Public palates pleased at Parkrose ‘Taste’

Folks enjoy food and fun galore, as the ‘Taste of Parkrose’ finds its stride …

Shortly after the gates open, families from all over the area come to Rossi Farms in outer East Portland to enjoy the annual Taste of Parkrose.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Lovely weather encouraged hundreds of families to attend this year’s Taste of Parkrose on June 22, again hosted by the Historic Parkrose (HP) Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative district, at Rossi Farms.

The day started with a 5K run through the Parkrose and Argay Terrace neighborhoods, passing through the new Luuwit View Park.

More than 50 vendors are on hand for guests to peruse.

Neighborhood businesses were present under canopies, at the entrance to this year’s food festival, where the scent of barbecue was wafting in the air.

“We’ve been working on this for weeks, and now here it is – the sixth annual Taste of Parkrose is finally here!” exclaimed HP District Promoter Samantha Montanaro.

Enjoying the festival, after it got underway, was its organizer, HP District Promoter Samantha Montanaro.

“We’ve got so much ‘really awesome stuff’ going on today!” Montanaro told East Portland News. “Familiar to people who have come in past years, we have Big Green Egg barbecues (kamado-style ceramic grills) cooking – about 30 of them in fact, used by five main cooking teams – from our banner sponsor, Parkrose Hardware, with guest barbecue chefs grilling their specialties.”

Grilling up a storm are Alan Sansovich and Cory Greeson of Parkrose Hardware.

From booth to booth, guests taste their way through the food-oriented event.

With a little coaching from a Circus Cascadia roustabout, Malina Sheley shows off her balancing skills.

New at the event this year was nonprofit Circus Cascadia, which provided active entertainment and activities for the kids; and a traveling tattoo bus, giving real Parkrose logo tattoos to all who asked for them.

“And, we have even more local vendors, nonprofit organizations, and community groups here – 50 in all – to sell goods and services, and to inform guests,” observed Montanaro.

“Rabbit, anyone?” asks David Halliday, who says he’s been grilling leporidae since he was a child, in London, England.

Nothing compliments barbecue better than a cold beer from local Gateway Brewing, say Katrina Poirier and Keith Belter.

While it’s primarily a laid-back family-fun day, the Taste of Parkrose also helps to advance Parkrose, she said. “This event is absolutely about bringing people to outer East Portland to learn more about our community and businesses.

“Because outer East Portland is a more spread out, it’s not as easy for people from outside the area to find resources and businesses here – and Historic Parkrose is all about bringing everybody together, and letting them know that this is happening.”

About the food focus of the event, Montanaro made clear, “It’s good for people to see where Portland’s original farms grew the food that fed our city for generations.”

Giving an autograph is 2018 Miss Oregon, Taylor Ballard.

“It’s delightful to be here today, because I’m truly a ‘Parkrose girl’ in every sense,” smiled 2018’s Miss Oregon, Taylor Ballard.

“I attended Shaver Elementary, Parkrose Middle School, and I am an alumna of Parkrose High School, where I served the as 2011 Parkrose High Rose Festival Princess,” Ballard said. “This is my last appearance as Miss Oregon. Next weekend, I’ll be helping crown the new Miss Oregon, in Seaside.”

Multnomah County Soil & Water Conservation District Director at Large Position #1 Rick Till spends a moment with EMCSWD Director of Zone 1 Gabrielle Rossi and Joe Rossi.

The host for the Taste, Joe Rossi, said he was surprised to see people rolling into his parking lot, hours before the event started, and lining up at the gate.

“I’m loving the party at the farm today,” Rossi said with a contented smile. “It makes me glad to see neighbors from our local neighborhoods mingle with people coming from over Portland to celebrate with us, today.”

“Wilbur the Pig” was barbecued and smoked “low and slow” by Parkrose Hardware operations manager Dan West. “We called him ‘Wilber’, but soon, folks will be calling him ‘delicious’,” he grinned.

Throughout the afternoon, the large crowd enjoyed another delightful Taste of Parkrose.

To find out more about Historic Parkrose, see their website: CLICK HERE.

>> On our Front Page: Tyler Fore from Finex Iron Cookware slices servings of the most tender, succulent, and toothsome smoked Tri-Tip ever.

© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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