June 7th. Portland’s #1 civic celebration, The Rose Festival, is captivating the young and young at heart this spring. Rose Festival Fleet Week kicked off with the arrival of HMCS Oriole of the Royal Canadian Navy passing under the Burnside Bridge. Festival highlights are delighting  tourists and dyed-in-the-wool Oregonians.  Here are a few memorable moments so far.

Portland Rose Festival Foundation CEO Jeff Curtis meets the 2012 Rose Festival Court at the annual Blessing of the Festival ceremonies at the Grotto,

Portland Rose Festival Foundation CEO Jeff Curtis meets the 2012 Rose Festival Court at the annual Blessing of the Festival ceremonies at the Grotto.

 
We have one more very important award to announce for the PGE/SOLVE Starlight Parade: the People's Choice Award! The winner is the Molalla Buckaroo Rodeo Float - Congratulations!

At the PGE/SOLVE Starlight Parade, the People's Choice Award winner was the Molalla Buckaroo Rodeo Float.

 
Olympic-bound Kara Goucher was the women's champion of the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon.

Olympic-hopeful, Kara Goucher was the women's champion of the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon.

 
 
Rose Festival President Sue Bunday and Scout Pack 221 before today's Fred Meyer Junior Parade. This is the Pack's 21st year as the parade Color Guard!

Rose Festival President Sue Bunday and Scout Pack 221 before the Fred Meyer Junior Parade. This is the Pack's 21st year as the parade Color Guard!

 

At the Dragon Boat Races 80 teams compete (including local, national, and international teams) with heats of four teams competing every nine minutes. These races are held on the Willamette River (near the Hawthorne Bridge), in boats graciously provided through the Portland-Kaohsiung Sister City Association.

At the Dragon Boat Races 80 teams compete (including local, national, and international teams) with heats of four teams competing every nine minutes. These races are held on the Willamette River (near the Hawthorne Bridge), in boats graciously provided through the Portland-Kaohsiung Sister City Association.

 
Prime Minister Robert H. Hungerford and a group of Rosarians appeared in front of Portland's City Council for the Mayor's Official Proclamation of June, 2012 as Royal Rosarian Month in Portland. The Rosarians are celebrating their Centennial this year.

Prime Minister Robert H. Hungerford and a group of Rosarians appeared in front of Portland's City Council for the Mayor's Official Proclamation of June, 2012 as Royal Rosarian Month in Portland. The Rosarians are celebrating their Centennial this year.

 

The Spirit Mountain Casino Grand Floral Parade is the crown jewel of the annual Rose Festival, anticipated annually by both locals and festival guests. 2012 marks the hundredth time this Portland icon has taken to the streets; over the 105-year length of the festival, the parade was cancelled five times for wars and once for construction of the stadium.

The Grand Floral Walk and Spirit Mountain Casino Grand Floral Parade are favoriates of locals and festival guests. 2012 marks the hundredth time the parade has taken to the streets; over the 105-year length of the festival, the parade was cancelled five times for wars and once for construction of the stadium.

This year’s parade highlights include 14 colorful, floral-covered floats, including a self-built entry from Reed College. Reed is marking its own milestone, celebrating 100 years of excellence in education. To reflect this year’s rousing Rose Festival theme, Rock ‘n’ Roses, the parade feature more music than ever. 18 traditional marching bands are joined in the lineup by several dancing groups and three live acapella singing groups-the latter representing the best of a new Rose Festival event, the Rose City Sing-Off. 21 equestrian groups, plus marchers, dancers and special guests in vintage automobiles filled out the 90+ entries.

The Portland Rose Festival has its roots in tradition while its programming is both contemporary and nostalgic. Foresighted city leaders started the festival during the first decade of the 20th Century in order to put Portland on the map and brand it the ‘summer capital of the world.’

This June, ships line the seawall in downtown Portland.

This June, ships line the seawall in downtown Portland.

The Portland Rose Festival is the Official Festival of the City of Portland (Oregon), named the Best Festival in the World in 2011 by the International Festivals & Events Association.

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