Monthly event culminates with doggie dress-up contest, live music

by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Brutus, a 3-month-old English bulldog; Ace, a beagle; Radar, a dachshund-chihuahua mix; and Roy, also a dachshund-chihuahua, all owned by Raleigh Hills Orthodontics Dentist John Delplanche, walk toward the dress-up dog competition during the final First Friday event of the season in downtown Beaverton. With pterodactyls, alligators, skeletons and Little Red Riding Hood roaming the streets of downtown Beaverton on Friday, you couldn’t blame passersby for not noticing that the last First Friday of the summer season had essentially gone to the dogs.

Truth is, it was dogs dressed as those and other characters that brought a wacky, offbeat flair to this month’s First Friday, held on Oct. 4 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the city’s central business district.

Featuring live music and extended hours at more than 20 downtown businesses, the final First Friday in the May-through-October monthly series — now in its second year — was anchored by a doggie dress-up event held in the parking lot behind Peddler’s Pack, 4570 S.W. Watson Ave. About 25 dogs, accompanied by their owners, turned out in a wide range of regalia for a canine-oriented fair that culminated with a dog dress-up TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Radar, a dachshund-chihuahua mix dressed as a bat being held by Mallory Mazenkas, is all ears before the dog costume competition on Friday.

“It was a pretty good turnout for the first time around,” said Linda LeClaire, co-owner of A&P Appliance Repair and a member of the Beaverton Downtown Association, First Friday’s coordinating sponsor. “If you liked dogs, it was a great event. There were some pretty ingenious outfits for dogs. The judges had a great time.”

Options also abounded for the event’s less dog-crazy attendees on a warm, sunny early fall evening.

Investment Audio, 12604 S.W. Farmington Road, served as October’s host business, provided refreshments and a special performance by Gene Denardo, an accomplished jazz musician featuring a large repertoire of jazz pieces. The vintage stereo business also provided information about the evening’s events and participating businesses as well as dog treats courtesy of Petco.

The Art On Broadway gallery stayed open until 9 p.m. to give visitors plenty of time to bid on its collection of silent auction artwork its member artists created.

Local band Riverside Northwest performed on Southwest Broadway Street, near Beaverton Kia, while the Swingset Quartet vocalized its way along downtown TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - The vocal group In Sequins serenades Steve and Lori Eldridge of Beaverton during the First Friday event in downtown Beaverton.

Beaverton Florist hosted a prize wheel with gifts from participating businesses.

Natalie Verdi, a member of the city’s Sister Cities Advisory Board, and her colleague Marie-France Alfonsi hosted a French cooking demonstration in honor of Beaverton’s sister city, Cluses, France, at the Beaverton Masonic Lodge at 4690 S.W. Watson Ave.

Bernie Kurtz, who’s operated Peddler’s Pack with his wife Joyce for 30 years — 20 of of them at the Watson Avenue location — said the elements came together on Friday to provide a great culmination for this year’s monthly series.

“I’d rate it as a really great evening,” he said. “The weather was fabulous.”

As a community-oriented event, he added, First Friday is improving as it goes along.

“We felt that last year it was still in the infantile stages,” he said. “This year we’ve really seen it come alive and see it be beneficial to downtown businesses.”by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Bernie Kurtz, owner of Peddlers Pack, Piper Thompson, 4, and Mike Leclair, owner of L&P Appliance, serve as judges for the dog costume competition.

Kurtz, who serves with LeClaire on the Downtown Beaverton Association, noted city of Beaverton leaders and staff, including Mayor Denny Doyle, go out of their way to make the event work for businesses, citizens and visitors alike.

“I can’t say too much about Denny and the city staff for what they’ve done to help us,” he said. “They’ve really taken a serious initiative in downtown businesses and helping the small business community.”

Noting a First Friday-like event will take place in December to light the city’s Christmas tree, LeClaire said she and other merchants look forward to planning and tweaking the event for next year.

“The whole purpose is for people to realize how many fun businesses there are in downtown,” she said, noting that locations for live music and events such as the doggie dress-up will move to different locations as the series progresses. “We want to get people to move around and see how many great businesses there are and how Beaverton is growing with a vibrant downtown.”

Participating businesses include restaurants, salons, a dance studio, a healing center, coffee shops, a costume store and many specialty shops.

For more information about First Friday, visit TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Isabella, a chihuahua owned by Sheri Hill, shows up for the costume competition with a jockey on her back.

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