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Volunteers leap into action to provide lots of summer fun, in one Inner Southeast neighborhood this year

DAVID F. ASHTON - In 2021, while keeping properly socially-distanced, these folks were enjoying a SMILE Summer Music Neighborhood Concert in the Windermere Building parking lot in Westmoreland. The same venue will host four of the eight local concerts this year too. With gasoline prices skyrocketing, many Inner Southeast Portland neighbors are opting for a "stay-cation" this year.

Fortunately, lots of summer fun will be taking place right here, thanks to volunteers from the Sellwood Moreland Improvement League (SMILE) and the Sellwood Moreland Business Alliance (SMBA).

SMILE Board Member, and Chair of the Events Committee there, Jim Friscia has been working overtime to assure that those who spend the summer in town can walk, or drive only a short distance, to fun events.

"For over 35 years, SMILE has presented free summer concerts every week in July in conjunction with Portland Parks & Recreation," Friscia explained. "That's why last year [with the pandemic having suspended PP&R concerts], SMILE began its own concert series held at smaller locations in Sellwood and Westmoreland.

"We at SMILE are really pleased to continue bringing free music to the neighborhood in 2022 with eight shows on Saturdays in July and August," Friscia pointed out. "Bring a chair, grab some food at a local cart or restaurant, and enjoy a delightful summer evening out with friends and neighbors," he advised.

One 'Concert in the Park' returns July 29

At the same time, Friscia announced that they are also welcoming one PP&R "Concert in the Park". It's on Friday, July 29 at 6:30 p.m. at upper Sellwood Park (NOT Riverfront Park) featuring the "rocking cow-punk music" of Jenny Don't and the Spurs. That is part of a four-day end-of-July extravaganza under the title "Summerville", in cooperation with SMBA.

"Summerville weekend" kicks off July 28

The annual tradition of businesses and organizations presenting "Summerville" — a midsummer celebration in Sellwood and Westmoreland — returns. SMILE is partnering with the SMBA, Sellwood Community House, and neighborhood businesses, to present these events:

July 28 — "Support Ukraine" Market and Music at Sellwood Community House; from 5 until 8 p.m. July 28 — Sellwood Last Thursday; tour galleries and stores. July 30 — "Free Birdhouse Build" all day at PNW Home Improvements & Helpful Badger, 8821 S.E. 17th Avenue.

July 30 — "Musicians Open Mic" performances at S.E. Bidwell & 13th Avenue from noon until 3 p.m.

July 30 — PDX Art Crawl from 6 until 9 p.m. centered at Grounded Gallery in the Milieu Collective, 7836 S.E. 13th Avenue.

July 31 — A tribute to the 40-year tradition of Sundae in the Park will be in Sellwood Park from 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., featuring live music, entertainment, and treats for kids and adults.

More information can be found online —

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