Historic Parkrose (HP)—one of eight mini-urban renewal areas the Portland Development Commission has created around Portland—is relocating its signature summer event from the Sandy Boulevard business district to Rossi Farms, according to HP Revitalization Manager Mingus Mapps.

Set for Saturday, June 24, the Taste of Parkrose moves from Sandy Boulevard to Rossi Farms. In its fourth year, the community event is produced by the Portland Development Commission’s Historic Parkrose group.

A free community event, the Taste of Parkrose was created by Portland Development Commissions’s (HP) group in the summer of 2014 to bring people to the business district.

Mapps doesn’t take moving the event away from the district core lightly. He said the event just outgrew the space. “It is a big deal to move it off Sandy; part of that is logistically necessary.”

Despite Rossi Farms not being in HP’s defined area, Mapps sees his mission as extending beyond its set boundaries. “We’re an ecosystem that includes the business district and school district, and Rossi Farms is kind of the jewel of the district,” Mapps said. “I don’t think it’s meaningful to pretend Parkrose stops at Wygant [Street].”

Joe Rossi, who is no stranger to planning and holding large events, held a Western themed Barn Bash for years at the family farm at 3839 N.E. 122nd Ave. “I’m excited to have the Taste of Parkrose event at Rossi Farms this year,” Rossi said in an email. “I hope to be part of growing the event for our community plus, it takes the pressure off people asking about another Barn Bash. LOL.”

Created to showcase Parkrose restaurants and businesses, for its first two years the Taste was held in the heart of the business district on Northeast 106th Avenue between Sandy Boulevard and Wygant Street.

Since this meant closing off a city street for a day, all neighbors had to agree.

Mapps, who recently marked his second year as HP manager, said most neighbors welcomed it but some were opposed, which was exhausting to navigate. “A handful of people were really, really, really not okay with it,” he said.

So, when managers of the hardware store across the street, who had begun EGGfest (see sidebar below) in their parking lot in 2015, offered Mapps the parking lots of the yet-to-be-opened Dollar Tree and Grocery Outlet stores, he moved the event there.

However, shortly after the event last summer, the two stores opened, making that site untenable.

Mapps said hardware store managers wanted the event moved to Rossi Farms. “For them, Rossi Farms is the perfect spot for it [EGGFest],” he said.

“Because they’re part of a huge corporation, they need to double the size of the event every year, and they want a neighborhood tie-in,” Mapps said. “Last year they sold 30 Big Green Eggs (see sidebar); this year they want to sell 60.”

Set for Saturday, June 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the (mostly) free event includes a 5K and 10K fun run and walk that begins and ends at Parkrose High School; the Taste Tent, featuring samples from local restaurants and EGGfest chefs; and a Community Pavilion to connect neighbors with community organizations.

New this year: a beer garden and an under-$10 charge to enter the Taste Tent.

All other areas of the fair will be free and open to the public, who are welcome to enjoy vendors, live music and kids’ game areas.

“We’ll give this a try and if it doesn’t work, we’ll try something else,” Mapps said. “[The move] seems like a fairly safe gamble. I’m hoping it’ll be like last year, only better and bigger.”

To sign-up for the run or to secure a booth, either call HP’s Kate Coenen at 503-964-7807 or e-mail her at kate@historicparkrose.com.

What’s a Big Green Egg?
A Big Green Egg is an outdoor ceramic kamado-style charcoal grill that gets its name from its appearance. It’s big and green and shaped like an egg. Big Green Eggs come in seven sizes—Mini to XXL—and a wide range of prices (anywhere from $400 to $4,000). Due to the focused heat of the ceramic shell, Big Green Eggs not only achieve high temperatures but also hold low temperatures for use as a smoker.

According to Wikipedia, a kamado is a traditional Japanese wood- or charcoal-fueled cook stove. The name kamado is the Japanese word for “stove” or “cooking range.” It means “place for the cauldron.”

What’s an EGGfest?
An EGGfest is a live Big Green Egg demonstration event, after which the used Eggs are sold at reduced prices.
Nationwide, from San Francisco to Connecticut, there are 12 annual EGGfests listed on the bigreenegg.com website.

According to porkopoliseggfest.com, the website for Cincinnati’s annual EGGfest, there are two groups who attend EGGfests: cooks and tasters.

The cooks bring their own food and prepare varied offerings on the provided Big Green Eggs. Tasters show up and taste the food the cooks prepare on the Eggs. There is no charge to the cooks, but the adult tasters are charged a fee.

Parkrose Hardware’s website says that if you’ve never been to an EGGfest, “It’s a glorious day of sampling tasty foods cooked on Big Green Eggs and enjoying the company of others. Egg enthusiasts showcase their talents cooking on the versatile barbecue, and the curious get to eat their creations and mingle with other Eggheads.”

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