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Diversity, cooking to highlight First Friday kickoff this week

More than 40 downtown Beaverton businesses are part of evening festivities


by: TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Mathias Galley will performs a traditional Ghanaian dance piece during this week's First Friday celebration in downtown Beaverton.Spring is in the air, and that means the annual First Friday series in downtown Beaverton is back for its third season, beginning Friday, May 2, at 5 p.m.

The international-themed event features more than 40 local Beaverton businesses, which have extended their hours until 8 p.m. Several vendors from the Beaverton Farmers Market are participating in the event, which takes place on the first Friday of each month through October.

Friday's kick-off event celebrates the diversity of the community with activities including a cooking demonstration, dance performances and live music as well as special promotions and discounts at participating businesses.

Natural Grocers, 12604 S.W. Farmington Road, will serve as the host business for the event.

The store will open its teaching kitchen to professional chef Wambui Machua, owner and operator of Spice of Africa. Kenya native Machua, a member of the city’s Sister Cities Advisory Board, will share her culture and culinary expertise by demonstrating the preparation of a healthy African dish.

Musical entertainment includes Klezmocracy, a self-described “freewheeling Afro-Hebrew ensemble that leaves few musical stones unturned," performing in the Beaverton Kia parking lot between Southwest Broadway Street and Canyon Road.

Ghana native Mathias Galley, a veteran of the city of Beaverton’s Ten Tiny Dances event, will showcase his African dance routine to drum accompaniment in the Natural Grocers parking area.

Launched in spring 2012, First Friday is sponsored by the Beaverton Downtown Association and the city of Beaverton’s Main Street Program. Participating businesses include restaurants, salons, a dance studio, a healing center, coffee shops, a costume store and many specialty shops in Central Beaverton.

“Expanding arts and culture entertainment in our downtown is a priority in our community vision," said Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle, "and we are happy to support the BDA."

For more information, visit DowntownBeaverton.org, or BeavertonOregon.gov/MainStreet.




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