The annual event included music, food and almost 200 vendors lining Downtown Tigard amid cooperative weather.

TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ -  The Traveling Bubble Fairy, aka Ashley Blose, demostrates how to make huge soap bubbles using her special wand during the  7th Annual Explore Downtown Tigard Street Fair and Latino Festival held Saturday. Hundreds of area residents packed into Downtown Tigard late Saturday morning for the 7th Annual Explore Downtown Tigard Street Fair and Latino Festival.

There they were greeted by vendors selling an assortment of wares, booths featuring campaigning state and local politicians as well as a music stage and loads of kids' activities.

With a booth near the entrance of the fair on Main Street, State Rep. Margaret Doherty, said she was enjoying the annual event, having been at almost all of the previous street fairs and thought this one was larger than last year's.

Dorherty said many of those who came up to her booth know who she is and what some of the Oregon Legislative issues are.

Doherty is running against Republican challenger Bob Niemeyer, who also had a booth at the event.

Among this year's street fair vendor attractions was the Traveling Bubble Fairy, aka Ashley Blose. Blose's booth space consisted of selling large bubble-making wands constructed by attaching two long dowels, string and a fishing weight.

Once dipped in her secret soapy solution – you get the recipe if you purchase a wand – Blose and two children were demonstrating the simple invention that creates huge bubbles, which wafted down Main Street that wafted into the air. (Well, some didn't make it too far because children tried to pop them).

"I've been doing this for two years," said Blose, who is originally from Arizona and travels around the country with her creation. "I don't make a killing but I make enough to get by."

Helping her display her wares were the brother and sister team of Carter, 10, and Summer Bissell, 7, whose father was manning the nearby Hawaiian Shaved Ice booth.

"It makes huge bubbles and everyone likes to pop them," Carter observed about the wands.

Walking along the street, Elise Shearer, a volunteer with the Tigard Downtown Association, who sponsors the street fair, said she was enjoying the event.

"Good traffic. Thank god the weather isn't too hot," she said.

Meanwhile, in a back room at Café Allegro, Stacy Metzger, part of the Washington County Medical Reserve Corps, was showing a group of 20 people how to prepare for "The Big One" as part of this year's "Quake Up" presentation.

Metzger displayed ways to store food in clear zipper bags in anticipation of the predicted Cascadia Subduction Zone quake that's expected to devastate the Northwest. Metzger, who holds a master's degree in geology, talked about the importance of having emergency first-aid kits available as well, emphasizing that everyone should include large rolls of gauze. The most common injury following an earthquake is cut hands and feet, she said.

Along with food staples, she also stressed the importance of having goodies to enjoy during such a disaster.

TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - A youngster enjoys a wagon ride down  Tigards Main Street during the 7th Annual Explore Downtown Tigard Street Fair and Latino Festival. "You want to make sure you have comfort foods," she said, holding up a small box of chocolates. "I figure after the earthquake, a little box of chocolates like this is worth 50 bucks."

Stan Houseman, who began "Quake Up" four years ago, said this was the first year the event has been held in Tigard. Houseman and his wife Susan had a variety of displays on hand to educate residents on what to do after the quake.

"Our big thing too is not only to get (residents) prepared but their family and neighbors prepared too," he said, pointing out, "because in any disaster your first responders are your neighbors."

Debi Mollahan, chief executive officer of the Tigard Chamber of Commerce, said she thought crowds at the event were bigger than last year.

"It feels like it's more consistently steady than last year," she said, noting too that vendor booths were up: 168 last year, 193 this year. "About a third of the vendors are Tigard addresses."

While the Latino Festival was part of the event last year, she said the goal was to formalize it into a partnership this year.

Along with live music was a community stage that featured dance instruction, a ukulele player, cloggers and salsa dance instruction, said Mollahan.

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