Annual Hillsdale Main Street event seeks to improve health of Southwest Portlanders, local economy

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO: MEGAN BRAUNSTEN - A tooth gone wild at Springfest 2012. Hillsdale has always been something of a hub of commerce in Southwest, but this Cinco De Mayo, it is really going all out.

May 5 is the day of second annual Springfest Health & Wellness Fair. Put on by Hillsdale Main Street, it will bring together over 35 area health and wellness practitioners to showcase their offerings and give Southwest Portlanders the opportunity to support the local economy and ameliorate their health in the process.

With that kind of incentive, it should come as no surprise that according to Hillsdale Main Street Director Megan Braunsten, Springfest is the “most successful health and wellness fair any of the districts do in Portland,” last year drawing over 3,200 attendees.

And this year’s Springfest is likely to be the best yet for both vendors and visitors. Why? Four words: strategically-placed bouncy houses.

Whereas last year, “Having one bouncy house meant all of the (booths) near there had a great time, and the ones farther away didn't so much,” Braunsten said, this year's fest will come with not one but two bouncy houses, “to make sure everybody has equal opportunity to have guests.”

Braunsten said Springfest 2013 could have up to 5,000 attendees, partly because it will fall on the same day as the opening of the Hillsdale Farmers' Market summer season and Rieke Elementary School art fair nearby.

Half the vendors participating in Springfest are based in Hillsdale, including Bowman's Hillsdale Pharmacy, Food Front, Gifford Family Dental, Garfinkle Orthodontics, HairColor Salon Dirk, Hillsdale Eye Clinic, Hillsdale Veterinary Hospital, Portland Wellness Center,Salvador Molly's, The Spa Upstairs, Tutor Doctor, and two neighborhood newcomers, Centre Point Physical Therapy and the Hillsdale Art Supply Company. The rest hail from throughout the Southwest Portland area.

Health and wellness isn't limited to dieting and dentistry; one Hillsdale vendor, Paloma Clothing, is expanding that definition to include a different but no less real form of curative — retail therapy.

And joining the clientele of these practitioners is indeed an opportunity support the Southwest Portland economy, for, as Braunsten explained, “Shopping local doesn't stop with what you buy.”

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