.

“Every year, we’ve improved this – and even with threatening weather, it’s turning into a wonderful activity,” commented the ever-affable FABA President, Matthew Micetic, owner of Red Castle Games, and Vice President of Venture Portland.

“The highlights are partnering with the Southeast Community Food Pantry, our focus on this ‘Giving Tuesday’, and seeing how many neighbors we have coming to this event,” Micetic told East Portland News.

Outgoing FABA President Matthew Micetic, owner of Red Castle Games, greets incoming president Allen Rowand of Gray Dog Digital, in front of “Twiggy the Traveling Winter Tree”.

Although his term as President of FABA is ending, Micetic said he’s still so enthusiastic about the business climate of the Foster Road community, he’s negotiating to buy a building there. “This means I will truly be here for the long run,” he said.

“Many business people are looking forward to the implementation of the ‘Foster Road Streetscape’; it will be truly transformational for the business owners on the street,” Micetic said.

Incoming FABA President, Allen Rowand of Gray Dog Digital, agreed, adding, “It’s an exciting time for Foster Road.”

Families who came to the celebration enjoyed hot cocoa, carols, face painting, and a free winter activity book.

Margot Ginger creates an artistic craft, as her dad, Kevin Ginger, looks on at the Green Tulip Day Care booth.

Some of the event volunteers were with the Foster-Powell Neighborhood Association. Brian Bella, the association’s Chair, commented, “Our neighborhood is filling in, in a uniquely ‘Foster way’. Our neighborhood has its own, unique character. In the new year, we’ll be watching the development of the neighborhood very closely.”

In his last official act as FABA President, Matthew Micetic welcomes the crowd to the party in the park.

With a flip of the switch, a tree in the park is illuminated with festive lights.

After a brief remarks, a tree in the park was lit up with Holiday lights, sending cheers up from the ebullient crowd.

If you’re shopping at the merchants or enjoying the establishments along Foster Road, keep your eye open for “Twiggy the Traveling Winter Tree” – which is moved to a new location every week during the season.

For more information about the Foster Area Business Association, see their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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