By Janet Goetze
For the Hollywood Star News
The eighth annual Summer in September Jambalaya Festival & BBQ, featuring a Creole-style family recipe, is planned from noon to 6 p.m. Sept. 7 at Dawson Park, between North Williams and Vancouver Avenues, from Morris to Stanton streets.
Live music will be part of the afternoon with dance lessons by the Cascade Zydeco Club. In addition, the event will have a Past-Present-Future exhibit of Black history with presentations by the Oregon Historical Society and Roosevelt High School. The topics will range from freedom fighters to Portland’s lost black neighborhoods.
Backpacks filled with school supplies will be available for the first 150 attendees.
The culinary team will be headed by Teletha Benjamin, a past Meals on Wheels People board member, and Joan Smith, the executive director. Both women have Southern Louisiana connections, and the jambalaya recipe has been passed down through Benjamin’s family. Jambalaya, including a non-seafood version, will be served along with ribs, salad, bread, beverage and dessert. The cost is $15 for adults and $45 for a family of four. Widmer Brothers Brewing will sponsor a beer garden. Tickets may be ordered in advance at mealsonwheelspeople.org, from the center or at the event. Take-out meals also will be available.
In addition to the festival’s feast, the daily menu at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center has evolved to include a variety of soul food entrees, said manager David Lomax.
“The food has received such good reviews that we decided to make it available to the general public for one special night,” Lomax said. “We guarantee a sumptuous feast to delight the taste buds.”
The center is one of 35 sites providing a nutritional and social gathering place for seniors in Multnomah, Washington and Clark counties. Meals on Wheels also are delivered to homebound seniors Nearly 10,000 volunteers help the nonprofit organization serve 5,000 meals daily and 1.2 million meals each year.