‘Taste of Parkrose’ moves east

Find out why this year’s “Taste” event, put on by the Historic Parkrose district, moved the outer East Portland celebration east, to Rossi Farms …

This filled parking lot testifies that visitors easily found the “Taste of Parkrose”, although it had moved a bit to the east, to this historic farm.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

A new location for the Historic Parkrose (HP) Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative district’s signature events, “Taste of Parkrose” and “Historic Parkrose Fun Run”, have previously been at several places in the area.

But, when the combined event kicked off on the morning of June 24, people were streaming into the grassy parking lots of Rossi Farms, along NE 122nd Avenue, just a little east of the HP boundary.

HP Revitalization Manager Dr. Mingus Mapps spends a moment with Manger Dan West, operations manager of Parkrose Hardware, the title sponsor for the “Taste” event.

“There were some concerns, because Rossi Farms is a little bit out of our district, but it certainly seems like people did find us here today,” smiled HP Revitalization Manager Dr. Mingus Mapps.

“For each of the past several years, we’ve moved it from spot to spot, as we outgrew them; and, we’re hoping that this spot will fit for us at least a couple more years,” Mapps told East Portland News.

As in the past, the day started with runners joggers and walkers – this year 151 of them – taking part in the 10K Fun Run, which started at Rossi Farms, proceeding through the neighborhood to the turn-around point at Gateway Green for their grand opening, and then circling back.

Many chefs are cooking their specialties over coals and wood.

Providing a lively soundtrack for the “Taste of Parkrose” is the band Chasing Ebenezer.

“This event helps meet our mission of promoting community and economic development; and it has been central to both of these,” Mapps said. “Starting with the community aspect, we’re really excited about working help our neighborhood get stronger by coming together, both to play and to do business together.

“One of the things I’m quite proud of how this event provide the opportunity to feature our local businesses – including those with the Parkrose Business Association – and other local businesses,” added Mapps.

Parkrose Hardware’s Dan Graaff loads up a Big Green Egg grill with chicken wings.

Jared Bassett, instructor at Northwest Culinary Institute, shows his students how to grill a plank steak pork loin, and cook a pizza.

Inside the Rossi Western Town were set up about 35 “Big Green Egg” barbecues, cooking food samples — with volunteer chefs preparing everything from meats to pizza – yes pizza! – vegetables, and other grilled goodies.

More than simply a good time, the “Taste of Parkrose” and Fun Run also are fundraisers for the community. Parkrose High School students volunteered to staff the Fun Run, along with students from David Douglas High School, and those schools will share in the proceeds from it this year.

“Also, volunteers with the Portland Rescue Mission are selling ‘Tasting Tickets’ to provide funds that help them house Portland’s homeless community,” Mapps explained.

On a hot day, many folks head to the Gateway Brewing beer garden, where Kasey Simmons pours another cold one.

An estimated 3,000 people visited the event, savored the flavor from the barbecue cooks, and tasted the brews offered at this year’s “Taste of Parkrose”.

“In all, this is a great way for everyone in the neighborhood to come together to play, and have fun, and get to know one another,” observed Mapps.

For more information about Historic Parkrose, see their official website: CLICK HERE.

> On our Front Page:
Olympia Poe enjoys a freshly grilled ear of corn at the “Taste of Parkrose”

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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