Category: Event

Jan 6th I-84 Closure at I-205

This weekend, Interstate 84 will close in both directions near the Interstate 205 interchange. Crews working on TriMet’s Better Red project will pour concrete for a new rail bridge that spans all lanes of I-84. Drivers will need to use detours around construction work from 10 p.m. Friday, January 6th, until 4 a.m. the following Sunday, January 8th. This project is weather dependent and subject to last-minute schedule changes.

The 30-hour freeway closure is necessary as cement masons work overhead on the new MAX light rail bridge. Crews will work all hours, creating the concrete surface for a single rail line and multi-use path. TriMet originally constructed this section of the MAX Red Line with a single track requiring the segment to clear before trains could travel in opposite directions. This upgrade will allow bi-directional transit to and from the Portland International Airport. Additionally, visitors to the Gateway Green bike park will have a new entrance closer to parking and transit.

Travelers intending to use I-84 should plan an alternate route and expect delays. The I-84 ramps to I-205 will remain open, and people driving west on I-84 are advised to take southbound I-205 as an alternate route. Drivers can merge back onto I-84 past the Gateway area. However, detours are likely to cause congestion. Motorists should plan for additional travel time. For more information, visit the project website or call 503-238-7433.

Yellow line indicating Jan 6th-8th closure of I-84. Image courtesy of TriMet

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Montavilla’s Saturday Winter Celebration

Two events will attract visitors to Montavilla’s commercial corridors this Saturday evening. Winter Wassail along NE Glisan Street features festive beverages, snacks, carolers, and holiday lighting. Participating stores and restaurants between 82nd and 68th Avenues will remain open for last-minute holiday gifts and festivities. People are invited to Wassail (Go from location to location caroling and/or drinking in merriment) on Glisan from 4 to 8 p.m. this December 17th.

Promotional image provide by event coordinators

That same night, SE Stark Street businesses will host the Montavilla Soiree & Pub Crawl from 6 to 9 p.m. The Montavilla East Tabor Business Association (METBA) organized this winter celebration in the historic downtown to support neighborhood businesses as they enjoy the best parts of the colder months.

Promotional image provide by event coordinators

Drinkers, shoppers, and anyone looking for a fun Saturday night can explore the collection of holiday-themed cocktails, food specials, live music, and late-night last-minute shopping in one big evening event. No matter where you reside, some part of Montavilla will have an activity to warm your spirit on a cold night.

These are some of the participating businesses on Glisan Street:

These are some of the participating businesses on Stark Street:

Rahabs Sisters will be collecting gloves, hats, jackets, blankets, and tents. Drop off locations will be Union Rose and Wink Vintage.

Disclosure: The author if this article serves on the Montavilla/East Tabor Business Association (METBA) board. METBA sponsors some of these events.

Mia and More on SE 82nd Ave

Today, Mia and More opened along SE 82nd Avenue across from Hong Phat Food Center. Owner Michelle Tran relocated her business from Beaverton to be closer to the thriving Vietnamese community in this area. The shop’s menu features fresh-pressed sugarcane juice, milk tea, fruit smoothies, and Vietnamese street food. Permitting delays and labor shortages pushed back the shop’s launch, causing a five-month gap in operations and leaving loyal customers wondering where they had gone. However, days prior to opening, eager customers begin strolling in, excited to rediscover this unique sugarcane restaurant.

The Mia and More brand originated in Kent, Washington, several years ago. The owners license the name to other independent store operators across the country and supply licensees with sugarcane sourced from trusted farms in Vietnam. The Beaverton location was the first Mia and More in Oregon and is the only store offering this fresh-pressed Vietnamese treat in the State. The original site was a suitable location to introduce the brand to Oregonians. However, Tran knew SE Portland would be a better location, and with the lease ending in Beaverton, she decided to move. They secured this location in the Annex building and applied for the permits in March 2022. The original storefront closed in July for what was supposed to be a month-long transition to the new space. “The permit took six months, and after that, I had to deal with contractors. They are just so busy that they wouldn’t show up on the day they said,” explained Tran. To speed up construction timelines, Mia and More staff opted to build a smaller kitchen space, forcing them to cut some food items from the menu. They also ditched plans for a walk-in freezer and went with free-standing units. Those choices and an understanding permitting office who provided a temporary occupancy certificate allowed the business to reopen before the end of the year.

Mia and More has seven part-time employees working alongside Tran’s family at this location. Many of the staff are college students taking advantage of the flexible hours. During winter, they will open from 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. seven days a week. In the summer, they plan to extend that time to 9 p.m. when the sunlight lasts into the evening. Tran noted that customers do not walk around on 82nd Avenue during the darker hours because it can feel less safe. She was grateful that the building owners invested in the storefront’s appearance and security. “The landlord did a lot of improvement in the building, so now at night, all the lights are on, so it’s bright, and you feel much better.”

