[Heritage] Portland Greek Festival is newest Oregon Heritage Tradition

INFO Heritage * OPRD Heritage.Info at oregon.gov
Fri Oct 2 12:30:52 PDT 2015

A 63-year-old festival that shares the traditions of Greek immigrants is the newest Oregon Heritage Tradition designated by the Oregon Heritage Commission.

The Portland Greek Festival is the 12th event designated an Oregon Heritage Tradition.  The others include the Oregon State Fair, the Pendleton Round-Up, the Klamath Basin Potato Festival and the Linn County Pioneer Picnic.

The festival takes place this Friday -Sunday (Oct. 2-4) at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral at NE 32nd Avenue and Glisan Street in Portland.

"The Heritage Commission wants to recognize those traditions that have helped define the state," said Eric Martin, the commission's chair.  "They are distinguished events that are part of our heritage as Oregonians."

"Several generations of volunteers work side by side preparing thousands of pieces of pastries and other traditional foods," said Maria Corvallis, the festival's public relations director. "Combined with the traditional folk music, dance, cooking demonstrations and more, the festival shares Greek culture with descendants of the immigrants and others. Its proceeds are shared with numerous groups in the Portland area."

The first Greek immigrants arrived in Portland in the late 19th century and worked in fishing, timber, railroad and other professions. The church hosted the first Portland Greek Festival in 1952. That simple bazaar has grown to be one of the largest Greek festivals on the west coast.  This year's festival will include cooking demonstrations, dancing, crafts, food, tours, and other demonstrations.

An Oregon Heritage Tradition must have been in continuous operation for more than 50 years, demonstrate a public profile and reputation that distinguishes it from more routine events, and add to the livability and identity of the state, said commission coordinator Kyle Jansson. A list of  Tradition designations is available at http://www.oregon.gov/oprd/HCD/OHC/pages/oht.aspx

The Oregon Heritage Commission coordinates efforts to solve statewide heritage issues through grants, education, and advocacy, and also promotes heritage tourism efforts.   ###

Oregon Heritage News is a service of Oregon Heritage, a division of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. The news editor can be contacted at heritage.info at oregon.gov<mailto:heritage.info at oregon.gov>

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