Clackamas Fire District #1 – Operation Santa Claus

I am heading out to shop for food and toys to donate when the Santa Parade comes by my house this evening. 

“The sleigh bells from Operation Santa Claus have been ringing for the citizens of Clackamas Fire District #1 since 1974.

Firefighters recognized the need to provide toys and food baskets to families and individuals that were less fortunate, and not likely to experience the joys of the holiday season. Hence, Operation Santa Claus was formed.

Operation Santa Claus Is 100% Funded By Donations From Members Of The Community

During this month-long holiday toy and food drive, fire district volunteers and employees lead Santa’s fire engine parade down neighborhood streets to collect toys and non-perishable food items, which are used to fill hundreds of food baskets for needy families. Donated new toys bring a little extra Christmas cheer to children. Donated funds are used to purchase perishable items for food baskets, and help to cover miscellaneous expenses.”


A simple act of kindness

I forgot this weekend is the annual Milwaukie Daze festival. I headed to downtown Milwaukie for a late breakfast and as soon as I saw the policeman directing traffic at a blocked intersection I knew that the parade was going on. It’s your typical small town, suburban parade with high school kids, Cub Scouts, floats being pulled by pickup trucks, etc.

“Who doesn’t love a parade? The Milwaukie Daze Parade has been a tradition for more that 40 years!”

I had to turn around and head back toward home. On my drive back at a corner on the sidewalk I saw a sawhorse with two jugs of water and a dog bowl sitting on a plank of wood. I thought that was kind of odd until I realized that in a little while the parade would be passing by here. I realized that some kind soul put the water there for the dogs that would be walking in the parade. I thought that was very kind to think of the pets that would be hot, tired and ready for a drink of water to cool them off. Then  across the street under a shady tree sat a card table with jugs of water and sleeves of plastic cups for the humans walking in the parade.

It is a hot humid day and I am sure both the dogs and the people will be thankful  for the simple act of kindness of these Milwaukie residents .

Can it really be that time of year already? – Portland Rose Festival

I spotted the first sign of the Portland Rose Festival Friday driving to and from work across the Morrison Bridge. On the way into work I saw what I thought may have been some machinery for the bridge and ramp work taking place on the Morrison Bridge. But on my way out of town I clearly saw that it was a ferris wheel. I thought that it was odd to see that the Rose Festival’s Waterfront Village was beginning to appear much earlier than normal.

So I checked the Portland Rose Festival website and looked a the calendar of events.

“The Waterfront Village – Portland’s Place to Play

Recently recognized by the International Festival & Events Association (IFEA) for having the ‘Best Children’s Programming’ in the world, the Rose Festival’s Waterfront Village is the region’s premier family celebration. Celebrating 102 years as our City’s signature event, the Portland Rose Festival brings international attention to Portland each June, and the Waterfront Village is the Rose Festival’s largest community event.

For the first time ever, our village opens on Memorial Day weekend. This new three-weekend format offers a whole extra weekend of fun.”

I guess the thought is that adding almost a week to the event can’t help but to bring more visitors to the city = more tourist $s spent. There are so many different things to do and see during Rose Festival. There is the Starlight Run where people dress up in crazy costumes for a 3 mile run through the city. The Starlight Parade which has been an illuminated parade since 1907. The Dragon Boat races with about 100 teams from all over the country and world competing. I can usually see the crews practicing when I drive over the bridge in the early morning hours. The US and Canadian Navy and Coast Guard ships that come into port with many of the ships open for tours. The big finale is of course the Grand Floral Parade.

The only thing negative that I have to say about the Portland Rose Festival is for me personally it screws up my commute and driving around downtown. I work only four blocks West of the waterfront where the Waterfront Village is set up. There are so many more people driving in that part of town who don’t have a clue where they are going as well as the pedestrians who don’t seem to understand the walk don’t walk signs. It can be nerve wracking some days trying to get out of downtown! The good news is that since 911 there have been far fewer ships coming into port so my commute across the Morrison Bridge isn’t affected by bridge openings for the arrivals and departures of the ships. Or at least that has been true for the last 7 years.

The only other negative thing I have to say is that the Waterfront Village carnival brings out there strangest trashiest people that I never see the rest of the year. I never can figure where they  come from but they tend to move toward  the area where my office building is located sandwiched between the bus and lite-rail malls.

I hope that this year’s Portland Rose Festival is a huge success and brings a lot of much needed money to the area’s locally owned businesses.