Where We Live: Bite of Oregon helps Special Olympics

Bite of Oregon moves to the Rose Quarter this year

Leah Tucker of City Slickers PDX with her son in an undated, courtesy photo
Leah Tucker of City Slickers PDX with her son in an undated, courtesy photo

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — This coming Labor Day weekend marks a new start for one of Portland’s oldest waterfront festivals, Bite of Oregon. But this year, the food fest moves from the waterfront to the Rose Quarter.

Bite of Oregon not only showcases Oregon cuisine, it helps support the Special Olympics, which makes it a special part of where we live.

Leah Tucker, who runs the Sellwood area food cart City Slickers PDX, will be at Bite of Oregon for the first time this year. She’ll bring her iconic foods from around the country — like Philly cheesesteaks — for the thousands who go to the food fest.

Leah Tucker of City Slickers PDX with her son in an undated, courtesy photo
Leah Tucker of City Slickers PDX with her son in an undated, courtesy photo

One reason she’s there this year is to get people to try some of her food. “The other part of it is my son has special needs, so the Special Olympics of Oregon is near and dear to my heart.”

Special Olympics Oregon lets 13,000 athletes with disabilities compete, interact, travel and be honored for what they accomplish.

Chad Carter with Special Olympics Oregon, August 28, 2017 (KOIN)
Chad Carter with Special Olympics Oregon, August 28, 2017 (KOIN)

“We have year-round competitions,” said Chad Carter with Special Olympics Oregon. “So the opportunity to raise money durnig the Bite of Oregon helps facilitate all of those year-round.”

This is the 34th year for Bite of Oregon, “and as the food scene in Portland, particularly, but around the state has grown it’s just continued to elevate the event,” Carter told KOIN 6 News.

This year’s thems is “Savor the 7 Regions,” which features food popular in different areas of the state. It also includes an Iron Chef competition plus the region’s best beer and wines. It begins Friday and runs through Labor Day.

Leah Tucker is proud to be part of the Bite of Oregon as it moves to the Rose Quarter.

“Being able to support them in this way is probably one of the best things I could ask for,” she said.