What does Lents Pride look like? The scene at Lents Park on Aug. 21 could well be a snapshot of community spirit.
Hundreds of Lents residents turned out for a celebration of Lents’ multicultural spirit at Founders Day: A Celebration of our Community. The event traditionally highlights the 19th Century pioneers that first called Lents home; this year, it also honored the new pioneers, immigrants and newcomers who have made Lents one of Portland’s hubs of diversity.
How diverse? Lents is 16 percent Hispanic, 14 percent Asian and 5 percent African American; about 40 percent of the neighborhood identifies as a minority of some kind. While that may not seem very high for folks who’ve lived elsewhere in the United States, those numbers make Lents one of Portland’s most diverse communities.
Founder’s Day featured food from restaurants including the New Copper Penny (American), El Pato Feliz (Mexican), Ararat (Eastern European), Horn of Africa (Ethiopian) and Voodoo Donuts (quintessentially Portland). It also highlighted cultural celebrations from Asian, African and Latino organizations.
The event started with a parade through the heart of the Lents Town Center. The Lents Neighborhood Association was the primary organizer of the event, which was funded with a grant through the East Portland Neighborhood Office.