Hot-but-happy throng enjoy Gateway Fun-O-Rama

If you didn’t get out to this amusing annual event, take a look at our photo album, as we recap their community funfest …

Here comes the parade! For nearly a full hour, neighbors enjoyed a color procession of bands, walking groups, and community floats.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The 13th annual Gateway Fun-O-Rama, put on by the Gateway Area Business Association (GABA), played out under summerlike skies on May 16 and 17.

It started with a golf tournament at the Glendoveer Golf Course, and continued the next day with a parade down NE Halsey Street, followed by the Community Fair at 111th Square.

Judges and announcers for this year’s parade are: (back row) Annette Mattson, David Douglas School Board, Dr. Karen Fischer Gray, Superintendent, Parkrose School District; (front row); Becka Doyle, David Douglas High, Stacy Chao, David Douglas High, Tammy Vu, Parkrose High and Jacob Nall, St. Therese School.

Fun-O-Rama Parade
For years, the Fun-O-Rama Parade always seemed to take place under clouds threatening rain.

But on May 17, the sky was clear and the sun was hot, as the parade formed on the expansive grounds of St. Therese Parish grounds at NE 132nd Avenue. The procession then  headed west along NE Halsey Street, and disbanded at NE 105th Avenue.

This year’s parade featured the lively sounds and precision footwork of five marching bands – the most ever, in the parade’s history. The bands and drill teams from Parkrose High School, Parkrose Middle School, Ron Russell Middle School, Centennial High School, and Floyd Light Middle School performed well, to the delight of the crowd all along the route.

The 2008 Portland Rose Festival Princesses, and other dignitaries, rode in convertibles, and greeted the crowds along the route.

Other parade entries included those from businesses, faith groups, and service organizations – including the Al Kader Shiners’ Calliope and motorcade. Also marching was the fun-but-rowdy Parkrose Posse – and the bystanders enjoyed the antics of the crazy Gateway Keystone Kops. Many participants threw candy to watching kids as they went by.

Seems like all kids like stickers – especially when it’s an honorary badge, given by a kindly Portland cop.

Community Fair follows parade
After the Fun-o-Rama Parade, the crowd along the parade route followed the sound of calliope to the Community Fair at 111th Square. Kicking off the fair was the Portland Police Bureau Honor Guard, as they raised a huge American flag at noon.

Then, visitors perused 40 booths set up for individuals, companies, nonprofit organizations, and civic groups – as the band, “Vine Time”, played and sang a wide variety of original and popular songs.

Once again this year, the Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Cadets were fundraising by serving hot, huge “Cadet Dog” wieners – as other Cadets fitted kids with low-cost bike helmets.

The Portland Rose Festival Princesses pitched their upcoming festival, and Ronald McDonald entertained the kids.

Alan Sanchez presented the Gateway Citizen of the Year memento to David Douglas School District superintendent, Barbara Rommel.

Citizen of the Year
The Gateway “Citizen of the Year” – Superintendent Barbara Rommel, of the David Douglas School District – was honored with a plaque.

After receiving the award, Rommel told us, “I feel honored to be chosen; this organization does so much to benefit the community.”

Our Fun-O-Rama Photo Album

The Al Kader Calliope and honor guard entertain with music and performance motorcycle drill team riding.

“Will you applaud if I do a cartwheel?” asked Jefferson Smith, a candidate for state legislature. He did – and the crowd went wild with applause.

Saturday night fun; and, law and order – Parkrose Posse style!

The Floyd Light Middle School Band and Drill Team was one of five great marching bands that played in the parade.

Those crazy Gateway Keystone Kops hammed it up along the parade route.

Raising the 25′ American flag were members of the Portland Police Bureau and Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard.

Michelle Frazier, a Portland Police Bureau Cadet, served hot dogs.

Lents neighborhood volunteer Judy Welch was greeted by Mayor-elect Sam Adams at the Community Fair.

Jessie Holwege looked on as her son, Hayden, got fitted with a bike helmet by Portland Police Bureau Cadet Jordan Houck.

Richard Bixby with the East Portland Neighborhood Organization gave out resource literature at their booth.

Vine Time Band from Parkrose United Methodist played a variety of original and positive music.

The blazing sun that drove temperatures to record levels also thinned the crowd – but many folks stayed the afternoon in the shade of exhibitor’s canopies.

Meet the members
If you’re interested in finding out more about GABA, they meet next on June 12 at JJ North’s Buffet, 10520 NE Halsey Street. Their web site:

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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