Tigard's street fair, Latino festival draw thousands
Tigard's Family Fest 2017 — consisting of a family fun run in the morning, the Downtown Tigard Festival during the day, and the Latino Festival at night — took place Saturday, and for Police Chief Katy McAlpine, it was a chance to further familiarize herself with a community to which she's still new.
"It's a great way to get to still know this community, having just gotten here in April," McAlpine said while standing near the police department's booth at the fair. "It's a great opportunity to meet and interact with the public. Anytime we can have a booth and be out talking to kids and even adults, it's invaluable."
McAlpine attended both the Downtown Tigard Festival and the evening's second annual Latino Festival, a celebration of Latino culture that included live folk dancing and music, arts and crafts booths and food vendors.
For McAlpine, partaking in the Latino Festival was particularly important.
"We wanted to be sure we had a presence at the Street Fair, but also to celebrate the Latino festival as well, and continue to build that trust and show that we're here for all of our community," she said.
Earlier in the day, the Family Fest Fun Run included more than 200 participants, all of whom received a free snack from local restaurant Koi Fusion upon the race's finish.
After the run wrapped up, the Tigard Street Fair kicked into high gear. Coordinated by the Tigard Downtown Alliance, the fair drew about 7,500 people, and included 170 booths, two live music stages, food vendors and a beer and wine garden.
Steve DeAngelo, the alliance's president, said that the fair included "a lot of great arts and crafts, food vendors and nonprofits." An antique fire truck from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, in the fair's "kids' zone," was a particularly popular attraction, he added.
"It went very well," DeAngelo said. "I think we had happy folks all the way around."
As day transitioned to evening, booths began disassembling and packing up, but the Latino Festival, also in downtown Tigard, was just getting started. Vendor booths started selling chicharones and Jarrito's sodas, and one food booth called Sandwich Cartel offered a steak and avocado sandwich topped with "cartel sauce."
Sandwich Cartel just opened as a food cart in downtown Portland a week ago, and this was one of the first area festivals co-owner Norbeth Marticorena attended.
"My business partner and I — I'm from Peru and he's from Chile," Marticorena said. "We had a successful business in D.C., so we decided to come to the West Coast."
Just down the path from Sandwich Cartel was Bandit Kettle Corn, a Hood River-based company that frequents Portland-area festivals. This was Bandit's second appearance at the Tigard Street Fair and Latino Festival, and its three-person crew churned out kettle corn the old-fashioned way — with an open flame and a cast-iron pot — all evening long.
"The Tigard Latino Festival is a fantastic festival," said Olen Christianson, Bandit's owner. "It really comes alive at night, which is not often the case. We don't do a lot of night events … it's incredibly unique. We have not been to any other events like this in or around Portland."
Onstage, the Latino Festival saw performances from Baile de Peru, a Peruvian folk dancing company, Danza Azteca and more. For Tigard High School senior Vladimir Salas, who volunteered at the event, the evening was successful in celebrating Tigard's Latino culture.
"Since Latino culture makes up part of our Tigard community, I think it's important everybody knows what kind of diversity they have living in their own city," he said. "I'm very excited to have this live festival here."