Gresham's parks will be full of activity this Saturday as two big festivals unfurl some fun. The Skosh Japanese Cultural Festival will happen at Main City Park, and across town people can enjoy the seventh-annual Nadaka Nature Park Community Festival.
The Nadaka Festival will run from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, at 17615 N.E. Glisan St.
"It's a really fun, free activity for families, a multicultural event for all ages. There are lots of fun games and activities," said Monica McAllister, coordinator for the Nadaka Nature Park.
The family-friendly fun will include free food, face painting and live music. McAllister promises a Ukrainian folk singer and steel drums. Families can make crafts including bracelets and tambourines.
The Audubon Society of Portland will have live birds on hand. Aztec dancers will perform in the meadow. There will be a scavenger hunt in the forest with prizes.
Community groups will have information and resource tables set up.
The Friends of Nadaka Nature Park will also unveil "Celebrating Nature," a pair of sculptures of a bronze otter by artist Rip Caswell and a raven by artist Chad Caswell. This is a generous gift to Nadaka Nature Park from Joan Albertson.
"There will be a chance to name the otter," McAllister said.
Nadaka is 10 acres of natural, forested land and two acres of neighborhood park that features a nature-based play area, community garden and covered picnic area. There are walking paths and public art.
If you want to go to the festival, enter the area at Northeast 175th Avenue and Northeast Pacific Street or at Northeast Glisan Street with parking at St. Aiden's Episcopal Church. Parking is also available on the south side of Northeast Glisan Street at Northeast 176th Avenue in the neighborhood. A crosswalk is available across Glisan.
Skosh Japanese Fest
From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. also on Saturday, the Skosh Japanese Cultural Festival will unfold at Main City Park, 219 S. Main Ave.
"It's a coming together of the community to share, enjoy and meet your neighbors," said Tomiko Takeuchi, a driving force behind the festival, the restoration of Main City Park's Japanese Garden and the Gresham-Ebetsu Sister City Association.
This festival provides a taste of Japan for East Multnomah County residents. Skosh translates into "a little" Japanese, but the festival promises big fun.
"The hands-on activities are really fun," Takeuchi said.
Artists will teach everyone how to make origami cranes to hang for good luck. Folks can write messages using the ancient art of Japanese calligraphy. Festival goers can enjoy a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
There will be tours of the restored Japanese garden. "Our garden is a masterpiece," she said.
Local artists, craftspeople and authors will be on hand displaying and discussing their art. There will be lots of information available about the environment and conservation. Food carts will be selling tasty treats.