Bits & Pieces: Darcelle gets two street toppers, and Ramontay McConnell enjoys taking on grizzly bears
Competing with grizzly bears in a reality series isn't as daunting as one would think.
Ramontay McConnell, a 23-year-old horseman from Portland, had fun on the Discovery Channel's "Man Vs. Bear" show, which airs Saturday nights.
"Each bear is different in its own cute way," said McConnell, who's originally from Kansas City. "Bart does what he wants, when he wants. It's his show. Tank is my kinda guy. He loves his nutrition. Honey Bump is quiet but, as the only lady bear on bear mountain, she represents well.
"As a horseman, I've become familiar with animals and their instincts and behaviors. I wasn't frightened. It was eye-opening to compete next to a bear. ... I want to show the world that you can win in life just by stepping outside of your own comfort zone."
Competitions with bears include tug-of-war, tree climbing and an eating contest.
McConnell physically certainly looks the part of a man who can go head-to-head with bears; he's a fit guy who cares about nutrition and "I do tons of different things on the ranch that keep me in shape."
Chinese New Year celebrations take place Saturday, Jan. 25. There'll be a fireworks display at 11:30 a.m. and a dragon dance and parade at noon presented by the Portland Chinatown Museum and Oregon Historical Society on Northwest Third and Fourth avenues.
In addition, there will be an unveiling of two street toppers on Northwest Everett and Davis streets commemorating Portland's famous drag queen Darcelle, aka Walter Cole, who has entertained people at his Darcelle XV Showplace at 208 N.W. Third Ave. for more than 50 years.
Don Horn, founder/executive director of Triangle Productions, spearheaded the move to have street toppers installed, following his work on a book, musical and Oregon Historical Society exhibit to celebrate Darcelle.
The street topper project is sponsored by Portland Bureau of Transportation, Portland Chinatown Museum and Triangle Productions.
Horn said that it took some negotiating with the Chinese community to post the street toppers, which read "Happiness Reigns Forever," one of Darcelle's famous sayings. Negotiations included a visit to Darcelle XV Showplace. Visitors entered the club cautiously and left after "taking selfies and laughing" and having a good time.
"My hope is we can do the rest of the street," Horn said.
Rose Festival rose
The Portland Rose Festival Foundation and Portland Nursery have partnered to present the official rose of the 2020 Rose Festival, named Princess Power.
The hybrid tea rose has a well-forced medium-size flower that appears to be handpainted pink with a cream reverse. It features a mild fruity and tea fragrance, and the flower is supported by long, straight and upright sturdy stems up to 5 feet tall that tend to bloom on a five- to seven-week cycle.
Princess Power will be available exclusively at Portland Nursery, beginning in early February, for $29.99.
The seventh annual, month-long Chocolate for Congo benefit returns in February when local restaurants and bakeries participate in raising money for the African country.
Theo Chocolate and Never Again Coalition host a launch party at Vaux at Canopy Portland, 425 N.W. Ninth Ave., 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28.
Cinema Unbound Awards
The Northwest Film Center has announced its first annual Cinema Unbound Awards. There'll be a ceremony March 9 during the Portland International Film Festival. The awards honor innovative local and global filmmakers and benefit the film center's exhibition and education programs. The center is going through a process of "creative reimagining," and wants to push the limits of cinema and "unbind it from traditional constraints," going forward with a "creative mandate."
Honorees are Todd Haynes, John Cameron Mitchell, Julie Goldman, Rose Bond, Michel Reilhac, Amanda Needham and Rajendra Roy.
For tickets: www.cinemaunbound.org/awards.
Colin Urban, a Portland high school student and world-ranked player, captured the IFPA Oregon State Pinball Championship last weekend at Next Level Pinball Museum in Hillsboro.
He'll be headed to the North American Championship, March 5 in Denver.
Zoe Vrabel won the first Oregon Women's Pinball Championship.
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