The Shakedown

What's the Deal with the Rose Festival?

Sizing up our annual civic celebration, 110 years old this month

By Marty Patail May 15, 2017 Published in the June 2017 issue of Portland Monthly

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↑ Upside

  • Parade-viewing turf wars give onlookers chance to feel better about own life choices
  • What else would we do with all these damn flowers?
  • Fleet Week seamen jokes still not stale
  • Every real city needs that thing locals pretend to ignore
  • C’mon, not like Royal Canadian Navy was doing much else
  • Commemorates that one time Pettygrove seduced Lovejoy on a bed of roses
  • Has improved every year since legalization

↓ Downside

  • Technically, all those roses are withering and dying
  • Budweiser Clydesdales still count as celebrity appearance
  • Thorns definitely metaphor for lack of affordable housing
  • Ground zero for pre-summer teen breakups
  • Jacobite factions refuse to recognize Rose Queen
  • No human sacrifices
  • Royal Rosarians: totally failing to be a truly sinister secret society
  • Roses really smell like poo-poo-oo
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