Summertime fun shared at ‘SunnyCity’

Here’s what that took place in the Mill Park neighborhood, welcoming summer for outer East Portland residents …

Families from all over the area to share in the fun at this year’s SunnyCity festivities.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Once a year, for one delightful day only, a mythical town called SunnyCity appears – with the sole purpose of delighting families.

Typically held in July, this year’s SunnyCity emerged on June 23 instead – but at a familiar location: On the northern grassy area of the Portland Adventist Academy campus, just west of the Adventist Medical Center.

Taking a momentary break from administrating SunnyCity are “Mayor” Elise Holcombe and “City Manager” Lorraine Jacobs.

“I believe this is our tenth year of hosting SunnyCity in one form or another,” said “Mayor” Elise Holcombe. “Volunteers have been calling me ‘mayor’ because I am the director of this event; but I do like the sound of ‘Mayor’ better!” she quipped.

“It started out in a small, nearby park, moved to Ventura Park, and then we came over here to Portland Adventist Academy – a beautiful place for an event like this,” Holcombe told East Portland News.

Taking a ride on the bouncy-slide are sisters Baelah and Kaydence.

Entertaining guests with wit and prestidigitation is Handy Andy Magic Man.

Alternating performances throughout the afternoon were the magic show with Handy Andy Magic Man, and a science presentation by Ben Roy, “The Science Guy”.

Ben Roy, The Science Guy demonstrates the magic of physics and science at this year’s SunnyCity.

Entertaining kids by getting soaked in the “Dunk Bucket Booth” is Portland Adventist Academy senior Eli Haynal.

Checking out this Portland Police Bureau off-road rig are Krysta, Marcos, and Maddie, with help of Portland Police NRT Officer Robert Brown, and Sergeant Craig Andersen.

“And again this year, we’re so glad to have members of the Portland Police Bureau here today, bringing some of their fascinating equipment that they use; families really enjoy looking that over, and meeting the police dogs, and in doing so, supporting our event,” commended Holcombe.

This year, some 160 volunteers were involved with SunnyCity; about half of them from the Sunnyside Seventh-Day Adventist Church. The others were from community organizations and OHSU Adventist Health, Holcombe said.

To the delight of guests, again squeaking together various balloon sculptures, is Not Your Average Joe Mishkin.

Here, giving away school supplies, are Sunnyside Seventh-Day Adventist Church volunteer Jackee Duvall, and Danielle Meaney from the Office Depot/Office Max Gateway store at NE 99th and Halsey.

“Our church holds this free family-oriented community event as a way to help strengthen community, not to do any preaching,” explained Holcombe. “Our goal is simply to provide an afternoon of quality family entertainment to our neighbors.”

As the afternoon turned into evening, SunnyCity began to evaporate – until it finally vanished. “Look for it again, next year,” promised Holcombe.

© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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