The Mia and More staff are excited to see the returning customers from Beaverton and the new customers from the local Vietnamese community that did not make the journey to the original space. However, Michelle Tran is also hopeful that an expanded audience of Montavilla residents will enjoy her drinks. “We want to get some more non-Vietnamese people to check us out and see how they like it,” said Tran. Located at 326 SE 82nd Avenue, Mia and More is within walking distance from SE Stark and NE Glisan Street. They are in a soft opening period as the staff becomes accustomed to the new facility, but people are welcome to swing by any time and try something new or find that sweet drink you have been missing.

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Montavilla Tree lighting

Last night people gathered in the Public Street Plazas on SE 79th Avenue and Stark Street to officially light the holiday tree. This event is part of a month-long celebration in Montavilla known as WinterFest. Coordinators paused this annual event over the last few years due to the pandemic. However, just like the Montavilla Street Fair, the WinterFest has returned in 2022.

Tree lighting, Image by Weston Ruter

Many shops and organizations are hosting giving opportunities to spread joy this season. Saints Peter & Paul Episcopal Church is hosting a Montavilla Collective fundraiser on December 10th at 247 SE 82nd Avenue from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The money gathered by the art sale and silent auction will help support the evolving community of unsheltered and sheltered neighbors committed to improving community through collaboration and creativity. During the fundraiser, people can make holiday cards, visit with neighbors, and donate art supplies. Montavilla Brew Works is accepting donations of warm clothing items in partnership with Cultivate Initiatives. They can receive hats, gloves, coats, sweatshirts, pants, and socks through December. Items collected support marginalized and underserved people in the Portland area and beyond. Check the METBA Calendar for a complete listing of other charitable activities this season.

On the neighborhood’s north side, NE Glisan has a holiday celebration on December 17th called Winter Wassail. People are invited to come and join the holiday mood with carolers and lights all along the bustling street. Montavilla business district businesses on Glisan Street will host a festive walkabout from 4 to 8 p.m. that night. Shops and restaurants will remain open for last-minute holiday shopping, seasonal beverages, and snacks.

Yesterday’s evening festivities followed a handful of seasonal celebrations and charity events that started on December 1st. WinterFest is presented by the Montavilla/East Tabor Business Association (METBA) as a way to unify all the holiday activities within the business district. People are encouraged to see the lights and shop window decorations in the Historic Downtown Montavilla area and along NE Glisan. Printed WinterFest 2022 posters are up in windows throughout Montavilla to help people discover what is happening next.

Tree lighting video by Weston Ruter

As the first snow of winter falls on Sunday afternoon, this is an ideal opportunity to walk the streets of Montavilla and enjoy the holiday decorations or duck into someplace warm for drinks and a meal. Check  #montavillawinterfest on Instagram and the METBA Calendar for the most up-to-date listing of events and promotions.

Disclosure: The author if this article serves on the Montavilla/East Tabor Business Association (METBA) board.

Red Shed Trees and Seasonal Artistry

On November 25th, Red Shed Christmas Trees returns to the seasonal Montavillage location in the Vinje & Son’s parking lot near SE 78th Avenue and Washington Street. This year, tree lot owner Lesle Janssen plans to expand the artistic offerings sold alongside the traditional wreaths and trees. Shoppers will find an assortment of Douglas, Nordmann, and Noble Fir trees. However, the location also features crafts from local artists, cookies, and activities for kids. Janssen acknowledged that the tree industry costs are rising, but Red Shed will absorb those increases and keep prices at the same level as last year, ensuring people can still afford a holiday celebration.

Beyond tree sales, Janssen is a fan of the holiday season and a dedicated supporter of local artists. Consequentially, the tree lot includes more than just standard items. Since opening the Montavilla tree lot in 2008, the variety of items and activities offered at the location has increased. This year they will have pottery and soap from Shane Reaney Studios, prints from Peter McNamee Photography, confections made by McTavish Shortbread, and other holiday accessories.

Shane Reaney is a neighborhood artist in the early stages of growing his business, and this venue increases exposure for lesser-known creators. “I’ve been making pottery and soap as a hobby for many years, but I am just beginning to do this full-time. Having an opportunity to get my creations in front of so many people in such a festive space will help introduce my affordable creations to lots of new people,” said Reaney. At the Red Shed location, people can choose from a selection of Reaney’s mugs, small planters, incense holders, and soap dishes. Staff will also display an assortment of hand-crafted soap to sell alongside the pottery options.

Peter McNamee Photography offers images capturing the wilderness areas of the Northwest. McNamee prints his photos on eight-by-eight-inch metal panels. The picture is fused onto specially coated aluminum, creating a vibrant image that is durable and impervious to water. Fans of McNamee’s work can also pose in front of a giant backdrop featuring one of his landscape photos.

