If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that nothing is more important than community. Starting May 26th, the Portland Rose Festival will bring back one of the world’s top festivals, providing a unifying celebration for locals and visitors as has been done for more than a century, since 1907.
The Portland Rose Festival Foundation, a non-profit that produces events and programs for Portland’s Official Festival, and its dedicated staff and volunteer board of directors have been busy making plans for the return of in-person events. This year’s theme, Rose City Reunion, is meant to capture the spirit of Oregonians coming back together to celebrate and reinvigorate our sense of community pride and togetherness.
Jeff Curtis, Portland Rose Festival CEO, says “The Rose Festival is back this year for the Rose City Reunion. The Rose Festival is happy to be part of Portland’s comeback story, featuring all three of our parades: the Care Oregon Starlight Parade on June 4th, the Fred Meyer Junior Parade on June 8th, and the Spirit Mountain Casino Grand Floral Parade on June 11th.”
The CareOregon Starlight Parade celebrates the renewal of downtown Portland and brings funky fun to families; it will have both a new route and a new start time of 7:30 pm this year. The Fred Meyer Junior Parade continues its traditional path through the heart of the Northeast Hollywood district on Sandy Boulevard, and kids are encouraged to show up at NE 52nd and Sandy to join the line of march. The Spirit Mountain Casino Grand Floral Parade is an all-eastside celebration this year, the first time since the 1948 Vanport Flood forced the Festival to move its signature parade. This traditional all-floral parade is unique as it starts indoors.
Veterans Memorial Coliseum will open its curtains and let the sunshine inside this famous glass palace, and spectators can buy tickets to enjoy the comforts of climate-controlled reserved seating to see the entire parade as it passes through. The Grand Floral Parade is more than fancy floats and high-stepping bands; its lineup is layered with theatrical and cultural storytelling that reflects how a community can honor diversity and celebrate unity at the same time.
Activities at Tom McCall Waterfront Park begin May 26th, as the Oregon Symphony brings a free community concert - Rose City Reunion Concert presented by Bank of America - to the stage at 6pm for an evening of popular orchestral music and themes that tie to Rose Festival. The concert includes the world premiere of “From One Rose,” an original song written by Rose Festival Board Member Ron Carr and arranged by Emmy Award-winning composer Bruce Broughton.
Rose Festival CityFair opens its carnival rides, fair food, exhibits, and entertainment on May 27th with a huge firework display launching from two barges anchored on the Willamette, adjacent to Waterfront Park. CityFair will remain open through Memorial Day (May 30th) and re-open for two more weekends, June 3rd-5th and June 10th-12th.
RoZone concerts are bringing national acts to Portland, including Oregon natives We Three on May 28th, country artists Parmalee, Blanco Brown, Tenille Arts, and Priscilla Block for 98.7 The Bull’s CountryFest on June 5th, and Modestep returns with four popular EDM artists on June 11th.
U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and Royal Canadian Navy ships will return for Fleet Week along the waterfront sea wall June 8th-12th, and all-floral floats from the Grand Floral Parade will arrive downtown for a formal viewing session on Naito Parkway, adjacent to CityFair, June 11th-12th.
The Portland Rose Festival is a legacy event that all Oregonians can be proud of, where all are invited to celebrate what makes the Rose City a wonderful place to live, work, and play.
For more information, visit www.RoseFestival.org