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.
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.’
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.