Parade, fair and fun found at the Woodstock Festival

Take a look at one of our favorite summertime East Portland festivals …

Ready to watch the 2010 Woodstock Parade are the Conners family, Anna holding Riley, Liam and dad Chad.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Music and mirth were at every turn, as the Woodstock Parade and Festival returned on Saturday, July 17.

Sidewalk vendors were set up on S.E. Woodstock Boulevard an hour before the parade got underway at 11 am, and a substantial crowd of neighbors lined the street to watch the colorful procession.

Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz is at the head of the parade.

The Deviant Dance troupe swirls their way down the parade route.

With bigger-than-life costumes and masks, Lewis Elementary School families make a big, colorful splash in the parade.

This year’s parade featured two marching bands, the colorful and graceful Deviant Dancers, exotic costumed Lewis Elementary School kids and adults, and a cow – all led off by Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz.

After the parade passed by, folks found a days-worth of music and entertainment along the boulevard in “downtown” Woodstock village.

Taking her participation seriously, Arianna Rodriguez carefully rides her tricycle.

How does the stilt-walking majorette for the “March Forth Marching Band” strut the parade route, then dance during the band’s performance?

Theresa Gahagan, of the local Edward Jones financial office, and the co-producer of this year’s extravaganza as well as a board member of the sponsoring Woodstock Community Business Association (WCBA), said the event is a way for the area’s businesses and merchants to “give back” to the community.

“And, at the same time, it brings neighbors and visitors to our ‘main street’ in a way that promotes the Woodstock neighborhood as a good, family-friendly village.”

Co-organizers Lori Boisen and Theresa Gahagan are all smiles about the good weather and great community turnout.

WCBA President and the co-organizer of the Festival, Lori Boisen of “Advertise In The Bag”, said, “We, and a host of volunteers, put on the festival because it brings the whole neighborhood together, and creates a sense of belonging for everyone. That’s essential in the community, especially these days.”

Following the parade, at their Woodstock Festival main stage, the March Forth Marching Band perform a stationery concert – but get dozens of kids moving to their lively beat.

Peeranuch Pakdeepatrakorn serves up freshly fried Thai fish cakes – with the approval of her friends – at their “Eskimo Grill” outdoor food stand.

The two planners gave special thanks to all of the local business sponsors, along with THE BEE newspaper and the Southeast Portland Rotary Club.

“I think we’ve had a great turnout today,” Boisen said. “It looks like it’s been great, and we’re very happy with it.”

© 2010 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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