Santa delights kids with fun and gifts in Parkrose

See the glee on the faces of families who came by to celebrate the holidays with Portland’s Black Santa on this particular evening ...

Outside the Historic Parkrose NPI office, families line up for their chance to visit with Santa Claus, and have some Holiday cheer.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

On the dark and rainy evening of December first, a line of folks were queued outside the office of Historic Parkrose (HP) Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative. They were there for Santa.

Inside, the office had been turned into a Holiday wonderland. Families visited and took pictures with Portland’s Black Santa (Leroy Barber, also the host of the Powellhurst-Gilbert Juneteenth Celebration).

Additionally, there were cookies and treats, and Holiday crafts.

HP Interim Executive Director Annette Stanhope, and Board Member Samantha Montanaro, welcome guests to the Holiday Chalet.

“We’ve been wanting to use our office space for community events more, and since we didn’t have a winter Holiday event last year, we wanted to do something this year,” is how this gathereing came about, according to HP Interim Executive Director Annette Stanhope.

“Historic Parkrose organized and promoted this, and our partners at Thrive East PDX and East Portland Collective staffed the snacks and the ornament-making station, and helped with promotion,” Stanhope told East Portland News.

Helping serve cookies, here’s Paula Byrd, Project Coordinator with Thrive PDX Resilience Hub.

Families enjoy their visit with Black Santa.

“And although we were the hosts, Black Santa PDX designed the layout and flow of this event, and brought the toys to give out,” acknowledged Stanhope.

“This is great way for us to connect with the community during the Holidays, and to bring people down to the Historic Parkrose business district,” Stanhope observed. “As well, it is a way to ‘send the message’ that there’s an interest in more family-friendly services and activities in our area.”

Hogan family receives gifts with help[ from HP Board Member JR Lilly.

Thanks to volunteers with East Portland Collective, families enjoy making Holiday crafts.

For her, the best thing to come out of this event was “Seeing all the happy kids, and grateful parents,” said Stanhope. “And also, it was also encouraging to see how well we were able to handle a large group of people in our space, and it generated ideas for future events here too!”

To learn more about Historic Parkrose, see their official website: CLICK HERE.

© 2023 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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