Portland has grown over the years by spreading out to fill empty land, and also by incorporating smaller town that were near the City. East Portland became the Eastside of Portland in the 1890s, and St. John’s became part of the city in 1915.
Because it was separate for so long, and because it is eight and a half miles north of the city center, it still feels very much like a small town rather than part of a huge metropolis. We enjoy its small-town-ness when ever we go, and we spent Saturday there for their annual St. John’s Bizarre.
I know you are thinking, “No, you mean BAZAAR, like a market.” Nope. Bizarre, like weird. It was, and it was wonderful. We got there in time to see many of the parade units setting up their floats and costumes, and got to chat and smile with mermaids, pirates, and portions of the beautiful St. John’s Bridge. Then we found the parade route and watched everyone go by.
There were a dozen marching bands from local Middle Schools and High Schools, playing really good music. They are always Grandpa Nelson’s favorite part of any parade, because he was in his marching bands in school.
My favorite parts are the community groups, the folks who make their place special and vibrant, who show you the nature of the neighborhood. I enjoyed the colorful dancers from St. John’s Pride and the Rise Up Against Extinction group, which fights the use of pesticides in the area.
After the parade, we found yummy food and cold sodas and, most importantly, shade! It has been really warm lately, and was 88 degrees Saturday. There were lots of food trucks and they all smelled good. Grandpa Nelson found the Pip’s Doughnuts and Auntie Bridgett and I had spicy chicken sliders.
As we enjoyed looking at the crafty area, we found our friend Jack Kent selling his Sketchy People books! He was doing good business and having a fun day talking to folks who love his drawings.
As we sat in a lovely cool cafe, we realized we were parked a mile and a half away, so we braced ourselves and headed off, finding the shady side of the street whenever possible.
Making a quick stop by the grocery store, we got home and crashed, resting up for the adventure tomorrow!!