Good times abound at community celebration

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO: JOHN LARIVIERE - Huitzilopochtli dance troupe captain José Carlos performs a traditional Aztec dance honoring the sun while wearing a colorful head dress as part of the Beaverton International Celebration.With sparkling weather, impressive attendance and general good spirits conspiring for the greater good, this year’s Party in the Park turned out better than Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District planners could’ve hoped.

“The weather was ideal, the event ran smoothly from an operational perspective, and there were smiles and laughter from our guests everywhere we turned,” said Bob Wayt, the district’s communications director. “All in all, it was a great day for celebrating free fun in Beaverton. We thank everyone who came out.”

Wayt estimated a crowd of more than 8,000 came out for the event, held on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Howard M. Terpenning Recreation Complex at Southwest 158th Avenue and Walker Road. The free event’s individual attractions, including the Beaverton International Celebration, the Classic at T-Hills car show and the Family Triathlon, transformed the district’s main campus into a carnival of activities for people of all ages. The event also included drop-in sports, swimming, food, music, exhibitions and other family-friendly activities.

Wayt said the attendance figure, up from last year’s estimated 7,500 party-goers, is especially impressive given the area’s other options over the weekend.

“This was excellent news because there were many competing special events happening on the same day around the Portland area,” he said, noting the Washington County Fair and the Oregon International Air Show in Hillsboro. “Participation in the Family Triathlon was higher than it’s ever been, and food vendor sales and ATM uses were also up this year.”

Crowds at the international celebration appeared to be the largest in the event’s three-year history.

“Many of the guests, we’re pretty sure, had never been to our complex before,” Wayt noted, “but now that they’ve seen it, we hope they will come back and take some classes or use our facilities.”

Still basking in the glow of a successful Party in the Park, THPRD officials are already discussing the 2014 party, “with the goal of making next year’s event even better,” Wayt said. “Planning has already begun.”by: SUBMITTED PHOTO: JOHN LARIVIERE - Reece Nelson, 2, gets help finishing the running portion of the Family Triathlon from his father Tyler (right) and Grandpa Bob (left).by: SUBMITTED PHOTO: JOHN LARIVIERE - Officer Matt Barrington plays the bad guy as K-9 Officer Barak shows off his speed during the Beaverton Police K-9 Unit demonstration during Saturday's Party in the SUBMITTED PHOTO: JOHN LARIVIERE - Courtney Saqueton, 12, and her brother Ryan, 10, perform a Filipino bamboo pole dance in front of the Filipino American Club of Oregon booth at the Beaverton International SUBMITTED PHOTO: JOHN LARIVIERE - Tyler Nelson helps his son Reece, 2, during the swim portion of the Family Triathlon at Saturday's Party in the Park.

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