Like many people in Portland, I love my neighborhood and the small businesses that help it, and the city as a whole, thrive. My favorite shops and the people who work in them are always ready to hear the latest news or share some neighborhood gossip. The Beaumont Neighborhood Holiday Festival is scheduled this Friday, Dec. 5th, from 3-7 pm, to help ring in this important season for most small businesses. Photos with kids and Santa may take on a Hawaiian flavor at Noho's Hawaiian Café (e-mail to get on Santa's picture list), or if your pet is the star of your holiday cards, Santa Paws will be available for photos at Beaumont Hardware to benefit the Oregon Humane Society (reserve a spot by e-mail). There'll also be holiday crafts at Umpqua Bank, free soup at Alameda Cafe and two cocoa and snack booths on the street. Is your neighborhood hosting a holiday festival? Tell us all about it in the comments!
Details: Beaumont Neighborhood Holiday Festival on NE Fremont Street above 42nd Ave. Dec. 5, 3-7 pm. E-mail for reservations to get photos taken with Santa or Santa Paws.
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Green Dog Pet Supply. Not only have Mike and Christine been big neighborhood boosters and hosts of innumerable events celebrating the people and pets of the area—the pet parade during Fremont Fest in August is a must-do—they also donate hundreds of pounds of pet food throughout the year to programs like Meals on Wheels for seniors to feed their pets and to tiny rescues in need of support. In December they do a big drive for The Pongo Fund, a Portland food bank for pets. Donations to the fund help to keep pets out of shelters and families together during hard times, and they do incredible work year-round. To donate, you simply buy a 33-lb. bag of the economical First Mate Classic Chicken dog food at Green Dog's wholesale cost of $30, and they'll donate another bag to match it. And try this on for size: You could even buy a bag in the name of a pet lover on your list and give them a card telling them they've just helped a homeless family feed their pet!
Details: Green Dog Pet Supply's Pet Food Drive benefitting the Pongo Fund. Dec. 1-31; if you can't get to the shop to buy a bag to donate, they can also be purchased by e-mailing the store. Green Dog Pet Supply, 4327 NE Fremont St. 503-528-1800.
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Garden Fever, the exquisite garden store that I've loved since it opened, made my heart pitter-pat even faster when they declared themselves a neonicotinoid-free zone last year. They're kicking off a Holiday Shindig the weekend of December 13 and 14 with two workshops on Saturday—DIY wreaths, door hangings and chandeliers, then holiday moss balls, pot-o-greens and boutonnieres—followed by a booksigning on Sunday with Ted Mahar, husband of the late PDX garden goddess Dulcy Mahar, editor of a collection of her writings called "Through the Seasons with Dulcy." All weekend you can also get a Holiday Benefit Grab Bag in amounts of $5, $10 and $20 that will benefit Growing Gardens, a local organization that builds organic gardens in urban backyards and schools to, as they say, "get at the root of hunger" in our community. I'll buy that!
Details: Holiday Shindig at Garden Fever. Dec. 13-14; hours Sat., 9-7; Sun. 9-6. Reservations required for workshops. Garden Fever, 3433 NE 24th Ave. 503-287-3200.