For over 30 years, Portland’s McTavish Shortbread has provided fresh-to-order cookies for customers. It is an independent craft bakery providing the “foodie’s version of the classic Scottish cookie” to coffee shops, wineries, boutique hotels, and select grocery stores. The family-owned and operated bakery will only create a limited number of cookies for this location. Customers are encouraged to stop in early to buy the cookies they want.

Lesle Janssen is excited to bring back the children’s craft area this year. During the pandemic, Red Shed staff sent ornament creation kits home with kids, and that option will continue. However, kids can stay entertained at the designated holiday creativity station this year while parents shop. Janssen said this event is open to all children and does not require purchase. Crafty adults can also pick up free tree limbs that staff clip from the base of trees. A few inches are always trimmed from the tree’s base to allow it to mount in a watering stand. Those surplus branches can find a new use in mantel decorations or other projects.

For people interested in a wintry brew, a collaboration with Montavilla Brew Works grants tree purchasers a special deal on local beer. Customers will take their “Tree Cookie” token a block over to 7805 SE Stark Street and receive a discount on a six-pack or growler.

After Thanksgiving, shoppers can head to Washington Street to look for the holiday decorations and festive activities that will begin the buildup to the winder celebration. Vinje & Son at 544 SE 78th Avenue is again hosting Red Shed in its parking lot accessed from SE Washington Street. Starting Friday, they are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily with a bonus hour Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, keeping the lot open until 9 p.m. Paid delivery options are available to drop off trees at a customer’s doorstep.

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Pop-up Recycling Events at Beanstalk

Next Wednesday, Beanstalk Children’s Resale Clothing will host a James Recycling pop-up event behind the shop at 8021 SE Stark Street. From 11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., people will collect non-curbside recyclable plastics. The recycling services cost $4 per standard grocery bag full of sorted and clean numbered #1, #2, #4, #5, or #6 plastic containers. This event is the first in a series occurring at this location every other month until May.

Beanstalk invites everyone to the November 16th recycling drop-off. The household plastic items need to be smaller than a basketball, and they can not accept styrofoam, screw-on caps, straws, or utensils. Event coordinators ask that you park on the street and walk to the back parking lot. Visitors will find the driveway leading to the parking lot on SE 81st Avenue.

Items Collected:

  • #1 PET with no color such as berry clamshells and salad containers
  • #2 HDPE such as Pak-Tek 6-pack holders and small white supplement bottles
  • #4 LDPE such as snap-on lids
  • #5 PP such as take-out containers, lids, and cups
  • #6 PS rigid plastics such as clear take-out containers and to-go plastic coffee cup lids

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I84 Offramp Closed for Three Days Next Week

Next week, Interstate 84’s eastbound Exit 7 will close as TriMet crews pour concrete on a new light rail bridge over the Freeway. The Halsey St/NE 99th Ave offramp provides direct access to Gateway Shopping CenterGateway Transit Center, and two medical offices. The November 15th to 17th closure will also prevent quick access to NE Halsey street from I-84. Drivers should take Exit 6 towards Interstate 205 South and use the immediate Glisan Street exit. Then they must take NE Glisan Street east, using NE 99th or 102nd Avenues to drive north to their destination.

Montavilla News illustrations on a Portland Maps image

This midweek construction work supports the A Better Red project currently underway next to I-205. The closures of this I-84 offramp will facilitate the construction of the new MAX light rail track parallel to an existing single-track segment of the Red Line. During the shutdown, crews will continue building a new light-rail bridge over the Freeway, connecting the northern section of Portland’s Gateway Green Park and the Gateway Transit Center. Once completed, the bridge’s tracks will allow simultaneous bidirectional MAX traffic through the Gateway area, helping to alleviate bottlenecks and improve reliability across the MAX system. Crews will also install a new multi-use path to the mountain bike park alongside the new tracks. This added access route will make the recreation area more accessible to a variety of users and increase amenities in the space.

TriMet advises that this work is weather dependent and could be postponed or extended. Check for updates to the schedule or to read more information about the project.

Rendering of the new Red Line bridge crossing I-84. Image courtesy TriMet

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Annual 82nd Ave Dining Event

Last week, the seventh annual Around the World in 82 Dishes began along the entire length of 82nd Avenue in Portland. The business district’s promotion runs for two weeks, concluding on November 6th. The event highlights a wide selection of dining destinations on 82nd Avenue with a focus on multicultural flavors found along the busy roadway. As an incentive, the event organizers created a contest that enters participants into a drawing for multiple $50 gift cards.

