Strawberry Short Course Festival, Portland Summer Food Cart Festival come to MHCC

The Strawberry Short Course Festival, a Mt. Hood tradition dating back to 1980, offers a sampling of short courses on a variety of topics, along with vendors and booths with information about local organizations.

The public is invited to celebrate the strawberry season from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at Mt. Hood Community College, 26000 S.E. Stark St.

More than 50 courses will be taught, ranging in topic from Russian folks songs to Zumba and origami to “whiz bang” chemistry.

Free organic strawberry shortcake will be available on a first-come, first-served basis from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Vendors will sell art, food and jewelry, and offer a 4-H small petting zoo, face painting and kids’ games.

No registration is necessary, and the event is free and open to the public. Courses are offered on a drop-in basis until filled.

All sessions are 45 minutes unless noted.

For more information, visit

Portland Summer Food Cart Festival

Asking Steve Shomler to name his favorite Portland food cart is like asking him to name his favorite child.

There’s pimento mac and cheese, melted with a blow torch. Taco salad made on Navajo fry bread. Egyptian vanilla and cardamom custard covered with champagne mangos.

“I fell in love with the food, but even more so, I fell in love with the owners,” Shomler said. “They represent the best of the American dream. A lot of them don’t have the resources to open up their own restaurant, but the food cart is a way to bootstrap their way to a better life.”

Since having his food cart epiphany in 2010, Shomler has combined his entrepreneurial spirit with his passion for food carts.

The East Portland resident began Portland Food Cart Adventures and is bringing his passion to Mt. Hood Community College with the Portland Summer Food Cart Festival.

The festival will be held from 2-9 p.m. Saturday, June 22, in the Northeast corner of campus at Mt. Hood, with ticket proceeds benefiting the nonprofit organization ALSO (Adult Learning Systems of Oregon Inc.).

“We want to support a worthy nonprofit and treat food cart owners like the stars they are,” Shomler said. “Food carts have a limited season — April through October — when they can most effectively operate.”

Admission and beer garden proceeds will go directly to ALSO, while the food carts will keep all their proceeds.

ALSO provides supported living, residential and vocational services to people with developmental challenges in the Portland area.

Along with the second annual East County Food Cart Competition, the event will feature 20 popular Portland food carts, a beer garden, live music and a kids’ zone.

The winner of the competition will take home a fork-themed trophy created by Parris Foley of Infusion Gallery and a $500 cash prize from KG Specialties.

General admission is $5; children 12 and younger get in for free. VIP tickets are available for $20 and include early entrance (noon), one free adult beverage,

VIP parking and an exclusive seating area.

For more information, visit Tickets also may be purchased at the ALSO office in Troutdale, Troutdale Key Bank and the Cheese Plate PDX Food Cart at Northeast 23rd Avenue and Alberta Street in Portland.

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