This June, once again the sweet, spicy fragrance of brightly colored flowers will waft around the second level perimeter of the ice rink at Portland’s iconic shopping complex. Lloyd Center Mall welcomes back the Spring Rose Show this year on June 9-10, after a two-year hiatus due to Covid. Since 1981, Lloyd Center has hosted the Spring Rose Show, which makes this year the 39th anniversary.
Plan on seeing 4,000 blooms grown by 125-175 exhibitors, predicted Dr. Charold Baer, an active member of the Portland Rose Society and one organizer of their rose shows. Growers come from all over the Pacific Northwest, California, Montana, and other states. More than 4,000 guests may attend the spring show to observe the outstanding flora.
“We want attendees to learn about growing, enjoying, and perpetuating the love of the rose,” said Baer. “People sometimes don’t realize how easy they are to grow.”
Baer’s involvement with roses began as a way to relieve her job stress. At the time she worked in critical care and nephrology. She was often faced with life and death decisions.
“I made fewer decisions growing roses and none of them were life threatening,” Baer said. “I got into a rhythm of watching them and doing what I could to help them grow and that provided tranquility for me.”
Now she and her husband, Rich, maintain more than 900 rose bushes.
Baer reported that the Portlanders she’s talked to are excited about the show’s return this year. All of the judgings happen before the doors open to the public at 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 9. Attendance is free and visitors can see the best of the best roses that win trophies.
The genesis of Portland’s official nickname, the City of Roses, can be attributed to the weather and heavy clay soil here, which together provides optimal conditions for growing roses. Some forward-thinking city leaders decided to capture the lure of these flowers by holding the first annual Portland Rose Festival in 1907. This ongoing event is now in its 115th year.
In 2020 and 2021, the occasion was scaled down considerably due to the pandemic restriction of not allowing large gatherings. However, the Court program - a scholarship opportunity for local teens - and events like the Porch Parade were held both years. Residents who participated decorated their porches like parade floats. Viewers followed a special map to see the Porch Parade entries in their neighborhoods or all over the city.
“Because the entire world was in the same boat, we had incredible support for how we handled the event,” said Jessica Metteer, special events manager, Portland Rose Festival Foundation.
In 2022, Metteer said, the festival will have something for everyone. The three-week-long celebration begins on May 27 this year with a dazzling fireworks display over Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Three parades, exhibitors on the riverfront, Fleet Week and a host of other activities designed to bring the community together will follow.
Metteer said the Portland Rose Festival has amazing neighborhood partners like the Lloyd Center.
“The Lloyd Center has supported the Court program for many years with a huge gift of donated space. This year they’re also helping with the Grand Floral Parade and in the past, they have supported parades, events and even hosted our coronation, explained Metteer. “They also host the Spring Rose Show, which is produced by the Portland Rose Society.”
Portland Spring Rose Show
Thursday, June 9: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday, June 10: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Location: Lloyd Center