PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Starting Friday, Portland will be kicking off a weekend welcoming the community back to Portland.

It's called "Welcome Back to the Heart of Portland" weekend.

This weekend's events include performances by local band Pink Martini, free family-friendly activities as well as local art, food and music. You can find information on this weekend's events here

It's been a long road to get here.

There's now more foot traffic, more cars and more energy in downtown Portland.

"I'm really glad to come back because it gives me a chance to meet the other people in our company, rather than just doing everything remotely," Gary Litvin said.

Portland to hold celebration weekend welcoming community back to the city

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Litvin, who moved to the Portland area during the pandemic, is enjoying the change of pace for Portland, which made national news several times throughout the last year and a half for protests and violence.

But now, many feel the city's at a turning point.

"The reference we've been using a lot is it's kind of like the house has been ripped to the studs, so you know adding back as we grow," Q Restaurant General Manager Giselle Minshull said. "Rising tides raising all boats kind of thing where the more boards came down, the better the outcome was out for all of downtown."

Minshull feels things are slowing getting back to normal as we see more businesses at full capacity.

As people get back to the grind and return to offices downtown, Manager John Cummings of 40 Pounds Coffee shop feels the same about the energy in the city.

"First of all, I can hear everything everyone is saying cause we're not muffled anymore," Cummings said. "And it's nice everyone just seems much better, you know, much more positive."

In addition to the push to bring the community back, there's an effort to clean up as well.

Wednesday morning, volunteers with the group SOLVE picked up trash all over the city.

"I want to send a message to Ted Wheeler to not acquiesce to lawlessness and the importance of keeping our city clean, and if he just allows people to engage in lawlessness activities, then we're just going to keep having a dirty city," SOLVE volunteer, Krysten said.

Many recognize the safety issues the city's dealt with over the last several months, including last weekend's shooting that killed one and hurt at least six others.

But that's not going to stop businesses from moving forward.

"I think it's always good to be conscious of what's going on around you, but also trying to keep a level head," Minshull said.

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(10) comments

retired40

Portland! A garbage dump named after a city. How coincidental.

ThoughtShare

Does this mean the dealers have all established their street corners now for sales and distribution or; will more people bring more dealers to battle for sales while shooting it out? This looks like a high risk "weekend welcoming" that the city is planning, and you know will happen if you take personal defense into Portland.

pb sir

Would be kind of funny if absolutely no one showed up for this shindig... wouldn't blame them... having to step over and around the homeless and their garbage, and worrying about being shot, stabbed or assaulted should keep people away in droves... I certainly won't be going anywhere near downtown unless I really have to...

RetDOD

Didn't think about that side of it. It's possible this event is sponsored by one of the liberal "house the homeless in your home" groups.

Having an indoctrination for new arrivals to the Portland community, and promoting a " lend a helping hand, careful not to let it get bit off" agenda. Maybe?

Really, people are into this kind of stuff. Seems easier to bulldoze it all down, remove homelessness incentives, and move on with society.

nativepdx

Hire more police and end the vagrants and mostly peaceful protesters and downtown will come alive again.

We need the rule of law in Portland to protect the businesses from the leftist radicals in Portland.

Clackakitty

"Hire more police ..."

How? No one in their right mind would be a cop in this City under this Mayor and City Council. The only reason the ones that are staying are still here is that their retirement program isn't portable.

ItsPolitical

Stop voting for liberals who only know how to DESTROY everything they touch. Only then will anything change for the better. Right now, Portland is on life support and pulling the plug seems like the best option.

PDX2MtHood

Lots of cleaning and yet downtown is still a mess with graffiti and trash everywhere.

maxine

And boarded up buildings.

RetDOD

Nothing gets in the way of making money. Until you're shot.

"Moved here during the pandemic".

That explains the positive attitude. They missed all the exciting parties the Mayor and Commissioner held prior.

A chance of a community growth project in many of the areas there likely will have the same turn out as one in Florence. Probably less.

Will it take another drive by where innocent people are involved to change their minds?

Likely won't make a difference, as the situation the past year could not have been worse, even in a National scale.

Come out, buy a hotdog, drench it with COVID free ketchup.

On second thought, make the detectives work easier, stick to mustard.

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