‘Pilgrim Harvest Fest’ continues to build friendships

See why volunteers of this – perhaps the first ‘Harvest Festival’ held in outer East Portland – continue to host this event …

Here in the Pilgrim Lutheran Church Community Room, in the Lents neighborhood, neighbors enjoy a meal and conversation.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Kicking off the Hallowe’en season in East Portland was the annual “Harvest Festival” at Pilgrim Lutheran Church on October 26.

Folks gathered in the Community Room to enjoy a meal of homemade chili, cornbread, chips, and beverages. Some played Bingo, while the kids were working at crafts.

In the kitchen, along with vats of their delicious homemade chili (their favorite recipe, multiplied by 12), are volunteer cooks – as well as the event’s organizers, Nancy Tingley and Alys Allwardt.

“We checked, and this is our 16th annual Harvest Festival here at Pilgrim Lutheran Church,” smiled co-organizer Alys Allwardt. “Now there are many ‘Harvest’ events, but it sure seems as if we were one of the very first in our area.”

Volunteer Candy Cruz helps out with kids’ crafts.

Because the Harvest Festival is promoted on social media, as well as with flyers distributed to neighbors in the area, they meet new neighbors each year, she said. “And, when we roll out our banner along SE 92nd Avenue, people come!”

There isn’t any preaching or proselytizing here,” Allwardt pointed out. “We do this to help build a sense of community – and to have some fun together.”

After learning about the Harvest Festival after seeing a flyer, Lents neighbor and diner Neil Raja says the chili is delicious and the company is pleasant.

Judging by the happy faces at this festival, it appears as if the formula is working!

© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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