Although any food and drink-related business on 82nd Avenue is eligible for the contest, a group of Montavilla eateries are featured participants in this year’s event. Most of the food carts at The Yard at Montavilla are on that list, along with Sebastiano’s. That level of participation yields increased promotional exposure and includes free digital menu services from Foodi-Menus. Ads for the event are currently running in local news publications like Willamette Week and the Portland Mercury, along with Instagram. Koin 6 News featured the event last Wednesday, showing off foods from vendors at the neighborhood food cart pod.

The contest is just one part of this event, presented by the 82nd Avenue Business Association with funding from the American Rescue Plan and Portland’s Bureau of Transportation. The two-week-long food celebration focuses on the diversity of Portland by exploring tastes from cultures across the globe. Many establishments are owned by immigrants that bring their culinary skills and enthusiasm to the foods they serve. Around the World in 82 Dishes seeks to spotlight those businesses and bring people out to East Portland during the traditionally slow season for restaurants.

The appreciation of food alone is not the only motivator for people to participate. The contest for $50 gift cards is a strong incentive to draw people out to the district, even during rainy weather. Interested contestants can use the BabbleBuy mobile app to find locations and post on social media with the hashtags #82ndFoodies and #82Dishes. Those who want to avoid using the mobile app can post on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or TikTok using the two hashtags.

There are only a few days left before the event concludes, but that leaves plenty of time to get out and visit your favorite location or experience someplace new. Keep up to date on the event at, and bookmark that site to stay informed about next year’s Around the World in 82 Dishes.

Disclosure: Montavilla News is a member of the 82nd Avenue Business Association and the author of this article serves on the board.

Halloween Blood Drive

On Monday, October 31st, brave trick-or-treaters can forgo the fake blood of Halloween and donate the real thing. Montavilla United Methodist Church and the Montavilla/East Tabor Business Association (METBA) are co-sponsoring an American Red Cross blood drive from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Timeslot registration is available online at the Red Cross website.

Donors and family should go to the Montavilla United Methodist Church at 232 SE 80th Avenue during their assigned time. There will be pumpkin painting for young family members while parents donate, and the church’s sanctuary will remain open for anyone wishing to light a candle in honor of lost loved ones. Blood Drive participants will receive a punch card featuring special rewards redeemable at participating local businesses. Costumes are welcomed and encouraged.

Blood Drive Punch Card

  • Sebastiano’s: Vegan Olive Oil Chocolate Chip or Vegan Olive Oil Ginger Molasses cookie
  • Union Rose: 5% in-store purchase
  • PDX Cookie Company: free cookie
  • Pie Spot: free cookie
  • Redwood: $3 off Bloody Mary or virgin Bloody Mary
  • Threshold $2 off a pint
  • Miyamoto $2 off a drink

Disclosure: Montavilla News is a member of METBA and the author of this articles serves on the board.

Portland Parks Tree Giveaway

This Saturday, Portland Parks & Recreation’s (PP&R) Urban Forestry department will provide free trees to residents. The 6th Annual Yard Tree Giveaway program continues on October 15th, with two other dates on the 22nd and November 5th. Montavilla residents can collect trees from the PP&R Maintenance Yard at Mt Tabor Park on the November date. Trees are intended for planting on private property within the Portland City limits. Advance registration is required to secure up to two trees.

Residents have 21 approved tree types to choose from when registering. The assortment emphasizes large-growing, native, and evergreen trees because they are most beneficial to the environment. People can select the best time to pick up their trees during registration. PP&R staff will provide mulch and a watering bucket to help residents care for the newly planted tree.

Since the first Yard Tree Giveaway event in 2017, 5,000 trees have joined Portland’s urban canopy. This program increases tree cover across the City and makes trees more accessible. Funding support for this giveaway comes from the Parks Local Option Levy, and the program mainly targets residences in North and East Portland. Distribution focuses on neighborhoods with the highest temperatures and the fewest trees. Nearly all areas known as “heat islands” are located east of the Willamette River.

The distribution of free yard trees is a fundamental part of the City’s efforts to grow and maintain Portland’s tree canopy. Trees provide habitat for wildlife, shade for urban areas, and cleaner air. PP&R stresses the importance of Portland’s urban forest for people’s well-being, noting its physical, mental, emotional, and psychological benefits to neighbors.

People can register for their free tree in English and Spanish at or call 503-823-4963 (Para ayuda en Español. llamé 503-939-0536). Complimentary delivery is available to homes in the St. Johns, Portsmouth, Sunderland, Cully, Centennial, Glenfair, and Sumner neighborhoods.

North Portland – Farragut Park
Saturday, October 15, 2022
8:30am – 1pm (pickup time determined upon advance registration)

Southeast Portland – The Gates Park Property
Saturday, October 22
8:30am – 1pm (pickup time determined upon advance registration)

Southeast Portland – Mt Tabor Community Garden (Enter at SE 64th Avenue & SE Lincoln Street)
Saturday, November 5, 2022
8:30am – 1pm (pickup time determined upon advance registration)