‘Taste of Parkrose’ cooks up community fun

Take a look, and you’ll see why this outer East Portland event continues to be an important event …

Families from all over the Portland metropolitan area come to Rossi Farms, in the Parkrose neighborhood, to enjoy a day of fun and good food at this year’s Taste of Parkrose event.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Now in its fifth year, the annual Taste of Parkrose, this year held on June 23, has certainly become an established community event.

This was the second year it was sited at Rossi Farms, and their parking lot was filled to capacity, with cars parked along the street in all directions, as hundreds of families came to enjoy themselves at this Taste of Parkrose on a beautiful summer day.


On the way into the Taste of Parkrose, visitors enjoy shopping at booths set up by local Parkrose-area businesses.

Welcoming guests and selling “Taste Tickets” and all-event bracelets and tickets are Mark La Croix, Kate Coenen, Samantha Montanaro, and  Kori Basquez.

“Oh my gosh, we’re having a family-friendly celebration of the summer for the businesses and residents that make up this wonderful neighborhood!” exclaimed Historic Parkrose Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative Board Chair Samantha Montanaro.

The morning started off with a 5K Fun Run which drew about 70 participants, Montanaro told East Portland News.

Guests Ben Jackson and Alice Kollinzas enjoying the meatballs prepared by Parkrose Hardware employees.

Parkrose Hardware workers Logan Sams and Cory Greeson demonstrate cooking the savory skewers on their grills.

“The Taste of Parkrose features about 40 Big Green Egg barbecues, on loan from our banner sponsor, Parkrose Hardware,” Montanaro reported. “Both professional pit-masters and volunteer cooks are grilling up all kinds of delicious foods, from barbecued meats to freshly-cooked gourmet pizzas.”

As many as 70 volunteers pitched in to make this year’s Taste of Parkrose a success.

Chris Travis from the Papa Murphy’s store at NE 116th Avenue and Halsey Street store demonstrates cooking pizza on the grill.

Chelsea Luker, backed by the band JoyTribe, musically entertains with a passionate fusion of Pretenders-inspired vocals.

“Parkrose is a working, family neighborhood; this event is a fun and inexpensive way for the family to have an outing and relax a little,” Montanaro observed.

And, holding an event of this kind is important, Montanaro opined, “Because Parkrose has been changing and growing over the past 30 years. Historic Parkrose is dedicated to revitalizing the energy in the area, like it was when it was a town in unincorporated Multnomah County.”

Karen Sheley of Gateway Brewing is pouring another cold one.

If home pit-master Jared Bassett, shown holding up a pan of his toothsome Carolina Brisket, didn’t win first place for his entry, we’d be surprised.

“We’re working to bring a modern feel while keeping its historic qualities; and this event helps people, from all over the Portland area, come to see how vital and alive Parkrose is today,” Montanaro said.

Registration proceeds from the 5K run went to support the Parkrose High School Cross-Country Running Team; Proceeds from the Tasting Tickets supported Mission Bar?B?Que, part of Portland Rescue Mission, and provided seed funds for next year’s event, the organizer informed.

“I believe that the Taste of Parkrose goes a way to fulfill our Historic Parkrose mission,” Montanaro concluded.

© 2018 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™



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