Ramona Street Fair: Third year’s a charming event

Discover why so many volunteers work to put on an event in Lents Town Center that’s growing in popularity, and size …

-1 Expanded on to SE 92nd Avenue, the Ramona Street Fair attracts both new vendors and new visitors.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Marking its third year in 2011, the Ramona Street Fair held in Lents Town Center nearly doubled in size.

“We expanded from just closing down Ramona Street – out to SE 92nd Avenue and east to SE Foster Road,” explained the event’s organizer, Jalene Littlejohn.

Lents Neighborhood Association Chair Nick Christensen talks with Ramona Street Fair organizer Jalene Littlejohn.

The event was started, and continues, Littlejohn said, because “It’s good for people to gain a sense of community, and feeling of pride in where they live. Getting out, meeting your neighbors, and having things going on, really helps with that.”

Beyond bringing together Lents neighbors, Littlejohn added, “The Ramona Street Fair also helps to helps to bring visitors into our area. Hopefully, this will increase economic development in the Town Center, as they realize that there is a ‘world beyond 82nd Avenue’.”

The Mossy Rock Ramblers entertain guests on the live music stage.

Bales of hay provide impromptu seating for friends to gather and listen to the band.

First-time volunteer, and new Lents Neighborhood resident, Michael Chapman agrees with the sentiment. “It’s fun to help out. I found a nice house here for a good price. I feel that, in the future, this neighborhood is going to be a really fun place to live.”

While she was acknowledged as this year’s event organizer, Littlejohn said she wanted especially to recognize the Lents Neighborhood Chair, Nick Christensen, as well as Cora Potter and Ryan Cloutier (he’s the owner of Lents Commons). “At least 20 volunteers have worked hard to make this event successful.”

Folks attending the street fair stop to visit many of the 60 vendors.

Author Paul Gerald says he enjoys talking with people who come by to check out the books he’s written about places to visit in the greater Portland area.

With the fair fully underway, we asked Littlejohn what she was enjoying most about the day. “It’s seeing people come by and say, ‘We never knew about Lents’. And, I like seeing people having fun as they walk, skip, and dance down 92nd Avenue!”

When Littlejohn was called way to deal with an issue, we took the opportunity to walk the fair, and visit with many of the 60 vendors.

We’re told to look for the return of the Ramona Street Fair the end of July 2012.

Which way? New Lents Neighborhood resident, Michael Chapman, points the way.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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