NE Portland neighborhood festival will go on despite threatening letter


Despite a disturbing and threatening letter being sent to the president of the "Good in the Hood Festival", the event will go on as planned.

Organizers met with law enforcement and leaders in the community Tuesday night about how to move forward.

The "Good in the Hood Festival" is a multi-cultural celebration in Northeast Portland every year.

The disturbing letter was sent to the president of the festival, Shawn Penney, last week. Fox 12 can’t even show the entire letter. It’s laced with the n-word and threats of violence.

Part of the letter said people would die at the festival later this month and specifically targeted Penney.

“It’s disturbing,” said Penney.

But Penney said the festival will go on.

“We’re not going to cancel it because if we do cancel it, they win, you know,” said Penney. “We must move on, we must march together, we must stand as one.”

Penney said that’s exactly what local and federal law enforcement reassured him would happen during a closed meeting Tuesday night at Portland Police’s North Precinct.

“I feel a lot better coming out of this meeting,” said Penney.

Penney said he couldn’t give too many details about law enforcement’s plan during the festival, but he said there will be lots of officers.

“There will be bodies,” said Penney. “There will be an overwhelming support of police officers.”

Penney said people in the community were also able to voice concerns and ask questions.

“A lot of people shared thoughts and ideas and different things,” said Penney.

Penney said one person even showed up with a shirt that said “I AM SHAWN PENNEY.” He said people plan to wear it at the festival to show their support for the event and for him.

“This is full of joy in my heart right now,” said Penney. “It brought a tear drop to my eye when I saw this. It lets me know my community stands behind me 100 percent.

This is the 25th year of the festival that focuses on uniting the community. It features a parade, live music, food vendors and performances while raising $10,000 for college scholarships.

This year, there will also be a three-on-three basketball tournament and other events over a three-day period from June 23-25 in Lillis Albina Park.

Penney expects 20,000 people to attend.

To learn more about the festival, go to

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