Successful ‘Montavilla Street Fair’ its biggest to date

INCLUDES HUGE FAIR VIDEO | See how this festival has grown into the largest outdoor event in outer East Portland …

This telephoto-compressed view of the Montavilla Street Fair shows how this event teems with life.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

In decades past, several outer East Portland business associations created summertime public events to attract visitors to their Neighborhood Business Districts. Two of them put on large “Car Cruise-Ins”; another held a parade and fair in its district.

One of the two such remaining events is Parkrose Summer Nights [CLICK HERE for the article and video about this year’s celebration.]

The other continuing festival was created by the Montavilla East Tabor Business Association (METBA) – the Montavilla Street Fair, which started starting out being held along side streets. To read about their very first event, back in 2011, CLICK HERE.

Local year-’round downtown Montavilla businesses prosper from the Street Fair, as well as vendors who come in for the day.

At this year’s Montavilla Street Fair – held on July 30, the last Sunday of the month – it  that the pervasive memories of the pandemic had been at least temporarily erased for the throngs of folks who came to have fun. SE Stark Street teamed proliferated with life.

Vendors’ kiosks and canopies lined the entire length of the thoroughfare, from SE 80th Avenue west, to 76th Avenue, as live music provided musical entertainment.

Showing off one of their official T-Shirts, it’s METBA President Neil Mattson of Montavilla Guitar Studio.

“All of us with the METBA are very excited to report that the 10th Montavilla Street Fair was the most successful and most attended event in our organization’s history,” METBA President Neil Mattson, happily told East Portland News afterwards.

Watch this video and take a tour of this year’s Montavilla Street Fair:

“Based on hourly ‘head counts’ conducted by Fair’s staff, we estimate that there were 16,000 in attendance throughout the day,” said Mattson.

“We enjoyed perfect weather, and everyone had a great time as far as we can tell. And, thanks to the support of many volunteers, there were no significant safety issues or emergencies to report,” Mattson went on.

Singing and playing live, combined with his magical talent for “looping”, Jermaine Malone entertains on the festival’s Brewery Stage.

Organizers secured permits from the City of Portland to close down SE Stark Street, turning the six-block area into a pedestrian zone. At the west end, the Montavilla Farmers Market was an additional attraction.

“Our Street Fair featured 145 vendors along SE Stark Street and on side streets, with an additional permanent 20 businesses on the street also participating in significant ways,” Mattson pointed out.

Along with retail vendors there were service providers, food vendors, representatives from governmental agencies, and those from nonprofit organizations.

This street magician entertains the passing crowd with his performance of the famous “Linking Rings” trick.

“This, our ‘signature event’, supports our local Montavilla economy in a big way,” remarked Mattson. “We estimate the economic impact of this year’s Montavilla Street Fair is close to $500,000.”

Fairgoers had lots to see and do at this year’s Montavilla Street Fair.

The event was sponsored by Adventist Health, Mr. Plywood, Square Deal Remodeling, Montavilla Sewing Center, OnPoint Community Credit Union, Bipartisan Café, and Washman.

Find out more about the Montavilla East Tabor Business Association by visiting their official website: CLICK HERE.

© 2023 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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