Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Slice of Americana

Dragon Boat
One of the things I like about Portland is its small town feel. The people are friendly and since so many spots in neighborhoods are essentially mom and pop shops it's easy to get to know the people in your 'hood. During the summer there are inevitably more events that are reminiscent of a town where you know your neighbors and people (tattoo'd, pierced, and dyed hair) will do their best to look out for each other. Think: Block parties and lemonade stands. Portland is also a creative town. 

When you combine those two elements you get things like a Milk Carton Race. Yes, you read that correctly. People use milk cartons to create a boat that they then paddle across the casting pond at a local park. I'm not making this up. It was an annual event for almost 30 years. I even met a few folks who remember going to it as kids. It stopped because the pond was drained. The pond has been refilled and the event is occurring once again.

There's something kind of magical about it. Families and friends working together to create boats made out of any type of milk carton that can actually float. People surround the pond to cheer on the racers and cool down with some free ice cream or root beer floats (it is a dairy event, after all). 
This isn't quite made out of milk cartons,
 but it definitely portrays the spirit of the event

It's a bit of a modern day Rockwell painting - only the people are likely wearing Revos instead of saddle shoes and people are checking their cell phones in lieu of reading the Saturday Post. Oh, and I'm betting Rockwell never saw boats like these. Given all that it's the same sentiment. Quirky, but similar.

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